Well, shit. Bad news from Mid-Ohio. An early crash put an end to our dreams of curbstomping Road & Track at this weekend’s American Endurance Racing season finale.

The good news is that driver Raphael Orlove is unhurt, though he may be sore tomorrow. He spun out coming out of the carousel and into the front straight before the finish line—a place where several people spun out, including Jason Torchinsky earlier—and was t-boned by an Acura Integra. Their driver is okay too, and no hard feelings from them. (They’re welcome to post hateful, angry comments on Jalopnik anytime they want.)

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I cannot emphasize enough what a skating rink Mid-Ohio is in the rain, and it rained juuuust enough to make the track a slippery disaster without actually washing away all the crap that causes spins. Several cars spun our crashed early on like we did. Even the most seasoned drivers on track had trouble out there.

Unfortunately, our E30 is out of the game for the weekend, but the car built by Andrew Zimmermann of DriveGear Racing saved Raphael from being seriously hurt or worse. I’m grateful for that. Neither Bill Caswell nor I got a shot behind the wheel.

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And that’s a shame! We were doing really well during Friday’s practice and qualifying. I was feeling really good going into today. We all were. If the track had been dry, this would have been a different story, but racing’s not about “ifs.” We’re all pretty bummed about it.

Best of luck to everyone at AER who’s still out there. I hope better weather comes their way this weekend. And a big thanks to the kind folks at AER who brought us out here in the first place. This is one of the best grassroots racing series in the country, and we were all having a kickass time—until we weren’t.

More on this story, including some video, as we have it.


Contact the author at patrick@jalopnik.com.