While the racing world will no doubt have its eyes turned to Austin, Texas this weekend for the Formula One United States Grand Prix, those in the know will tell you the real action will be at Mid-Ohio! It’s where members of this esteemed publication (and one recurring character) will match wits with the guys from the highly successful Kinja page, Road & Track, for the American Endurance Racing Enthusiasts’ Cup.
Yes, that’s right: we’re returning to AER, the super-accessible grassroots endurance racing series that’s growing faster than a Volkswagen recall. We’ve done this before at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Lime Rock and Watkins Glen and we’re pumped to be back.
And this time, we have competition: Jalopnik will square off in our own class against staffers from Road & Track. The teams will each be driving a matched BMW E30 race car provided by the kind folks at Drive Gear Racing, and we’ll be driving to win.
We at Jalopnik face stiff competition from Road & Track. We’re up against AER veteran, kart racer and former Jalopnik editor Travis Okulski (sp?), R&T Editor-In-Chief Larry Webster, ace magazine writer and ex-Jalop Sam Smith, and associate publisher Jason Nikic.
But we’re not taking this challenge lying down! Through our amazing talent behind the wheel and considerable handsomeness, we plan on sending the magazine guys home with tears in their beers.
Team Glorious Jalopnik will be represented by $500 Craigslist rally hero Bill Caswell; rally fiend and fearless Baja Bug warrior Raphael Orlove; air-cooled mad scientist Jason Torchinsky, a veteran of Lemons and skid plate racing; and myself, Patrick George, emboldened by a recent graduation from the Acura High Performance Driving Course at the Mid-Ohio School, as much track practice as I could muster and watching about a billion Spec E30 in-car videos on YouTube.
It’s going to be a blast. I can tell you that our goal will be to have a safe, fun, on-track experience, to bring our car and ourselves home in one piece, to build our racing skills, and to come back with some great stories. I very much want us to win, though. Perhaps the speed gods will be with us.
If you’re anywhere near Mid-Ohio, you should come out and see us. Practice and qualifying are Friday and the races will go down Saturday and Sunday. There will be stickers involved if you swear your undying loyalty to Team Glorious Jalopnik. Wish us good luck!
Photo credit Rudy Archuleta for AER
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