Team Sahlen, presented by honeybeeBase.com, entered the Tire Rack – ChampCar Endurance Series at Road America to compete in the dual enduros. This was to include an 8 hour race on Saturday and a 7 hour enduro on Sunday.
For this event, Team Sahlen would be entering their #942 “Ketchup” ECS Tuning Porsche Boxster. The drivers for the weekend would be Joe Sahlen and Will Nonnamaker. With the weekend being an especially poignant event, with Joe Sahlen celebrating his birthday on Sunday.
There was a full Test&Tune on Friday that allowed the team to shake down the #942 “Ketchup” ECS Tuning Porsches. With this event being Joe’s 1st time on the legendary 4.33 mile circuit, having the time to learn the track was invaluable. Joe did an excellent job of learning the track, spending time during the lunch break to study film and data. At the end of the day, the crew went to work to prep “Ketchup” to be ready for the 8 hour enduro the next day.
For Saturday, the team drew a starting slot of 50th out of 65th entries. This made for a very crowded start of the race for starting driver Joe Sahlen. Joe took his time to work through the field, rising up to the Top 5 Overall. An incident on track with another competitor saw an unscheduled stop for repairs. Team Sahlen did not give up, and fought back on track to regain the lost positions. A timely full course caution / red flag saw Team Sahlen have the good fortune to regain 1 of those lost laps. Then just 1 hour later, another full course caution / red flag allowed Team Sahlen to get back on the lead lap.
As the race drew into the final hours, Team Sahlen was right in the thick of the battle. This included even leading the race Overall for several laps. After a fierce battle with the leaders, Team Sahlen secured 3rd Place Overall.
For Sunday, Team Sahlen awoke to overcast skies and rain sprinkling on the ground. On his birthday, Joe Sahlen took the challenge to start the skies in the challenging conditions. Joe rose up to 2nd Overall, and handed “Ketchup” over to Will Nonnamaker in good form. Will was able to maintain the pace, and kept the team in the top 3 Overall. Just like Saturday, Team Sahlen continued to battle it out up front with the leaders, with a duplicate 3rd place finish at the end of the day.
Joe Sahlen shared his thoughts from the weekend – “I had never been to Road America before. And what a better way to celebrate my birthday than to race on such an iconic track. This track is legendary. A complete lap on this 4.33 mile track takes almost 3 minutes. I enjoyed this track. To come home with two 3rd place finishes out of 65 cars on track is a great capstone to the weekend.”
The next event for Team Sahlen will be the October 1st-2nd Tire Rack – ChampCar Endurance Series at Pittsburgh International Race Complex. The team will be racing both their #942 “Ketchup” and #943 “Mustard” ECS Tuning Porsche Boxsters with drivers Joe Sahlen, Joe Nonnamaker, Wayne Nonnamaker & Will Nonnamaker. The event will be 8 hours on Saturday and 7 hours on Sunday.
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