Autospiel Race Team
Autospiel has participated in the Chumpcar and Lucky Dog racing series since 2013.
Chumpcar and Lucky Dog are endurance racing series with races ranging in length from 6 to 36 hours!!
We have a driver roster of 4 to 6 drivers and drivers are selected depending on the length of a particular event. Driver are limited to 2 hours maximum per driving stint, which is also the maximum time most cars are able to go on a single tank of fuel.
Pit stops are a mandatory minimum 5 minutes when cars are refuelled. This gives us enough time to fill the tank, check the engine oil (quick check over for any leaks and the alternator belt too), check the tire wear and pressures, check the brake pads for wear, change the driver and service the driver drink and driver cooling system. The driver cooling system is interesting. We have undershirts with a series of pipes sown into them and a cool box in the car which is filled with water and ice. This is pumped to the drivers cool shirt to keep him cool. When it is first turned on, the driver usually gives us a loud “Ooh” on the radio, as the ice cold water first circulates through the shirt!
We have a 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI, which has a 2.0 litre 16 valve engine, originally scourced from a Passat. We are required by the rules to have a full safety cage, 5 point seat belts, on board fire extinguisher system and remote electrical shut off switch. This car also has a fuel cell with quick filler accessed through the passenger rear window.
This car has been very successful, with a 1st place finish at a 6 hour race at Portland International Raceway and several 2nd and 3rd place finishes at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California, as well as at The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington.
An interesting story with this car was at the 36 hour race in Spokane, Washington. The engine blew at the 13th hour! Luckily we had found a spare engine on the Used Victoria classified’s the week before the race and we decided to buy it and take it along with us! The engine was exactly as it had come out of the donor VW Passat. The only thing we did was replace the timing belt before leaving.
We set about changing the engine… All hands in, the whole team pitched in, even the girls, it took us 3 hours to change it. At the 16 hour mark, it was back in the race, with 20 hours still to go!!! We finished the race in 25th position with our driver Bruce Kaye taking the chequered flag. Sadly we lost Bruce to cancer in January 2017.
We have recently built a second car, this time a 2000 Volkswagen Golf. This car has had a 2.5 litre 5 cylinder engine originally fitted to the 5th generation VW Beetle, Jetta and Rabbit. This car had a very successful race at The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington in April 2017 with a 2nd in class and 10th overall in the race on Saturday and we bettered that with a 1st in class and 9th overall on Sunday. Both races were 7 hours long and there were 72 cars in the field!!