Uncle Joe Benson arcing in the 2000 CalClub Endurance race
November 17-19, 2000: Uncle Joe's Racing travelled to Buttonwillow Raceway for the Annual CalClub SCCA 3-Hour Endurance Race — and it wouldn't be an Enduro without drama! If it all seemed too perfect Saturday morning, the Z's transmission losing 3rd and 4th gears brought everything to a screeching halt (a flashback to the 1999 Thunderhill Enduro). Scott Hall and Tod Fuller pulled the broken tranny out, then put the car back together in time for dinner (very smooth!). Missing the Saturday qualifying session meant Joe started 54th (the first of 8 DNQ cars) when the Green Flag flew in Sunday's race. Two laps into the race, he was in 42nd. (Lapping in the magic 2:04 range and passing groups of 3 to 5 cars at a time, Joe later said he felt like he was in a heavy duty video game!) Scott, Tod and Bill Sundin spotted traffic for the back two-thirds of the 2.6 mile course from the pits, while Jan Benson spotted the first four corners from the East section. By the one hour mark, J.B. was holding down 6th. Following the first of two required pit stops, Sport Compact Car Magazine editor Larry Saavedra was soon ripping through the field. After a series of 2:05 laps and some serious dicing 50 minutes into his stint, Larry's experienced the Z's 'legendary electronic gremlins. With the car stopped just off the course, Larry tried everything from changing fuses to speaking in tongues. 20 long minutes later (enough time for a mysterious overheated sensor to cool down), we were back in business! A quick pit stop later, Joe was on course with a vengeance, running several 2:03 laps to the checkered flag.
(Photos by Dan Baer, Jan Benson & Charlie Franks)
Bill Sundin, Tod Fuller, Larry Saavedra, Joe & Jan Benson, and Scott Hall.
Transmission transplant 2000.
We're ready to go.
Larry hydrates as Scott worries.
Bill and Tod spot traffic in the West end of the course.
Jan and her helpers spotting in the East end of the course.
The 1st driver change - Joe warns Larry
about the yellow Camaro.
Hurry up with that gas!
Making sure the wheels stay on.
Three hours later we were done!
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