The team at Boersma Racing have been working hard to recover from their expired engine during Global Time Attack at Road Atlanta and managed to get the car back up and running for GridLife Midwest Festival. This is one of their favourite events of the season and they had high hopes to have a good result. We chatted to the team for a bit of an update.
After having the engine fail at Atlanta, they knew there would be some gremlins to work out, and they spent the first 2 days getting most of those issues ironed out. The team managed to get most of them worked out and Chris managed to consistently go faster each session. The event was very busy, and Chris didn't have tons of track time, so losing the first two days was hard. He managed to finish the event in 6th place; not where the team wanted to be but based on the fact that they had to fully rebuild the car in 3 weeks, the results were pretty good.
Leaving Midwest, Chris and the team were confident the car was working well, and they knew what was required make it even better. They spent the time between Midwest and their next GridLife event at New Jersey Motorsports Park making the necessary changes and improvements to set themselves up for success.
As they headed to the track for NJMP, the team were faced with some new challenges though, as the heat posed a new threat to their success. The weekend was one of the hottest they've ever raced in and saw things happen in the car that they'd never seen before.
From the moment they hit the track for their first session, they’d set the track record and took the lead of TrackMod. In the second session, Chris improved the times further and created a gap to second place of over 4 seconds. The car was working really well, and Chris was loving the track.
After completing their second session on Friday, the car shut off coming into the pits. When Chris got back to his garage, the car had overheated, and a burning smell was lingering in the air. After looking around, they found that the battery had actually overheated and melted inside the car and shut everything off as a result.
The team literally ran to the parts store to get another battery and waited for things to cool down. The cooling system was bled and prepared for a big attack on Saturday morning. However, as the system was bleeding, mechanic Eric could hear some weird noise from the top end of the motor. They thought they needed to adjust the valve lash, but after further inspection could see that the retainers were starting to crack and chip. And with that, the weekends racing came to an end for Chris and his team.
After the engine failure in Atlanta, they had swapped to their backup engine, but that had run the duration of the entire 2019 season. They refreshed as much as they could but didn't have the time to redo the head before Midwest and paid the cost at NJMP. The choice was made to sit out the rest of the event and, thankfully, still managed to hang on to a second-place finish, narrowly being beaten by a few tenths of a second after only turning 4 laps.