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2004 Grand Bayou Enduro Race
October 3, 2004

By: Patty Poupart

    The fun continued on Sunday when Mike Poupart & Johnny Walter co-drove Chris Wilkin's #0 Spec Miata in the 90 Minute Enduro race.  Johnny negotiated this ride ahead of time in which he was supposed to co-drive with Chris Wilkin in this car.  Mike proved that you should always have your helmet in hand.  When Wilkin stepped out of his own car to co-drive with someone else, he asked Poupart to step in and co-drive with Walter.  What an interesting (and somewhat comical) opportunity this was for two drivers used to high horsepower cars to step into a little Spec Miata.  Among the many remarks made before and after the race, there were two that stood out. . . "When we entered the straights and mashed the pedal to the floor. . . that was it!" . . . "Wow, the track is wider than I thought!"

    Walter qualified the #0 Buckeye Racing Miata in 14th place and Poupart qualified the #1 Miata in 13th place. 
The #1 car belonged to another of Chris Wilkin's drivers who was unable to make the qualifying session.  Walter would drive the #0 car for the first segment.  The field was very large with a varied mixture of cars.  It was close quarter racing in the beginning of the race until the faster cars stretched out the field.  Mary Pat Walter & I stayed in the hot pits and I took pictures of the racing and the pit stops.  Exciting stuff to watch and they had a blast!  Those Miatas have about 1/3 the HP of the Corvette & Viper, but they fly around on the track and you hardly need to lift in the corners!  Due to getting off schedule for the pit stops, Walter was in the car for about 50 minutes before coming in on lap 34.  The pit stop was timed very well.  The crew changed 4 tires, put fuel in the car and they swapped drivers within the mandatory minimum 5 minute period.  Poupart drove the final 19 laps to finish out the last 35 minutes of the race bringing the #0 to a 14th place finish.

Mike Poupart, John Walter and car owner, Chris Wilkin

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