It’s hard to believe that just a few short years ago, endurance road racing in America was all but dead. The grids at endurance events were mere shadows of a time gone past, and in some cases, barely a handful of teams showed up to participate at all. Fast forward, endurance racing has quickly become a viable and thriving venue where teams of varying skill levels can compete and take home the prize. Whether that’s money, a trophy, or the reward of knowing that your team made it to the finish line are just some reasons teams keep coming back for more. While endurance participation several years ago was (what I would describe as) anemic, the past four endurance seasons have shown a remarkable comeback, with over 130 unique teams participating in the N2/WERA national endurance series in 2022 alone.
Whether you live on social media or loathe it, it’s hard to escape the excitement this series has garnered. Racers want more of it; fans love it, and track facilities can’t get enough of it. Behind the scenes, we always ask ourselves what we can do better, what worked, what didn’t, and listen to valuable team input.
Some of the improvements and changes for 2023 will include the following:
- Introduction of the 6-hour endurance event at Pittsburgh International Race Complex.
- Tighter integration between the N2 and WERA systems so racer profiles, points standings, and other information is more seamlessly integrated.
- Enhanced registration makes selecting WERA racer information on a team’s roster easier.
- Use of tire warmers during red flags.
- Live video updates on social media allowing fans to see the action as it happens.
- Large events (such as PIRC) will have dedicated staff to handle the ingress of race haulers and other vehicles.
In addition to these changes, I would also like to take the opportunity to introduce Mr. Chris [Kub] Kubricky, who will now serve as N2’s Race Program Director, providing oversight and leadership of the N2/WERA national endurance series. Chris has been a long-time friend, exceptional racer, and exudes a passion for racing and all things that make the sport of road racing so special. Under his guidance, my visions for this series are brighter than ever. Welcome aboard!
In closing, I’d like to pay an exceptional thanks to Sean and Evelyne for placing their trust in N2 to help bring endurance racing back to life. After all, it was a complete roll of the dice. But working together with all the dedicated, hardworking staff from our organizations, we collectively made this a reality. I’d also like to express special thanks to Mark and Dawn Merical for their dedication to this series and for gracing us with their presentation of the national anthem, while keeping a watchful eye over our riders. There are so many others that I’d like to call out by name; you know who you are.
It’s been quite an exciting ride, but I’m glad we took this unexpected detour in our journey. I can only hope that this series has meant as much to the racers and fans as it has to us.