November 9, 2002
Cup season finale- 6hr enduro"
Pabst returned to his roots this past weekend with a ride in the "Grand
American Cup" series,
formerly "Motorola Cup", driving the Istook-Aines Motorsport Group's Audi S4 bi-turbo. It was
Jeff's first visit to the famed NASCAR facility and it was eagerly anticipated by his many fans
and colleagues. When talking with team owner-driver Don Istook of Fort Worth Texas upon
arrival at the track, Jeff stated: "The car was performing tremendously but shortly after
starting into the first test session Thursday, Alex had the car catch fire due to a mechanical failure "
Alex Lince of Bogota Columbia , had to bail out of the strickened Audi
on his third lap of practice and watched helplessly as safety crews expelled 3 fire bottles
into the inferno which began to consume the car. thankfully Alex was uninjured and the
car was salvageable. The weekend ahead looked somewhat dismal, but the Istook/Aines
crew dug deep and spent the next 10 hours making repairs to the "Silver Bullet" and
was able to make practice runs Friday and qualified the car Saturday. The car though,
was not performing at it's best due to electrical component damaged suffered in the fire.
Problems kept plaguing the team right up until racetime. Don Istook was starting driver
while Jeff took the checkered flag, with many stops in between for maintenance, repairs
and driver changes. Jeff had only one close call during the race as to quote Jeff,
" I was holding my line on the infield when a Porsche "driver" had brain fade and
locked up all four's and slid right into my left front wheel!" this caused a lengthy couple
of stops for the Istook team to repair damage and re-align the car.
all the adversities of the weekend the team did finish a 7th in class for
GSII, though a
win or podium finish was entirely possible. Jeff commented on the track saying " At first,
the feeling of the high banking was strange and required a different technique than I'm
used to. But after no time at all I was totally comfortable and only needed more speed from
the car which unfortunately was just not possible this weekend. I hope to go there again
sometime to give it another shot!"
Thanks to the racesite .com