Motor Trend streamed the Endurance World Championship's live feed, which was very high quality throughout. I watched the entire event! After waiting so many years to see this race coverage I'm gonna switch off and hit the sack? Oh. Hell. No. Sleep is for dead people.
There's tons of drama all race long but that last hour was insane. A few highlights:
On his fourth and last stint in very hot and muggy weather a guy from Northern Ireland is turning a 2:06, qualifying pace?
The interview with the #11 SRT Kawasaki's team manager, on the cusp of losing the championship to the #2 SERT Suzuki, was like prophecy. We don't give up, we stay hopeful until the very end (note: SRT Kawasaki is a regular EWC team, not the Rea - Haslam factory squad).
Lappers are swerving to avoid a muffler laying in the middle of the track! One of them crashes and his spinning bike comes within fractions of taking out an overtaking Rea. SOOOO close to disaster!
Darkness falls with about 45 minutes left, now the track is full of tired guys and tired eyes still racing hard using headlights! Rea's front discs are glowing orange. Night racing here is a fantastic spectacle, against the backdrop of Suzuka's colorfully lit stands and large ferris wheel.
Light rain starts falling with just over 15 minutes to go. It can be seen in the headlight beams, and the track surface quickly develops a sheen. Commentators say that riders probably will stay on slicks, as long as the tires don't cool off too much. How crazy is this getting? Rea leads the #21 Yamaha of Alex Lowes by over 20 seconds.
Remember the SRT Kawasaki team boss' words? With about five minutes left the #2 SERT Suzuki's GSX-R motor goes up in billowing clouds of white smoke and its rider is in no hurry to get off the racing line. Fvck this is nvts!!! Remember, the track is already slick with rain and it's dark out there. SERT Suzuki's failure hands the EWC team championship to SRT Kawasaki, who looked set for defeat a lap previous.
But wait, there's more. Rea crashes in the oil on the very last lap. Now red flags begin waving. Utter chaos out there. Drama! After a few minutes the #21 Yamaha is declared the winner. Michael van der Mark looks a lot more chagrined than delighted, he says OK we'll take it even if it's Kawasaki that really deserved it. Alright, time to hit the sack, before this buzz gets any crazier...it's 4am out here on the left coast.
But wait, there's more!
Overnight, it's decided that the Kawasaki team of Rea and Haslam are the winners. With the red flag, they revert to the finishing order of the previous lap. Many thought there was a rule that said competitors had to return to the pits within five minutes of a red flag or they are not classified. This ridiculous rule exists in MotoGP and SBK but not the EWC.