There’s something about racing in the rain that is almost mythical - drivers balancing their cars on the knife edge of traction as it slips away when the puddles form, wheelspin and opposite lock coming out of a corner where the cars usually look so composed, locked-up wheels in the braking zones… But if there is an art to racing in the rain, racing in the rain in the dark must require all the skill of Picasso, Hopper, and Michelangelo combined.
The Devil in the Dark is a 12-hour race held each April at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Milleville, NJ. In this SCCA-sponsored event, teams start at noon and race until midnight. This year’s DID was won by the #97 Porsche GT3 Cup car of Tullman Walker Racing, but it was far from the clean sweep that the Porsche pilots were probably expecting. After 12 hours of racing, their 460-hp German rocket was just 6 laps ahead of the #91 Flatout Motorsports Mazda Miata. Horsepower figures for the Miata are not available, but I think it’s safe to say that rain was the great equalizer in this case.
The harder it rained, the more the heavier, more powerful Porsche needed to tip-toe around the twisty parts of the track. The Miatas, on the other hand (and there were plenty of them on track), floated and danced around the turns, sometimes with the rears stepping out but always going as fast as they could. Of course, all this effort could evaporate on the straight as the more powerful Porsche sailed passed them, but a lot can happen in 12 hours.
Full race results can be seen here.