The Darkest Road in the West – The Western Endurance Racing Championship kicks off 2016 at Willow Springs International Raceway

The Western Endurance Racing Championship series regularly visits Buttonwillow Raceway, Thunderhill Raceway and even the Utah Motorsports Campus in Tooele, Utah, but it hasn’t held an event at Willow Springs International Raceway in nearly a decade. Willow Springs is difficult enough during the daytime, but at night? Only the bravest need apply.
Five of Willow Springs’ nine turns are some of the fastest in the country and Rosamond, Calif., is so far from civilization that when the sun dips behind the ridge to the west, it gets dark. Really dark.
Still, 17 teams signed up for the kickoff event, a three-hour race on Friday evening. To make things even more interesting, El Niño brought in showers for Friday afternoon practice and dumped more rain during the race.
At the start, the track was mostly wet, but drying. Tire choice was tough. Teams that had phone-based radar apps knew the rain was coming, but

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