Team Simracing For Holland’s report of the Endurance-rfactor.fr Silverstone event. Due to competition restricitions Wilfred van den Brink, Dennis Douna and Robin Verdegaal took part in the Porsche 996 in stead of their regular Porsche 997. Brushing up their skills for the older car during the testraces, it became clear that the competition would be pretty strong. The team not only had trouble keeping up with the Porsche 997s, but also with the Spykers, who are able to brake much later than the 996 and have more downforce for the short corner sections. This promised to be a real challenge.
SFH decided to let the slowest driver cover qualify and first stint. That way the team could only win positions in the end of the race. Better than losing out in the last part.
From P4 on the grid, Robin started the race with the shared team setup, but forgot to raise the rear wing when he was called to the grid. That caused problems when the green flag fell. Still, he managed to win a position, because RacingFr GG2 suffered an early spin. It didn’t take long before they came back to claim P3 and were surprised by how early I had to brake for the slow sections [rs 56:10].
With a damaged rear-end the car was even more difficult to handle and RacingFr GT2 took back P3. Robin followed in 3 seconds until the car snapped out through Maggots [rs 67:15] and had a couple of drifts in the loose Porsche [rs 74:40], causing the gap to grow.
After a while the growing gap started to shrink again, and Robin tried to pass RacingFr for P3 but missed T1 in the process [rs 91:50]. Purshing the car too far, the errors came inevitably. One spin in Maggots cost us 10 seconds [rs 92:30], another one while trying to lap Dodoche GT2 [rs 101:40] and another one in heavy GT1 traffic [rs 106:25]. After that we were 40 seconds behind RacingFR, still in 4th place.
During the pitstop the setup was changed, and the second stint was without incidents. For us, that is, because all of a sudden the leading GT2 cars driven by Brian and Etone were standing in pitlane. Both of them appeared to have problems and now SFH were running a steady 40 seconds behind RacingFr in 2nd place.
P1 –> Server crash
The 40 second gap didn’t grow or shrink anymore. RacingFr however had to stop early for the second pitstop. This meant we were running P1 in the GT2 class, with a 49 second advantage, when all of a sudden…
the server crashed…
That was a blessing in disguise for Simracing For Holland. Because of the server crash we won a pitstop, and we could do a driver change at the same time. Dennis was going to be a bit faster than Robin, and he could restart the race from P1!
In the following three fuelstints Dennis showed great skill. In a faultless drive, lapping consistently in the 2:04s, he managed to stay ahead of Twiny who was running a blistering pace for the RacingFr Spyker. When Veng took over, it became clear that he could not match Dennis’s laptimes, and the gap grew to more than a minute. We were running close to our optimal fuel strategy, but were concernde that we might need a splash’n’dash in the last minutes of the race.
Wilfred took over for the last three fuel stints, and we knew he would be even faster than Dennis. If nothing went wrong, we could win this race! But then an incident between a GT1 and a P2 car lead to a safetycar situation. Bad luck! This would kill our whole advantage over RacingFr and we’d have to fight it out on track and try to save fuel at the same time…
This could be the time to make a pitstop to avoid a late splash’n’dash, but with 75 liters in the tank we decided not to stop during the safetycar situation. RacingFr decided otherwise, and went into the pits to change to an aggressive strategy for the last part of the race. However, they didn’t manage to get out of the pits before the safetycar lapped them.After the green flag they were driving 6 seconds in front of Wilfred, almost a lap behind. Wilfred, being faster, was able to lap them and maintain the advantage throughout the last part of the race.
We won! In the 996!
We had expected to race for the podium, but really didn’t expect to race for the win! This has been one of the most exciting races SFH has raced in this year and we’re very happy that we were able to win it!
Results (qualifying / race)
#76 - SFH Porsche 996 - 1st