A year after Simracing For Holland’s GT2 victory in the previous 24H event at Le Mans the team is back to defend the GT2 title. Last year team My3id had been a strong competitor in the first half of the race, but ran into trouble in the early hours of morning. This year the team changed from Ferrari to Spyker and seems even more competitive.
It’ll be down to endurance spirit to win the race this time, just speed will not be enough. This year the team won’t compete in the P1 class, instead we are driving a Corvette. Just like in SFH’s very first endurance race. Ah, memories..
Because we jumbled up our planning this 24H overlaps the 6H Nürburgring event and our drivers face a serious challenge. We’ll keep our fingers crossed, our visors down, and hope for the best.
At 15.30 the race is on! The Corvette starts from 6th, the Porsche is 2nd in class. But it soon turns out that the Corvette’s race pace is relatively high compared to the competition. Király and Knops take the lead and drive away from the rest of the field.
Meanwhile the Porsche is still in 2nd place, losing time on the My3id Spyker. Hopes are down, but it’s a long race and Douna keeps going. After three stints Verdegaal flies in from the Nürburgring 6H and takes over the wheel for three more stints.
Trouble for the competition!
Technical difficulties during a driver change force the leading My3id Spyker to spend 10 costly minutes in pitlane. Their lead turns into a 2 lap disadvantage. Drama, so early in the race!
Full course yellow
Then there’s bigger problems. In the early evening technical difficulties force a safetycar situation. A couple of restarts fail and to make things worse Verdegaal keeps being removed from the server. But at the final restart everything is okay. Eye of the needle.
It’s getting darker and darker. The Corvette doesn’t cringe. Lap after lap it builds on its lead, and around midnight both SFH cars lead their class by 2,5 laps. Laptimes drop, but it seems the SFH Porsche doesn’t suffer as much as the direct competition. The My3id Spyker though is in a league of its own. In pitch black conditions it takes one lap off of SFH’s lead in an overtaking move on Hunaudières. Unbelievable how fast they still are, winning a full second in the Ford chicanes alone, every lap, this race is far from over!
More trouble for My3id
During the darkest hours of night the My3id prototype entry has a huge accident and is forced to retire. We’re not exactly sure what happens but it becomes clear that not only the prototype entry but also the GT2 Spyker has left the race. With the strongest competitor gone and a two lap lead suddenly SFH looks as strong in GT2 as it has done from the start in GT1.
Early in the morning, close to happy hour, another streak of bad luck strikes the field. This time the full course yellow takes only half an hour. Again, Verdegaal has connection problems. This time the SFH Porsche only rushes out of pitlane when the field lines up for the next restart, losing two minutes of its lead in the process. It’s a long race still.
Losing the lead
Almost noon, a couple of hours to go, Douna is driving the Porsche leading the class by 2,5 laps when suddenly his radio goes silent. Disconnection, on track! What seems like 15 very long seconds later he is back online and in pitlane, but it’s too late. Just like My3id earlier, the SFH GT2 is stuck in pitlane for ten full minutes.
While the team is counting down, trying to get the Porsche back on track, with half a minute to go they lose the lead to the Wilgrave Motorsports Porsche. Douna rushes back on track but we’re now looking at a 30 second gap that needs to be closed.
Racing for the win
While the GT1 Corvette is still running its laps without trouble the GT2 team puts their heads down and starts eating away at the leaders advantage. Slowly but surely the gap is closed and during a Wilgrave Motorsports pitstop we take over the lead again, this time not giving it away.
In a side-by-side finish the SFH Corvette and Porsche take the double in the GT classes. A prolongation of last year’s GT2 win and our first double!
We feel privileged to be able to race with this large competitive endurance field. Much appreciation goes out to the race organizers and all competing drivers, and we hope to be back next year. Race on!
..and what happened at the Nürburgring?