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GES 3 hours at CotA

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The Gathering of Tweakers Endurance Series (GES) is a combined effort of the GoT community and NEO Endurance Series (NES) to organise 2 linked endurance championships in a very professional way. Races have live race marshalls that will warn or penalize bad on track behaviour and review incidents. Races are broadcasted and can be viewed live from youtube by family members, friends or any enthousiast out there.

Events are scheduled in the same weekend, GES on Saturdays, NES on Sundays. This makes GES one of the best and professionaly community organised endurance series out there.

Simracing For Holland who participated last year in the GT3 version for the GES run a Corvette Daytona Prototype. A little unusual for us to choose a prototype and be in de fastest lapping class. Eyes Forward and tape off that mirror!!!


GES Round 2 – Circuit of the America’s

Unfortunately we had to miss out on round 1 at Sebring due to social plans which made all 3 of us be unreliable (or slightly intoxicated) participants. To give reserve teams an opportunity to race we signalled GES that we would not participate in round 1.

In round 2 we were there and what an event that turned out to be. We prepared the SFH way, which doesn’t take not much track time but focuses on tweaking the setup to our liking. As expected Dennis was very much on pace from the word go. Rudy kept running into issues after a couple of laps.

Dennis was to start the race and put in a very decent banker lap. The other 2 laps he collected and inc, so unfortunately was not able to improve on his laptime. Still the banker lap was good enough to start the race from the front row.

Our goal for this event, P1! (duh), but we’d be satified with a podium seeing there was stiff competition out there.

Start

The start went smooth, Dennis held on to P2 and quickly noticed he had more pace then the P1 car. However in the last corner of lap 2 he made a small mistake and half spun coming out of the turn setting us back in P10. From there we knew the day just got a lot harder. Having pace over someone is nice, but passing safely and cleanly can be a different story.

We quickly caught up to the cars ahead and Dennis was setting up for the pass. Dennis was a lot stronger on the brakes than the car ahead and put his nose in a couple of times, but had to avoid an incident due to the car ahead turning in to the apex. Unfortunately these kind of situations where the car behind is being held up more then a second a lap and no racing room given contact is inevitable. Lap 7 Dennis did not back out and passed the car in P9 trading paint in the process. The racing stewards weren’t that happy about it a gave us a warning.

We lost 20 seconds to the lead already by that time, Dennis put his head down and went for what was an awesome stint. Making up positions and going through traffic Dennis was the fastest out there and closed the gap down to 10 seconds at the end of his fuel which meant time to hand over the car which was in P4 at the time.

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After a few laps of getting into a rhythm and getting the tires up to pressure Rudy slowly started to make up some time on the cars ahead. The strategy we had was to have Rudy run 3 shorter stints with less fuel going into the car so we could take an extra set of tires over those that went for a splash & dash and not lose time on pit road.

Having to get used to being the car to pass instead of driving the slower class Rudy adapted and kept a good pace going. Of course there were some misunderstandings and slightly poor judgement calls when it came to passing the slower classes, but that’s what makes multiclass racing interesting. After the second stint when most teams changed drivers we gained back the time we lost earlier with our driver swap. We found ourselves 40 seconds out of the lead in P4. It was already obvious that the #178 had the best papers to win the race as they got their car to run a full hour. But the #111 and #199 still had to make a splash & dash and continue with older tires.

Rudy pressed on, but lost time on teams that were on a different strategy yet wanted to race hard for position. The goal was to close the gap to about 30 seconds which would allow us to get ahead of both of them, but Rudy only got to about 35 seconds before the splash and dash stops took place.

Finale

The last laps were hectic, cars ahead in sight and closing in on them. The #111 and #199 made contact spinning the #199 off track and handing P3 to us. Rudy had more then enough pace to close the gap to P2 but had tough luck with traffic breaking up any opportunity to close the last tenths. In the second to last lap there was a lapped prototype between us and P2. In the long righthander Rudy saw a gap entering and went for it as it was the last opportunity to get to the #111’s tail and fight for P2, but the cars made contact spinning the lapper and costing us more time than we could make up. We ended up finishing in 3rd which makes us happy and hungry for more in the future events!

Thanks everyone for the great race!

#151 - SFH Corvette Daytona Prototype – 3rd


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