The SCES Autumn series was the first time Simracing For Holland competed in a series hosted at SimHQ Motorsports, so we had no idea what to expect going into the season but after winning the practice race at Indianapolis we were in a good mood! With endurance events between 3 and 12 hours on a diverse set of tracks in three different classes we anticipated quite a lot of action on track. Our weapon of choice was the Corvette C6.R in the EGT class, with LMP1 and GTP being the other classes on track. The whole championship was driven by Johan and Marcel.
Event 1: Portugal 6h
The first event attracted quite a field, with 11 LMP1 entries, 3 GTP entries and no less than 16 EGT teams. Qualification for each race is run on a separate day and consists of an all-day long private qualification where all team members can participate. We set a time, but it was hard to see where that would put us on the grid. In the end Johan put the car in 8th in class and knew that we had our work cut out for us. Marcel started the race on a dry and partially cloudy track and drove the first three hours of the race, handing over to Johan for the second half. We had to fight hard to gain positions and ended up in 6th place in class, walking away with valuable points for the championship.
Event 2: Nürburgring 6h
As the series moved north towards the Nürburgring we felt we had improved our car a bit and on race day were competitive. Marcel started again and handed over the car at the half-way point to Johan. We were gaining positions and towards the end were pushing for the last podium position. Johan was on fire in the final stages, catching up with seconds per lap, but right at the end he had to avoid a spinning LMP1 car, causing him to take a trip through the gravel. That effectively meant we had to settle for 4th place, just outside of the podium.
Event 3: Road America 12h
The 12 hour race at Road America started in the early hours of the day, which still could not prevent that we were going to finish the race in darkness. This was the longest race of the season which meant we had to both do two 3 hour stints to bring the car home. Over the course of the race we managed to gain three positions compared to our starting position, but a few small mistakes meant we had some damage on the car. Nothing major but it cost us a few kilometers an hour in top speed. This meant we could not put up much of a fight on the long straights at Road America and had to settle for 5th in class.
Event 4: Spa 3h
This event gave us our first podium finish as we crossed the line in 3rd after a race that could best be summarised by one word: rain! This relatively short event was destined beforehand to be very rainy and the event definitely lived up to its promise. Going through Eau Rouge in wet conditions is a challenge every time and we were glad we crossed the finish line undamaged.
Event 5: South Shore 6h
Improving on our performance in Spa, South Shore gave us our second podium, one step higher than before as we came in second in class. This relatively new track provided a nice challenge. It’s tough to learn but once you get into the flow you can push pretty hard. Johan put the car in second place during qualification and we managed to keep that position all race long.
Our consistent performances meant we ended up in the 3rd spot in the team championship. In the individual drivers championship Johan and Marcel both ended up in 5th with equal points. Not bad at all for our first season. As always we like to thank the organisers for making sure the whole season went well and we’ll be back next month for the GT3 test and possibly new series.