The SFH iRacing season kicks off with an up and down race at the classic and fast track of Road America. Long straights, tight corners, the carousel and the kink make it a great track for some Saturday night multiclass racing.
After the successful multiclass season of the Gathering of Tweakers Endurance Series (GES) season 2, the same class combination are the choice for the 3rd season. One minor change in de GT3 category where the AMG GT3 replaced the Z4 GT3. We are participating in the Proto class C7DP, a Prototype car with GT characteristics and a great engine sound.
It was an easy decision to be back for a 3rd season once we left the Nurburgring last season. The driver lineup has no changes, Douna, Offermans and de Wit will do their best to make this season at least as successful as the previous. Our goal for this year; podiums!.
GES Round 1 – Road America 4 hours
Summer preparation and practice.
During the off season a lot has changed in the equipment department. We are very pleased to have Heusinkveld Engineering on board and helping us with their wonderfully engineered equipment. The forces required to optimally use Heusinkveld Engineering peripherals made us all switch to aluminum profile racing rigs which, besides being stronger than your average $100 desk, also looks a lot cooler!. Unfortunately we didn’t have a ton of time to thoroughly get used to our stuff due to work and for some new business.
Definitely we were looking forward to the season. Preperation was typically short being a 2 hour shakedown session on the Wednesday before the race. Some minor changes required to the setup and we felt good to go.
Server practice gave us enough confidence we would be competitive although lacking a bit of track time. The track is a fun one to drive and the lap times were up where we felt they needed to be.
First half of the race.
The start of the race… well it was a big mess for the Prototypes. Games played and multiple people passing the leader before the start finish line of which the rules are quite clear about. We held station, but lost quite a number of spots. SimRC.de were the biggest victim by getting an in game black flag.
Douna slowly made his way forward and got into a fight with the TFR car. Dennis felt being faster, but we seemed to lack quite a bit of top speed. Eventually P2 was ours and the hunt for the last Backmarker ahead of us began. That Backmarker Racing team did have a lot of pace, it had more lap speed then us on traffic free laps. Strangely enough TFR got back to our bumper right before the first stop. The second stint Douna had to re-pass the TFR car because we had a poor stop with some repairs. Another solid stint, but we did lose time on the leaders.
On the third stint things were looking good at the beginning, but this stint we got treated with a fair amount of bad luck catching traffic in all the wrong places. Although we were able to pass most of them swift and safe, we did lose a quite a bit of time. 2 laps before it was time to hand over the car to de Wit, the car hooked on the curb and spun us and sliding into wall backwards. The TFR car closed up the gap as Dennis was finding his way back into the right direction. The car being a little bruised the lap in which we were going to do the drive change provided quite some action. The TFR car got a run on us and Dennis shut the door to the inside lane only allowing TFR to go around.
Second half of the race.
Douna overshot the pitbox costing us a little extra time on pit road and therefore also losing a position to SimRC.de which had mostly recovered from their earlier misfortune. Choosing not to take the minute repairs De Wit found himself in 4th and 6-7 seconds behind the TFR and SimRC.de teams. Slowly getting closer to the teams that were in sight ahead there was an unpleasant surprise. Race control jumped into our communication channel and told us we received a drive though penalty for blocking. As Douna was away for a little bit to freshen up after his stint we appealed and asked Race Control to allow us to give that appeal once Dennis returned.
We were forced to take the drive althrough without appeal after which our race was pretty much over. We lost 4th to Thrustmaster Mivano and now had huge gap to those in front. More bad luck struck as De Wit got spun while lapping a car in Turn 3. The last stop and judging the repair time, there was nothing to gain and with a sizeable margin to 6th place that seemed to be it for the day. Closing in on the finish TFR got a penalty allowing us to bring our car home 4th position.
After the race we did get our appeal, the dutch saying “Mustard after the meal.” Pretty much covers it.
Congrats to Niklas and Kyle, Pure Racing and Buschfink Racing for their wins.
The racing was good and we are looking forward to the next events!
#151 - SFH Corvette Daytona Prototype – 4th