2nd on Debut in Sports Car Open
Having received an invite into the series just a short time before Round 4, and on an extremely busy weekend with lots of activity, we went into our first Sports Car Open race with our eyes on many other areas also.
However, having won the NEO Endurance Series race at COTA prior to the Day Night transitions update, we felt we had a strong baseline setup with the car and would only need to tweak slightly for it to be adaptable across the different conditions we would face. Also the winning duo on that occasion with Yannick Lapchin and Andrew Kahl, however due to availability in this race we would field an entirely new duo of Simone Maria Marcenò and Simon Feigl. For both, it was their first time driving together in almost a year, however the pairing was strong as if no time had passed.
Simone did an excellent job in qualifying setting the pole position time early, however as the weather changed late in the session those times were able to be eclipsed and we found ourselves sitting P7 on the grid. Simone found himself on the edge of a multi-car melee at Turn 1, but despite the damage was able to climb up the order in his double stint, scything through the pack and ultimately handling over the car in P2.
From that point, Simon would take over for the remainder of the race with the intention of double stinting the tyres to the finish line. However again Turn 1 would prove to be unfavourable, as upon Simon exiting the pits there was an altercation between a lapped GTE car and a LMP2 car, and we would be hit despite being an innocent bystander. With roughly a minute worth of repairs on the car, we were able to continue with our strategy, and drive a smooth first stint, followed by an even smoother second stint to take a comfortable 2nd place finish. Congratulations to Williams Racing Esports on taking the deserved win and pole position.
It was an excellent debut for the team in Sports Car Open, a series we are aiming on automatically qualifying for in our couple of races remaining. This second place finish however is a great start to achieving that goal.