A 5-6-7 Finish in the V8 SCOPS Bathurst 1000
Yesterday was Bathurst Day which in ANZ iRacing is our biggest single race of the year. We entered the race with a four entries, headlined by the ASTRO entry of Scott/Webster, and the Logitech G entry of Meyers/Blacklock. The TrueForce entry of Hanlin/Feigl were also competing, along with the wildcard Racetech entry of Marcenò/Albert.
After qualifying we had three cars in the top 10, however with a stall off the line and a misjudgement from Feigl, we had two cars at the top and two cars in 26th and 39th respectively with a long day ahead. Disaster struck immediately after the first stint for our ASTRO entry, where running in 2nd place they were thwarted by an engine problem which would end their race. Heartbreak for our lead car, and for James Scott and Cooper Webster who were extremely strong.
Meyers and Blacklock would take over the mantle and perform very well indeed, maxing out their strategic options throughout the race. Simone Maria Marcenò went on an absolute tear throughout the field with tremendous pace often being one of the fastest few cars on track in only his third ever race in the Premier series, moving the Racetech car into contention.
Opting for an early stop to gain clear air after the Lap 1 error, Feigl and Hanlin were bringing TrueForce back through the field, and avoiding several incidents in the dangerous midfield that could have been race ending. They were now well into the Top 15 with it all to play for.
With everyone's strategic cards played throughout the day, a late safety car would prepare a final 10 lap dash as has often occurred in the great race. Meyers in 3rd, Feigl in 10th and Marcenò in 11th, the stage was set!
Former teammate Dayne Warren was leading the race and was the only driver in the Top 6 on fresh tyres, he was able to clear out into the lead and was not able to be challenged so the real battle was for the minor places. Meyers had a clear pace advantage over El-Nabi and whilst he did get into P2, race control deemed the move to be at fault so required a redress which was done safely.
However with a few laps to go, another daring move from Meyers at the chase would place him side by side going into the final bend only for Jake Burton to bump El-Nabi out of control and into Meyers, pushing them both into the gravel trap and out of the running. He would later be penalised and will ultimately be disqualified due to failing to meet the minimum drive time for teammate Ferraris, but the damage was done for El-Nabi and for us. A charging finish through the melee for the Racetech and TrueForce cars, the two cars would come across the recovering Logitech G car that rejoined just in front of the pair bringing home a solid run home with a 5th, 6th and 7th place in formation.
It most certainly is not the result we wanted as we knew that 1 or 2 cars were definitely capable of being on the podium if not the overall victory, however it was a great team effort to finish with 3 cars in the Top 7 of the great race.