Heartache at the Mountain
We entered the biggest race in Australian sim racing with a lot of optimism, through a great preparation especially for our lead Logitech G car driven by Dayne Warren and Sam Blacklock and having started fourth on the grid and getting away cleanly, we were hoping for a solid opening to the race as you vy for a ticket to the final hour. However disaster would strike on just Lap 2 of the 161 lap event, where two cars ahead of Sam would come together in their own risky manoeuvre at Griffins Bend, with one car spearing off into the fence. That car would then bounce back right onto the racing line, collecting a Pursuit Sim Racing car blocking the track, leaving Sam with nowhere to go. They were able to return to the pits for lengthy repairs, but ultimately the race was effectively over and our challenge for the win taken away on just Lap 2. Devastating for the team.
The attention would then turn to the Motum Simulation Holden of Simon Feigl and Adam Zeitinger who were making a return to V8 racing and the great race. They started P27 and kept a clean car, gaining several positions to sit solidly in the Top 15 fairly early on. However a bizarre drive through penalty was given for a latency contact at The Chase, dropping them down to last position on the lead lap. A very long period of green flag racing allowed them to catch and climb back through the field only for the leader to draw ever closer, however a Safety Car came at just the right time, with the then leader sitting only 0.5sec behind when the safety car was called. Amazing timing!
It was at this time however that their challenge would fade. As the track temperatures dropped, the car became less and less competitive, suffering from significant understeer. Within the final sprint to the finish, Simon would understeer into the wall at Reed Park and lose significant engine performance leaving them unable to defend or attack. They would finish P17 in the end, but leave the mountain disappointed when a Top 10 was quite achievable.
Lastly, the ASTRO Gaming Falcon of Zachary Hanlin and Beau Albert had improved well in the early laps, however caught trouble at around 1/3 race distance. They had done amazingly well to avoid a huge shunt early in the race when two cars simultaneously had problems at Sulman Park with Beau's expert avoidance in full display. Catch the moment here: https://clips.twitch.tv/HungryRamshackleMartenMVGame
Ultimately they would end the race several laps down, with the mountain getting the better of them.
A very disappointing race for the team, who have had a lot of bad luck in races 1 & 3 of the Endurance Cup. However we do take some solace in the fact that we have improved our performances and pace, being the fastest in each qualifying session of the series, and also winning the Imola endurance race with JSH & Sam. We will be back, and we will continue to fight!
Congratulations to our friendly rivals at Evolution Racing Team on a great win. Very well deserved indeed. Hopefully we can buy a ticket to the final hour next year and challenge for the win in the new cars.