Victory & Double Podium at Petit Le Mans
What a race - 10 hours and split by only 7 seconds in the end! A huge drive by Tuomas Tähtelä and Yannick Lapchin to take the victory in what was a mammoth race long battle with the superstar Team Redline combination of Max Verstappen, Shane van Gisbergen and Rudy van Buren.
Tuomas did an excellent job to put the Ferrari P2 on the grid for the start, and after a tense opening with the sister Redline car and Pure Racing Team, the lead swapped several times with traffic playing its part. In that time, it allowed Verstappen to put through the stint of the race to take his Ford from P14 on the grid to P1 by the stint end. We ourselves were hit during hour 1, but thankfully there was minimal damage and only time was lost, but as this race would pan out time would be a valuable commodity.
We battled back into the P2 position as the track began to cool, and we took the bold step to change to double stinting tyres, and it was at the perfect moment to do so. Tuomas put in an amazing second stint on the tyres to lose only a few tenths a lap to the chasing Redline Orange car.
As the darkness bestowed the track, we were embroiled in a on track battle between Yan and Max with the two coming together in what looked like a 50/50 racing incident. The timing of our double stint was ideal, as we could go double-double-double to the finish of the race, and maximise our tyre strategy, despite being at a significant disadvantage on the fuel strategy Redline was running. Once the final stops had completed, we had more than 20 seconds back to Verstappen who was chasing hard. Tuomas did an excellent job of withstanding the pressure to manage the gap and take the victory, his first in iRacing Special Events, and his debut in these events with Altus Esports.
P2 in Qualifying, Fastest Lap & Race win! GG Yan and Tuomas! 🏆🏆
In the GT3 class, guest driver Josh Thompson qualified P7 on the grid and put in an excellent opening triple stint to steer into the third place. The race itself would end up being a bit of a lonely one for them, with a very big gap back to 4th place, and 2nd place being tantalizingly too far away to make a decent challenge. Zachary Hanlin and Josh did an excellent job to bring the car home in P3, and secure an amazing podium given that the pair only started working on the race two days ago. 🥉🥉
Furthermore this result equated in Zac achieving a podium finish in all four North American special events in 2019, taking victory at Daytona, 2nd places in Watkins Glen and Sebring, and 3rd place at Road Atlanta. One might think he likes the place! 🇺🇸
Congratulations to good friends Evolution Racing Team on taking the race win in the DP class, and to Vendaval Simracing on winning the GT3 class.
Roll on 2020!