– After last weeks weather stricken VLMS race our eyes on Britain’s forecast, and it does look like a repeat of what we saw last Saturday. There is a 50% chance of precipitation which means anything is possible with the way the weather app worked the past two races. Jon is working on a wet setup, dry setup, and a hybrid setup to have all the cards ready depending on what we are dealt with last minute going into the race.
A big concern. We will be serving 4 drive-through penalties acquired in the Interlagos race and not sure how negatively it will affect our race.
Jon Uyan: Driver, Team Manager, Engineer (setups, pitwall)
Greg Hall: Driver, Engineer (logistics, pitwall)
Brian van Beusekom: Driver, Pitwall
Jord Zwiers: Driver, Pitwall
The rain came and went, but the track was wet when the GTs were doing their qualifying runs. When the prototypes hit the track, it was around 90% wet. In really tricky conditions drivers pushed their cars to the limit with no load in their tank.
As Greg started his second flying lap, the skies opened up again and the slightest hint of a dry line forming disappeared very quickly. It turned into a single lap qualifying session, with only the first laps of the cars standing as fastest laps.
Swedish Sim Racers’ Per Oqvist was the lucky one to have the best lap while Greg had the second best time earning SHQM the LMP2 class second spot on the grid.
Although qualifying was practically over, Greg did go out several times to try the conditions and get ready for the wet start.
The car was dressed in wet tires at the start. Greg’s race start was a bit sketchy as he almost went out at T3 entry, lost P2 but then settled into a rhythm and wait for the first of the drive through penalties.
Lap 5 we dropped to P4. It was obvious Greg was not fully confident with the car and the setup chosen was the dry setup as most of the race was forecasted as a low chance of rain except the first hour.
Lap 7 the drive-through penalties started coming from race control. We got our first one at L8. By the time we finally served the last one, it was L15. We only had 30 Liters left in the tank and sitting in P7. Dry line had already started forming well. At the end of the stint, Greg decided to go with medium tires. Despite the 81% wetness offline, the racing line itself was dry.
To our surprise mediums in these conditions performed really well. They lasted both stints with very low wear ratio compare to a fully dry track. We asked Greg if he could do one more stint. While he was a little hesitant, the gain against competitors was another big 33-second bonus, so he went for it.
All-in-all it was a stellar drive from Greg; practice session, qualifying and 4 stints in a row. About 5 hours worth of effort and as a bonus, when he handed over the car to Brian we were in P1! An amazing drive.
Brian also delivered a superb performance for 1.5 stints keeping the car in P1 position. Unfortunately, we made a mistake and pulled Brian out miscalculating his tire wear and wanted to take advantage of the stop-and-go Brian received for track cutting.
We went for an early driver swap. Jon took over the car in fully dark conditions and while feeling the car first two laps he did have a moment in L3 where he lost control of the car coming out of Copse. An unforced driver error with a tank slapper put us on the wall losing the front aero and right-front wheel. Our bad luck of VEC Season 10 had struck again. The damage was extensive. We spent 20 minutes sitting in the pits for repairs.
Jon did finish the stint and the following one with a still damaged (non-repairable) car, slowly gaining some time to the Black Hawk car in P7, eventually dropping the 100 seconds deficit to 60 seconds. The handling was terrible and we were not making any headway in positions. We decided to put Jordy in the car and hoping we would get a fresh car during driver-swap.
Jordy got in the car and he did have a fresh car. He started to push the lap times close to fastest times of the race, and sure enough, he clocked the race’s best time in his first stint while passing Black Hawk and putting them 1 lap down.
Next car in line was 5 laps ahead of us but with Jordy, in the car, we had hope for some miracle, so we told him to keep pushing.
The miracle did not happen of course but Jordy closed the gap to Undercover Simracing to mere 1.5 laps at the end (in 2.5 stints). Another amazing drive and effort.
With that result and collecting 6 points from Silverstone, car #29 is still in 3rd position in the championship with just the Sebring 12 hour and Le Mans 24 hour races remaining in the VEC 10th season.
Race Clutch 106
MVRE Motorsport 86
SimHQ Motorsports 74
SpeedyMite Racing 67
Team RGPL 64
Swedish Sim Racers 53