– Suzuka represents the halfway point in season 10. The forecast is looking good for a dry race and we are excited about the setup we bring to this race. We also debut the new Skullbo paint job, recognizing our key sponsors and partners P1 Media, Champion Motorsports, and the Crew Chief. We appreciate their support through this season’s campaign.
Team Manager: Don Baumbach
Drivers: Cosimo Streppone, Tobias Lange, Don Baumbach
Tobias qualifies 7th position on the grid.
With headlights “on”, Tobias starting at night (3 am local), and delivered 3 consistent stints. Toward the end, he worked his way to 4th position and was making preparation for a final stop to hand car over to Cosimo… when the race was red flagged (due to mass disconnection).
The situation required Tobias to stay in the car a bit longer and take the restart. While in the pits, the team switched over to softs and half tank fuel while, just enough to get to the hand-off window for Cosimo. This worked well as the restart also reset grip on the track, which appears to cause problems for some of the other teams.
Within a few laps, Tobias was able to gain 3rd position when Deltec car was involved in an incident at chicane as leading LMP1s were trying to work through the dense GT traffic.
Cosimo took over and held the position through 3 full stints, keeping the car safe. Then turned the car over to Don during code 80 with about 2hrs remaining in the race. Don left pits roughly 73 seconds behind the 2nd place FEEDER Ragnar team, but over a lap behind the leading PushRod Racing.
With 10-minutes remaining in the race and a 2-lap lead, the PushRod car lost control going into T1, causing significant damage.
Despite the attempt to limp around the track a couple of times to preserve the win, both FEEDER and SHQM were able to pass them before time expired.
At the finish line, our gap to 1st was 91 seconds.
After setbacks in first three races, the team finally delivers a result consistent with its potential. Not the top step on the podium, but we taste the champagne. And we want more! Most important, we grow stronger as a team.
The results at Suzuka leave us in 5th overall, nestled in the middle of Division 3 LMP1 standings, 1 pt behind rf-Argentina Competicion. The result in Suzuka confirms the team’s potential, and there is larger sum of points at stake for the upcoming 12- and 24-hour races.