– Coming from 3 consecutive podium finishes and being in top 4 in all four races of the 2017-2018 season, #29 Simhq Motorsports LMP2 crew is getting ready for the famous Interlagos circuit. Setup will be a challenge for this race as there is as always rain chance. Last year there was an unexpected quick rain shower in the last third of the race even though the forecast was mostly sunny.
Traffic headaches will be strong thru sector 2, as the sweeping T6-7 yields to crude and not-so-flowing right-hander at T8 where some drivers try their chances in passing. Or really twisty section between T9 & T12 causes confusion among GTs to which line to choose while faster LMP2s LMP1s impatiently wait behind.
Sitting 3rd in the championship and having lost some ground to top two teams, it’s time to give them some hard time and close the gap.
Team Manager: Jon Uyan
Engineers: Jon Uyan, Greg Hall
Drivers: Jon Uyan, Greg Hall
Reserve Drivers: Brian van Beusekom, Jordy Zwiers
Greg Hall handled the car in a hotly contested LMP2 qualifying session. Down to the final seconds, with the #29 pegged to 5th place, Greg pounded out a 1:21.352, just fast enough for 2nd place, and the TeamSpeak crowd went wild.
The weather forecast was ominous. And wow, did it wreak havoc upon this race. Greg started the race in P2, knowing that RC1, on their pole position, had a penalty to serve.
On lap 8, the rain hit. The #29 came in for rain tires on lap 10. Soon thereafter, the rain stopped. This left Greg to chase down the TeamRGPL car, the only car that did not stop for rain tires. P1 was in hand, and the switch back to softs occurred on lap 31. Due to differing strategies, P3 was where Jon took over the car on lap 63.
Jon had an uneventful first stint, holding the car in P3. But! Weather is a devious creature. Jon’s next pit service was scheduled for lap 95. Conveniently, on lap 94, the skies opened up again and rain fell down. This allowed us to resume our pit schedule, as desired.
The rain was short-lived again, and by lap 114, it was time to switch back to slick tires. Jon came out of the pits on the tail of TeamRGPL, sitting P2 in class. Unfortunately, a strategy glitch left the #29 stuck with high-downforce, and this, along with other incidents on track, left us a minute down from TeamRGPL as Jon turned over the car to Greg on lap 143 in P4.
Greg managed to bring the car back to P2, less than a minute behind TeamRGPL. Things were going well. Too well, you could say.
Then old lady luck slapped us in the face. Hard. On lap 214, The RARE Corvette suffered a lag incident, which placed the car inside our #29! The resulting damage and 20-minute repair took us out of contention at Interlagos.
At the end of the day, P8 is a bitter disappointment, as P2 felt like a guarantee. But we know our team is strong, and we will rebound in four weeks for the Silverstone race.
TeamRGPL nabbed the top step of the podium, with SpeedyMite in 2nd and MVRE Motorsport taking 3rd.
With Real Championship 1 incurring a DNF and Simhq Motorsports being hit with a nasty wreck and low points, the standings have been shaken hard. TeamRGPL and SpeedyMite, with their strong finishes, have been able to close the gap to our car which sits in P3.
Real Championship 1: 88
MVRE Motorsport: 86
Simhq Motorsports: 68
SpeedyMite Racing: 52