– Race 7 of the Virtual Endurance Championship takes us to the “sunny” state of Florida for the 12 Hours of Sebring. The historic Sebring circuit hosted its first race in 1950 and has hosted endurance races like the infamous 12 Hours of Sebring on its bumpy surface ever since. We will roll four drivers in the car today; Greg Hall, Jon Uyan, Brian van Beusekom, and Jordy Zwiers.
Race Clutch threatens to run away with the season points, sitting on 106 points. MVRE has 86 points, SHQM follows with 74, and SpeedyMite 67. 30 points go to the victor.
Team Manager: Jon Uyan
Engineer (Pit Wall): Greg Hall & Jon Uyan
Drivers: Greg Hall, Jon Uyan, Brian van Beusekon, Jordy Zwiers
Jordy took over the car for our qualifying session, as he had shown extreme pace in the prior VLMS race. Shortly into qualifying, Jordy logged a 1:45.0, an exemplary time. Shawn Jacobs in the SpeedyMite car threatened, with three laps under 1:45.1, but couldn’t quite close the gap. SHQM gets its first pole!
Jordy took off from the grid in P1. Throughout the first stint, Shawn Jacobs of SpeedyMite kept attacking, as their car had the edge on straight line speed. However, the SHQM car showed grip in the corners and was able to keep Jacobs at bay.
Unfortunately, on lap 23, the lap before our first pit stop, Jordy had a spin in T7. In moving on, he made contact with Jacobs, causing damage to both cars. This incident would result in 4 minutes of repairs, placing us 2 laps behind the field.
Jordy got to work. Two stints on his fastest laps, to claw back the time. Afterward, he turned over the car to Greg on lap 67. Greg did the same. Three stints on the same set of tires, clawing more time back. It even rained momentarily while Greg was in the car! It was not enough to take rain tires, however.
Greg turned over the car to Brian on lap 135 in P6, now one lap in arrears of the leader. Brian also put in a heroic triple stint, bringing the car to one minute behind the lead TeamRGPL car! Three minutes gained over five hours of race time was an amazing accomplishment! It was time for Jordy to take over the car again, at lap 202, in P3. Attrition was taking its toll, as Sebring tends to do.
And that toll caught up to us, again, same as Interlagos and Silverstone. On lap 212, as Jordy was streaking through the sweeping T6 on the way to the hairpin, Jordy’s computer VR setup froze. By the time it recovered 2 seconds later, Jordy was head first into a wall at 220kph. The damage was extensive. 20 minutes of repairs, and again we were in P10. 12 laps down to the leaders, one lap down to SpeedyMite in P9.
Greg got in the car and tried to chase down SpeedyMite, as every point is valuable. 135 minutes later, Greg was one minute behind the P9 SpeedyMite, ready for Jon to take over for the last 2.5 hours.
Jon had a whirlwind of activity around him! With about 90 minutes left, the rain came. This brought calamity, as both a P2 spun into Jon and a P1 rear-ended Jon, resulting in a few minutes of damage repair. This took us out of contention for passing SpeedyMite. However, two cars did DNF, allowing us to return to P8 at the close of the race, the last running car on the track.
Sebring was a very disappointing result. We expected no less than to compete for a class win. Once again a technical glitch takes our car out of a quality position. We expect to do better for our partners next time; P1 Media, Champion Motorsports, and The Crew Chief. We demand better of ourselves and will be bringing our best effort for the season-ending 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 2nd.
Post Race Comments
Standings after the VEC Sebring 12 Hour:
Race Clutch: 128
MVRE Motorsport: 86
SimHQ Motorsports: 79
SpeedyMite Racing: 74
Swedish SimRacers: 71