– Fresh off a podium finish at Suzuka, the confidence is growing as the team heads to Brazil during the rainy season for the 5th race of the Division 3 VEC championship.
Cosimo qualified 5th position on the grid.
Rain started as cars rolled off the grid, catching some teams off guard with tire selection.
Cosimo was soon leading the race after 4 laps, as the leading cars entered pits to switch to wets… or serve penalties. Cosimo held the lead for three laps, before pitting to serve a 60 second stop & go penalty (carried over from Istanbul, which was a penalty we don’t want to talk about)… returning to the race in 7th overall, when the rain stopped.
Code 80 on lap 23 enable a quick splash of fuel, opting to stay on the same set of worn wet tires. By lap40, Cosimo again was leading the race as the other leaders cycled through the first pit stop. Cosimo led another 18laps, until turning lead back over to rf-Argentina Competicion when he pitted (again during code 80). The drying track necessitated a change to softs, which would be enough to get him one more stint before the swap with Tobi.
The team was monitoring the weather radar, and watching the rains slowly move in from the north…softs were safe for now.
Cosimo held steady in 2nd position, and the team waited for the rain. It came on lap 86, perfectly timed for the driver swap. Tobi took over on lap 88, leaving pit on wet tires, and wing adjustments for higher downforce. Rain only lasted 2 laps. The track was wet again, and would take a while to dry… and the team continued to monitor the radar… expecting more rain to come.
Tobi held 2nd and would take lead on lap 124 as the rf-Argentina car made its pit stop.
Tobi pitted after leading one lap. The team decided to stay on wet tires, as rain was still a threat. Some teams were making the switch to slicks, some staying with wets… a gamble either way.
Unfortunately, we lost that gamble, because the rain did not return, and the drying track gave a big advantage to the teams that switched to slicks and lower downforce. rf-Agentina was able to extend their lead, and K Zerebiec of the FEEDER Ragnar (LMP1#16), was storming through the pack and caught Tobi on lap 140, putting us back to P3.
Not much we could do but ride it out a few more laps, to make final driver swap and switch back to slicks and lower downforce.
Don would take over on lap 146, two laps off the leader rf-Argentina and 1.5 laps away from 2nd place FEEDER Ragnar… over 5 laps ahead of 4th in class. With a fresh set of hard tires, Don was good to go to the finish, only needing to stop twice for fuel.
Within the next hour, rf-Argentina would suffer two separate incidents (one with SinL GT and on with SinL LMP1) which would knock them out of the lead and settled back into 3rd, until a disconnect ended their race. Muy desafortunado, as they were having solid run up to that point in the race.
Simhq Motorsports LMP1 #20 finished 2nd place overall (2nd place in class), approx 1.5 laps back from FEEDER Ragnar entry.
Post Race Comments
The added points from Interlagos are enough to take over 4th place in the championship. 8 hrs of Silverstone is next, where another solid performance could put the team in the top 3.