– Past the halfway point in the season… the Virtual Endurance Championship makes its regular stop in Portugal, at the historic Estoril circuit. Tight and twisty, this is not an obvious choice for multiclass. The weather forecast for the race is dry. The race will be in daylight conditions.
Don qualified 7th position. Most LMP2 team times were compressed within 8-9 tenths of a second, a sign of a healthy and close competition in our Division.
Don would start the race from 7th on the grid. In the first few laps of the race, Don would serve two DT penalties that were carried over from Sepang. By end of first rotation of pit stops, SHQM#220 was back up to 7th, and only a few seconds away from Exclusive Racing #222. Don was able to chase down and pass #222, and by end of his stint car #220 were in P5.
Cosimo would take over with a narrow 10 second advantage over Exclusive#222 and SRVN#223. For much of his first stint, Cosimo was able to fight them off, but both ended up getting in front before his first stop. #222 got by on an outside pass at T3, and #223 got by when Cosimo had a 1.5 second screen freeze.
At the next cycle of pit stops, Cosimo was running in 7th, but only a few seconds back of P5 and P6. With similar pace, it looked like we were in for a good battle with Exclusive#222 and SRVN#223.
But a few laps into Cosimo’s second stint, we suffered a disconnect. Multiple disconnects. By the time Cosimo was back in the race, we had lost 590 seconds (nearly 10 minutes). At this point we were 9th in class, 11 laps away from the leaders, and 3 laps back from nearest in our class. Cosimo would rejoin the race and finish his stint and hand off the car to Tobias.
Tobias would complete two stints, then Don finished the final two stints. There were no further incidents which disrupted our race. We would end up 8th in class, gaining a position when Onemove retired late in race.
The race chart from Estoril. The vertical spikes show #220’s tough day.
SHQM#220 is 5th in position in SRC Division 3 LMP2 standings.
Next stop is the 12 Hours of Sebring!