– The first round of VEC Season 11 brings us back to the Indianapolis 2007 GP layout. It is a 1000 mile race which will take 385 laps or roughly 9 hours to complete.
Drivers: Jon Uyan, Nic da Silva, Brian van Beusekom
Due to some unforeseen circumstances, Brian had to jump into the car at the last minute. Brian set a time exactly one second behind pole, which was only good enough for 10th place.
Not much happened through the race. In the first stint, Brian was constantly on the tail of the Idos car, but was unable to make a pass. At the end of the first stint, Brian handed the car over to Jon, which put us on a slightly different strategy compared to the rest of the field.
For the next few hours, Jon and Brian alternated doing double stints. During this time we gained one position, and maintained the gap to the cars in front. But we were never really able to close the gap. With roughly three hours to go, Nic got in the car until the end. But just like Brian and Jon, he was unable to close the gap to the cars in front and brought the car home in 9th place.
So overall we had a good, clean race. But looking at this race in retrospect, it is clear that the field is very closely paced and we will need to find more time to be competitive. Every tenth is going to count in the following races.
Jon Uyan – “After I got in the car I had concerns about my fuel consumption. Our goal was to make 30-lap stints and I was burning a little too much in testing. So I played a conservative role in my stints and used Fuel 2 and Fuel 3 modes. It turned out this was actually too much fuel saving and with the help of traffic and I ended up with 32 and 31 lap stints in my first drive.
Second time around when we realized we were slightly down on overall lap speed. I went for fuel saving again in the hopes that we could maybe have a one-stop advantage to cars in front. The last 4-5 stints Nic was in the car and he went for it. He closed the gap to the P8 DHR car from 55 seconds to 20 seconds at the end with the help of a short fuel fill on last pit stop, but we still fell short of catching P8 and P7.
There are few mysteries with this new Oreca 07 chassis but we are working on it. Nola is already looking good.”
Nic da Silva – “Missed qualifying and the start of the race due to my body not giving a shit after a 5am start at work that day, so my 3 hour nap turned into 8 hours. Got up in a panic and jumped in the car for the last 3 hours to bring us home in P9, nothing really happened during the stints however we need to find another 8 tenths or so to be able to fight up the front. Looking forwards to Nola and the rest of the season.”
Brian van Beusekom – “Really tight group in VEC Division 2 LMP2 this year. The first 9 LMP2 cars finished within 3 laps at the race’s end after 9 hours. My chart doesn’t show the trailing 2 cars, but you can see how Magenta had a bit better pace. You can also see that our double stints are off compared to the other teams because we swapped drivers and changed tires in the first stop while everyone else didn’t.”
With this being the first race, and us finishing 9th, it means we are starting out 9th in the standings with two points.