– Round 3 was the Brazilian circuit, described as between two lakes, or “Interlagos” which is also known as São Paulo. Four days before the event, race control declared no real weather and dry conditions for the race. Weather elements are only part of the story on this short but stubborn track with it’s complicated sector 2. A bit of a nightmare in multi-class racing due to it’s ever changing racing line from one corner to another.
We were sitting in 9th place in the overall points table after two races and it was time to up-the-ante from the miserable race pace we have shown so far.
Team Managers: Jon Uyan, Greg Hall
Drivers (in race order): Jon Uyan, Brian van Beusekom, Nic da Silva
Pit Wall: Jon Uyan, Brian van Beusekom
Qualy runs are not my (Jon Uyan) strong suit against fast drivers and this showed during closing minutes of the session. Ended up last on the grid in P10. But only .6 of a second was the difference between P2 and P10.
I was too anxious at T1 of the opening lap of the race. Coming to side-by-side with the car in front was not a good idea with cold tires and brakes, and being on the outside I dropped the wheels on gravel and went wide. This dropped us 7 seconds behind the LMP2 pack.
But all good. I went into our one and proven method: consistency and steady pace instead of trying to race hard for positions. Taking care of softs in the first stint meant consistent lap times in second stint also.
After lap 5 I was in P7 already due to ReBorn Racers failing to take the grid position and DHR and Insped serving penalties from Race 2. On my second stint Idos had a PC crash and dropped from the scene, luckily they rejoined in P8; we moved up to P6. Then on L79 Swedish Simracers had a lengthy pit stop giving us P5.
Lap 85 Brian took over the car and the same lap Push Rod pitted, we were in P4. From there on it looked like we had a chance to fight for P4 when we put our faster driver Nic in the car in last 3 stints. We were racing against Push Rod for P4 for good. Insped was there too but due to their drive thru they were out of pit sequence that at the end it wasn’t going to work for them, unless they could stretch their fuel.
Brian kept hard charging Push Rod behind us thru his first stint despite riding on old set of softs (my second set). But after the pit stops they were ahead of us again having a shorter stop. Brian kept his nose clean with a steady but fast enough pace to keep Push Rod in check.
End of lap 168 and 6 stints into the race Nic took over the car for the last 2 hours. He had to deal with lap traffic in worst sections of the track while Push Rod was silky smooth in their timing in exact same corners. It was painful to watch from pit wall race map. Lap 217-218 RSR had a long pit stop giving us P4.
Now we are fighting for the podium finish. In the meantime Push Rod opt to triple stint their tires again which opened up the gap even further starting the last stint. Nic closed the gap substantially towards the end but it wasn’t enough to catch them. We still accomplished what we were aiming for, earning P4 and being very close to podium pace.
We learned a lot about this Oreca chassis and our speed slowly improved in 3 races. Next race is Sepang where speed is plenty and track is wide. Division 2 teams prove to be best in the VEC league right now when it comes to driver performance and consistency without incidents. It will be an another tough competition where the fast teams will be on top with ease. With this result we jumped from P9 to P6 in the standings.
Interlagos Race Chart
Here is the Division 2 LMP2 race chart from Interlagos. Click the image below to view a larger version of the chart.
Nic da Silva – “The sleepy drop bear awoke to a great performance from his two teammates. Taking over the car in 5th place with 4th within catching distance. My first stint was plagued by traffic in all the wrong corners throughout the stints, but we kept even with the car in front. Attrition hit a car ahead gifting us 4th place. With the last pitstops done we found we were one of the only cars on fresh rubber and were gaining on the class leaders however the gap proved too much to overcome. Overall a much needed race after the last few outings for the team.”
VEC Season 11 Division 2 LMP2 points table after 3 races.
1 – Magenta Warriors Racing 65
2 – TeamRGPL 51
3 – ReBorn Racers 43
4 – Push Rod Racing 37
5 – Swedish Simracers 24
6 – SimHQ Motorsports 20
7 – RevolutionSimRacing Gold 18
8 – Doug Henson Racing 14
9 – Idos Motorsport 14
10 – INSPED Racing Team 11
11 – SimTech Motorsport 5