– It’s the fourth race of the season, and the Virtual Endurance Championship makes a stop in Malaysia. The Sepang International Circuit is 5.5 km with long straights and various type of corners. An exciting venue for multi-class racing. The weather conditions are seasonally hot and humid, and always a chance of rain. The race will be in daylight conditions.
Cosimo qualified 9th position on the grid.
For the 8-hour race, the team decided on a strategy which distributed the load evenly across the three drivers, opting for soft compound tires, swapping for new set with every stop.
Cosimo would start, then Tobias, then Don, then continue the cycle to the finish.
Cosimo started the race from 9th position.
During the first half of the race, it was clear that our race pace was off compared to our class rivals. Through the first series of stops, we were in 8th. OneMove (#207) encountered problems in the 3rd hour of the race and would later retire.
By middle of race, PTSims (#211) would also suffer setbacks, enabling us to take another position. Our pace was matching that of SRVN’s #223. We had advantage on them in early half of race, but they were double-stinting tire strategy and their drivers were picking up pace as race progressed.
At lap 134, as leaders cycled through their pits stops, we reached 4th position for couple laps, only a few seconds out of 3rd position. This gave us some hope that we still were in the fight for a podium if we could keep a steady pace and avoid problems.
Hoping to gain an advantage, we switched fuel mapping down to extend our stints and eliminate the final pit stop. The impact on single lap pace seemed indistinguishable, and with traffic conditions as they were, we hoped this might enable us to keep clear of SRVN by the finish.
Later in the 5th hour of the race, Cosimo would get tangled during overtake in Turn 9 (2 LMP2 + 2 LMP3 + 1 GTE all in close proximity). The repairs would be done at next pit stop, and the extra time dropped us behind SRVN by about 40 seconds.
Our fuel saving enabled us to extend our stints and avoid a final pit stop, but would finish 7th behind SRVN’s LMP2#223 (by 30 seconds).
Sepang Race Chart
As reported previously, we will be sharing race data with other teams running LMP2 in VEC Division 3. Here is the race chart from Sepang. Click the image below to view a larger version of the chart.
With four races complete, we reach the midway point in the season. SHQM#220 remains in 4th position in Division 3 LMP2 standings.