– The penultimate race of the championship took place at the Silverstone circuit. This historically significant track is very fast and spacious, but also very technical and challenging. The race was held in daylight conditions from 11 AM – 7 PM. Weather for the event was overcast skies, with some uncertainty on possibility of rain.
Tobias posted a fairly good 1:44.8 towards the middle of the session, which put us 9th on the grid. As in the other qualification sessions, the competitors times were quite close together. With an 8 hours race ahead, we didn’t abandon our hopes of a positive result.
After an uneventful start of the race, Sim Racing Peru team had a network problem around lap 5. We gained the 8th position and kept our steady pace. The strategy consisted in alternating among the three drivers double stinting soft tires, with a projected stint length of 22 laps. Everybody executed on it consistently and without mistakes.
PTSims Racing car had a quite long pit stop probably for repairs and by the end of Tobias’ second stint, we found ourselves in 7th position with Cosimo to jump in the car for his first double stint.
The setup held up throughout the stints. Perhaps it wasn’t the absolute fastest, but it allowed us to keep the car safe, and have the necessary leeway to comfortably lap other classes going off the rubbered-in line without many problems.
On lap 61 we experienced another rFactor 2 game freeze, not the first this season. Fortunately, no other cars were close by. The car remained intact and we didn’t suffer any adverse consequences.
Cosimo stopped to take fuel at lap 66 as planned. During the next stint both Naja Racing Italia and Gaming Events teams had problems and found themselves a few laps down. We stopped to take fuel, tires and swap driver with Don this time at the wheel at lap 88, coming in and out of the pits in 4th position.
During Don’s second stint, at lap 118 there was a collision with the #227 LMP3 then running in 2nd position. Jose Alvarez was at the wheel. He just had an accident in the Becketts turn, riding over a curb, unsettling his car and ultimately sliding into the left-side wall. When rejoining the track, the LMP3 didn’t realize Don was coming up, crossed the racing line and collided with our car.
Don assessed the car conditions and damage and decided to postpone repairs until the next scheduled stop. That stop arrived at lap 132 in a provisional second place for us, which would be again fourth after the stop, with Tobias once again at the wheel.
We continued alternating between 2nd and 4th position before and after our stops. Traffic management was generally good, with the majority of the field behaving sensibly. We always try to be respectful of the slower classes and keep our car safe, even if this means sometimes losing precious time.
One such occasion happened at lap 183 when Cosimo lost a few seconds waiting for a safe pass of a GT car. The SRVN team successfully took advantage also thanks to a slightly faster pace snatching the 4th position.
We entered the pits for our last driver swap at lap 218. Don had the honor of taking the car to the finish line. We were counting on other teams, Naja for example, to have to stop one more time before the end of the race for a splash. Our hope was to get onto the podium. We wouldn’t succeed, but did end up anyway in a very positive 4th place.
They did stop, but the splash of fuel lasted for too short a time, not enough for our team to leap ahead. We finished the race with another clean couple of stints, just about 20 seconds from third position.
The race chart for Silverstone.
With one race remaining, SHQM#220 is tied for 4th position in Division 3 LMP2 standings.
The biggest and last race of the season is next, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, for which double points will be assigned. The anticipation is huge and preparation has already started!