– The first race of Season 3 of the Virtual Le Mans Series takes us to Istanbul for a 4 hour long race. The 3 mile long track features both slow and fast sections, with the fast four apex turn 8 being the most well known.
After seeing a very strong field in the pre season race, and having to spread efforts between Sim Racing Club and P1-Gaming events, we were expecting a very challenging race where we would have to fight for any position.
Engineer: Greg Hall
Drivers: Nic da Silva & Brian van Beusekom
Reserve: Blazej Myszk
After Nic got out of his LMP2 car over at P1-Gaming, he jumped behind the wheel of the #199 Porsche to qualify the car.
Once again, the field proved their strength, with 14 cars being within half a second! Nic managed to put the car in 19th with a 1:49.7 after a drastic late change in setup.
It didn’t take long before our luck from the previous season continued. On lap 7, after leaving room for an LMP car, Nic lost the car and got hit by another LMP. Fortunately the damage was minor, and after 30 seconds of repairs we could continue – although at the back of the field.
Throughout the first two hours Nic put in a consistent drive, gaining us positions from other cars who were having trouble, and handed the car to Brian at the end of lap 69.
During his first stint, Brian put it a clean and consistent drive, gaining another couple of positions from others having trouble. For his final stint, we decided to put soft tires on his car so he could make one final charge. This worked very well as he was catching the cars ahead with multiple seconds a lap.
However, it didn’t end up in on track battles as the passes were made while others were pitting or got disconnected because of game issues.
After this push in the final stint, Brian brought the car home in 13th position.
Brian van Beusekom – “I think we can be happy with what we managed to do here. Going from 28th to 13th in a field this competitive is quite a good performance, especially since we couldn’t fully focus on this race with the P1-Gaming race going on at the same time.”
Greg Hall – “From an engineering standpoint, this was difficult to manage. Our team was in two races at the same time, with Brian and Nic heavily involved in both. Listening to two separate TeamSpeak channels, deciphering when Nic or Brian would be needed in either car, and managing drivers and pit stops was quite a chore! Nic and Brian did well preparing for this race with little time. Now, it’s up to us to peel back the layers of the Porsche onion, and really determine how to make this thing work. Points are coming, starting at Road Atlanta.”