Introduction

– Road Atlanta is the home of race 2 of the Virtual Le Mans Series. Straying from the typical 4 hour windows the series hosts, this race is a 1000 mile extravaganza, replicating the real-life IMSA finale. Road Atlanta is a fast and hilly circuit. Sector 1 is defined by the 4th gear drive up T1 and the falling esses, all driven by massive elevation changes. Sector 2 is all about flat-out speed, and Sector 3 brings a huge passing zone and another hill to trek up and down, back around for another lap on this roller coaster.

This is the second appearance for the #199 SHQM Porsche 911. Round 1, at Istanbul, resulted in a P13 finish and no points. I (Greg) guaranteed a points-paying finish from this round. Let’s see if that guarantee paid off, or if I am just your average United States politician.

Team Managers: Greg Hall and Jon Uyan
Drivers: Greg Hall, Jon Uyan, Blazo Myszk
Engineer: Brian van Beusekom
Napping Drop Bear: Nicholas da Silva

Qualifying

Greg pounded the track in the 911, the boat anchor behind the rear axle dragging the rear tires all over the place. Once the dust settled, P11 was the starting position. P6, only 1.5 tenths ahead, was in sight, but the fastest lap of the day was aborted due to traffic.

Race

Starting in P11 was not a blessing. As the cars in P6-12 were so close in pace, the battle started immediately. On a circuit as tight as Road Atlanta, that means drivers checking up and a slow overall pace. Our setup was a bit conservative, knowing that this was a long race (over 8 hours). This meant overtaking was difficult, if not impossible due to straight-line sluggishness.

A huge GTE grid

So Greg sat at the back of the line for the first stint, awaiting calamity to strike. And calamity did strike. But it struck us. On lap 34, following a fellow Porsche through the final corner, the leading driver had a snap oversteer. As Greg passed, the car snapped back, hitting Greg and sending him into the front-straight wall. A Code 80 and 194 seconds of damage repair were the result. 10% of the race done, and P23 was our home.

To our benefit, attrition was already taking its toll on this tight track. 29 GTEs took the green flag, and we were ahead of 6 even after our misfortune. So Greg and attrition both got to work. Greg pitted for fuel on lap 52, taking advantage of a Code 80 caution and realigning the team pit strategy. Passing cars both on track and in the pits, Greg made the most of his time in the car. By the time the car was put in Blazo’s hands on lap 97, the #199 was in P7. BACK IN THE POINTS BABY!

VLMS Road Atlanta

Blazo then proceeded to do Blazo things. These being, pass cars, be fast and consistent, and make no errors. Blazo passed two cars on track during his two hours in the car. By the time lap 196 arrived, we were in P5. Things were looking #blessed.

VLMS Road Atlanta

Jon took over at this point. Four fuel tanks to the finish, with two to Jon’s name. But true to the nature of this race, calamity struck again. On lap 225, Jon experienced a snap oversteer exiting T5. Unfortunately, a P2 was following closely, and with the sudden loss in speed, the cars made contact and Jon was redirected into the wall. A C80 and 120 seconds of repair, and back to P10 we went. STILL IN THE POINTS THOUGH!

VLMS Road Atlanta

Jon reclaimed P9 in the coming laps. He pressed on until lap 270, at which point Greg got in for the finish. Greg was able to pass Blackbirds Racing on track, after a hectic battle with the Porsche, lapped traffic, and four prototypes! That brought us to P8. P7 was claimed by a late DNF, as Seawolf went over the wall after an unfortunate incident! We still smelled P6 blood, as Witchwood had to make a late splash. Greg passed the Witchwood car in the pits, and was able to grow the gap to the finish on old tires.

VLMS Road Atlanta

In the end, a P6 finish is nothing to sneeze at. It was a hard-fought race, our engineers were able to work with all the strategy changes incurred by Code 80s and incidents, and the drivers were professional and gave it their all. If luck sneezes in a different direction, we’re just outside the podium. Most important, however… MY PREDICTION CAME TRUE!

VLMS Road Atlanta

A big thank you to P1-Media for their support, along with Champion Motorsports and The Crew Chief. We at SimHQ Motorsports are proud to have these great sponsors along with us through the season.

Post-Race Comments

Jon Uyan“All-in-all a good result for us, finishing in P6 after dropping to P22 and 2 laps behind most of the field. When I got in the car it was dusk and got dark pretty quickly. LMP2 traffic constantly closing from behind was relentless, and one of my incidents that cost us extra 50 seconds repair time was with an LMP2 that was trying to pass at T5 exit. A racing incident nonetheless. Overall though we had a good pace and avoided major incidents. Attrition helped us climb up in the standings substantially. Both Greg and Blazo drove very well. Almost a 5 second freeze on Blazo could’ve been a big accident for us but he luckily escaped that, and he blazed the Road Atlanta sky with his pace otherwise. 

Now we are in points and have to keep it clean for few races to catch up to the upper field.”

Championship

After 2 rounds, here are the leaders in VLMS GTE Class

1. HYDR eSports  55 points
2. Scuderie Giantruck  27
3. SpeedyMite Racing  22
4. Push Rod Racing Orange  18
5. Veles  18
6. MRS-Simracing  14
7. RevolutionSimRacing Yellow  12
8. Atlantic Motorsport  11
9. SimHQ Motorsports  10
10. Drillers Motorsport GTE  8

Next Event

Race 3 for the Virtual Le Mans Series meets up with our northern neighbors in Canada, at Mosport. Mosport mimics Road Atlanta in many ways, so we expect this to be a “slobber knocker”, just like Road Atlanta. November 17th is the date.