Updated: Nov 8, 2020
My word. It's happened again - life has just overtaken me, and it's nice to just get a chance to sit down and write a blog. With the Coronavirus spiralling out of control and it seems everything else too - it's time for a bit of positivity here! Watkins was the week after the bitter-sweet Bathurst 12 Hours - we were poised for greatness...but it all came crashing down. Kabort Extra - piloted by Andrew Jones and George Whitmarsh (George making his debut) - shared the split with the Korean Porsche 911 GTE RSR of Jaehan An, Chang Mun Ryu, Jae Heon Bang and Jongpil Jung. Jongpil making a special - and impactful - apperance at the Bathurst 12 Hours. Starting 30th and 40th respectfully and a 3rd car starting 25th in a different split, all three teams had their work cut out for them - but they were all up for the challenge! Kabort Bronze Sticking to their impeccable form of past races, Kabort Bronze (Korea) launched into 25th for the start of their second lap....this blistering pace would continue throughout the stint - Jongpil being just within the top 10 in time for the first round of pit-stops. This is where a slight embarrassing moment happened, with Jongpil unfortunately unable to find the pit-crew and having to get some assistance. This assistance unfortunately cost us dear, Jaehan having to start his stint in 26th. These racers were resilient, and didn't give up and managed to gain 5 more positions before the end of the race - finishing in 21st place. The amazing thing is that all of us at Kabort have the potential to score some amazing results - we now just need to iron out the mistakes, and before we know it we'll be a Top 10 contending team!
Kabort Motorsport EXTRA
Andy Also made a very good start, jumping to 24th, before settling into 21st. After a short battle with the cars around him, he put his head down, and began to climb up the field, eventually making it to the Top 20 before the pit-stop. It was George's turn. How would he fair? Very well. George kept the car clean, whist doing consistent laps, and still managing to make places, when Andy got in, he was able to put the car into a Top 15 position. This faultless form of reaching a high position, boxing and then making up the positions lost through pit-stops lasted the whole race - a very satisfying day for most - Unfortunately, Justinas and Rob didn't have as much luck. Kabort Motorsport Justinas And Robert were in the same split as an old friend of mine - AMG (Awesome Motorsports Group) Florian Hundertmark, it was nice to see them after a while. After a half-decent start climbing into 23rd, the team then had a small blip falling into 30th. It was a 6 hour race though, and there was a long way to go. The duo picked themselves up from this and managed to get themselves into a comfortable 26th place. At the next two pitstops, they managed to climb further up the field....before being involved in an incredibly unfortunate incident.
(Apologies about the music) The car got a little bit loose on the exit - however the driver behind didn't anticipate the closing speed and drove straight into the back of us. This lead to extensive repairs, and the car ending up being very low on power. The driver behind did apologise. And it is definitely worth mentioning that this is one of the few occurrences we've had when we have entered three cars, Endurance Le Mans Series, Week 5, Season 1, 2020 Watkins Glen ET: 47
Q: Extra: 30th | Bronze: 40th | KBM: 25th
R: Extra: 15th | Bronze: 21st | KBM: DNF
F: Extra & Bronze: 30 | KBM: 35
S: Extra & Bronze: 40 | KBM: 47
SOF: Extra & Bronze: 1610 | KBM: 2276
Also this week Jaehan An only becomes the second driver in Kabort Motorsport to have been here for over 200 Days, In addition to this, it was also the week that we had to wave a fond fairwell to one of the bigger names in Kabort Motorsport - João Paulo Costa. João Paulo Costa - Kabort Motorsport - 16/10/2019 - 26/02/2020
João first joined the team in October 2019 and was an instant hit - bringing the LMP1 Team a incredible 6th place in his inaugural race at Le Mans. His next appearance was at the Bathurst 12 Hours, which unfortunately the Audi he was not able to finish. Despite not making too many appearances, endurance racing wasn't João's party piece - his exceptional iRating of 3000 as well as frequent wins in solo series was the key to his success - as well as the main reason why he left - within an endurance team, you are only as good as the team, and unfortunately João didn't feel comfortable - he wanted to focus on personal improvement and become a better racing driver as a whole. In a team it is incredibly difficult to see your own individual progress/performance when there are others that are also trying to bring the car home. Your performance is mixed with their performance as it merges into the team performance, and João just wants to focus on himself, which is an incredibly valid reason to leave. João's retirement from Kabort leaves Maxim Badidi as the only driver to still be hired from RSR Esports. João also had an an agreement where he'd race with his Brazilian Team (L1 E-sports Red) as well as Kabort Motorsport. In L1, he'd race competitively in the LMP1 class, before returning to Kabort Motorsport for the second Special Event Time-slot. Wherever he goes next, I wish him all the best, and hope he achieves his goal, and should he return, we'll be happy to have him back.
João Paulo Costa - Kabort Motorsport - 16/10/2019 - 26/02/2020
This week also saw Jaehan An and Robert Land compete in the Daytona 500 - Robert Land snatching a 6th Place!
This week I also found myself re-visiting the group chat where everything unravelled on a certain night - and I just looked back in time and looked at Kabort now - and In the most bizarre way, I think the events of that night actually turned out to be the best outcome. Things weren't and still aren't right with the team but - Joseph and Co. were able to leave, create their own team, allowed all drivers to stretch their wings, and with Kabort, despite a few rough weeks/months, we were able to make the improvements (some still need to be made) - and with the help of Andy Jones - who I only recently realised was an absolutely vital asset to the team - I think there may be light at the end of the tunnel. The final race of the season is on Saturday - which will mark 12 weeks since the start of my hiatus - and with some exciting series lined up for Week 13 there are some seriously good times ahead!