Updated: May 10, 2020
Due to how the Daytona 24 Hours went, We started planning even earlier for the second special event of the year. The Suzuka round of the ELMS Season and the Bathurst 12 Hours were on consecutive weekends, so whilst some were discussing ELMS, others were discussing about the big race. It ended up with us considering almost every single GTE and GT3 car on the grid - The BMW M8 eventually being used by Cheng and Chandler (Bad Camber) for the ELMS round. The Ford GT from 2017 was also bought up, but quickly fell apart when the individuals racing it left the team. The HPD was bought up by a couple, and is likely to be raced at Silverstone if the interest remains and an LMP raising interest for a few drivers. A wide range of GT3's were also considered - The Porsche 911 Cup car originally wanting to be driven by Koreans Jaehan and Jang Han Choi, however the latter pulled out. The McLaren was briefly considered - for both Bathurst, and the tiny interest in VRS Endurance, as well as the BMW Z4 - which had upsettingly (for some) little interest or attention (presumably due to its age) The Drivers In total we had 9 drivers driving three cars: Audi
Joao Paulo Costa(BRA) Sebastien Parmasad (CAN) Tamás Sipos (HUN) Mercedes Tennyson Whitty (AUS) Benjamyn Foxcroft(GBR) Kyle Jeong (AUS) Ferrari Robin Truswell (GBR)
William Burfield (Hot-Seating) (GBR) Jongpil Jung (S. Korean) Jonathan Kerns (USA)
Audi R8 GT3 LMS- 01:00 GMT
Due to Joao not being able to do the second of the time-slots, the Audi team decided to run the earlier slot of 01:00 GMT, I registered them to the race. Joao qualified on pole position - which brought a smile to to everyone's faces....but after posting the image of the results to a "Team Owners" discord server - the smile was wiped off my face - He (a fellow owner) accused Kabort Motorsport of sandbagging iRating - meaning to put a highly skilled driver with a high iRating onto a low split saying "You sandbagged bottom split. Don’t be overly proud" and later "You put him on the team to help sandbag". The member didn't intend to sound harsh, yet with the Daytona debacle (https://www.kabortmotorsport.com/post/my-mind-is-a-wildfire) as well as another incident that happened, I'm not the most liked in the server, The gap between pole (us) and second place was under a second, yet Joao had a strategy to get into a lower split. Weather this worked or not, or weather this was done or not is unknown, but I condone any sort of cheating or gaining of an unfair advantage, and much prefer to get a low qualifying morally right by letting iRacing choose the splits, rather than artificially "choosing" which split to race in.
Sebastien debunked this by saying that he joined when he would normally join the race and disregarded the message.
In addition to this, the fact that two other teams had drivers with massive iRatings meant that we were alone, one such team all three drivers having in excess of 2,000 iRating. But it still doesn't explain how a team of my calibre managed to get in the bottom-most of 6 splits race - where the average iRating was less than 1,400. Alas, from what I have been informed, it was not intentional and was just coincidence due to the lack of drivers interested in driving the Audi, and the times they joined at. The race didn't go as well. Joao started us off. On the opening laps, we dropped down to 5th place, but fortunately gained one back but a massive problem soon became evident - Tamas was not present. Tamas would be starting at roughly 8am GMT due to timezones (Hungary is GMT+3). The Audi solidered on into the morning, unfortunately having to take repairs, but being the driver he is Joao powered on and upwards taking the Audi from 23rd up to 14th in one stint. Sebastien would continue on from Joao, keeping up the progress Kabort made, before making 5 positions before Tamas' stint...Tamas would then take over...but the Hungarian was nowhere to be seen...until 9am when he sent a very worrying message. "Hello, Sorry guys I fell asleep" Falling asleep is good - only when you have an alarm set for ten before your stint. Its an all too common problem in endurance racing - It's a 6 hour race - I'll take a nap whilst I wait for my stint, ready and fresh for my stint... On-wards from here, nobody drove - Tamas didn't jump into the car after his nap, the race was finished. It was quite a shame, because they had the potential for a decent finish, yet nobody was around to drive the car. A back-up plan is absolutely vital in these instances - having a plan to fall back on in case a driver cannot make it, instead of just planning one stint schedule to what everyone can do, have two for in-case someone doesn't wake up. As I had to sort out the Audi team, I went to bed quite late in order to make sure they were all sorted being at least 4 - 5am (latest) this would affect when I woke up.
Bathurst 12 Hours, Audi R8 GT3, 01:00 GMT Time-Slot
P: 1st Q: 1st
SOF: 1127 #AudiGate
Mercedes AMG GT3
The Mercedes was the car to be in for Bathurst - many of the front-runners ran the AMG GT, and was the car of choice for William - had I been driving the Mercedes instead of Ferrari things would have been very different. Tennyson Whitty, a new driver for Kabort qualified on P3 - 3rd place - a new Record for Kabort - and definitely a sign of what's to come. The first 12 laps for the team were absolutely flawless, staying 3rd and staying safe... On lap 13 however, this run finishes. The car is wrecked, put onto a flatbed truck and driven to the back of the garage...it's going to be a long race. The car is 45th when it emerges, but Tennyson is in no mood for hanging about, and floors it. By the end of his stint he's 25th. The madman Benjamyn Foxcroft is next. The car only climbs from here, peaking at 16th with Benjamyn behind the wheel, the car would only fall down to 19th for a dozen or so laps before picking up pace again. Kyle Jeong was the next at the helm. Despite an engine explosion late on in the race, the team still managed to finish a very decent 26th, it's lower than they wanted, but to still finish is an achievement in itself, especially for such a difficult circuit. Bathurst 12 Hours, Mercedes AMG GT GT3, 13:00 GMT Time-Slot ET: 54 P: 13th
SOF: 1360 Special Guest: Tamas Sipos - Ex-Driver
Ferrari 488 GT3 Bathurst 12 Hours, Ferrari 488 GT3, 13:00 GMT Time-Slot ET: 54 P: 11th
SOF: 1119 Special Guest: Tamas Sipos - Ex-Driver My first race back from my iRacing hiatus started incredibly promising, but with 20 minutes to go, I put an end to a simply stellar performance from all. Jonathan Kerns qualifies us 12th Place, a very decent qualifying, enabling us to stay ahead of the slightly worse drivers, more dangerous drivers. The race got of to a slightly shaky start with not putting fuel in after qualifying and a slight wall-scrape (which gave us huge damage compared to the size of the impact) Before we then got our head in the game and got going, reaching P21 (from 26th) by the end of the first stint. We rose with the steady flow of retirements, just keeping in front of our competitors - each of us had a considerable whack or so within our stints, but the little Ferrari kept on chugging away, William Burfield and Jonathan Kerns being the true start of the show - maintaining and impeccable pace whilst keeping the car clean. Most notable was when Jonathan Kerns launched from 23rd to 12th in one stint, before William took us from 12th to 7th. During the race, we had a few considerable knocks, the most severe being with a the "Lemons Wall Banger" Mercedes, which spun after the corner after the long straight heading up the mountain. He proceeded to block the track, and with the Kabort car coming toward the side of him, he moved forward, throwing Jonathan off, and causing a nasty collision with himself, the wall and the Mercedes. It was later discovered that he was racing everyone that tried to pass or lap him - intentionally blocking whilst doing so. Not too long ago I was the one to race those on another lap, but now I truly see how inconvenient - and frustrating it can be, and has discouraged me from doing it even further. Due to always being in Kabort Korea and the LMP1, Jaehan An was never in the "Kabort Motorsport iRacing Team", (in iRacing.com you have a list of members within your team) and therefore, since we registered the car as "Team Members Only", he could not join. Fortunately, Jungpil Jung (another Korean) was already in the team, so I took a risk and let him drive his first laps at Kabort Motorsport in the Ferrari at Bathurst 12 Hours. The only thing I heard about this driver was that he was a class B driver, and according to Jaehan he had practiced enough and was interested in ELMS. Despite a close shave with the wall exciting the pit-lane, Jongpil exceeded my expectations, kept it out of the wall and kept up pace with both William and Jonathan. Since his outing at Zolder, weather it was the car, track or real life, William seemed a lot calmer, smoother, more consistent and in faster - impressing (and admittedly worrying) me as he blasted mere millimetres from the wall. As the race slowly grew closer and closer to the end, one thing became evident - after passing 6th place - 5th place was still in the pits, and a Top 5 was on a horizon. I had a half-decent stint, despite plowing it into the wall on my final lap. Jongpil had just come into the pits for his final stint, and I was ready to cruise it home for a pretty damn decent P5 or P6. I was told that in order to beat P5 by the end of the race I would have to have an average lap of 2:15's...But it wasn't to be.
There was 45 minutes to go as I got into the car, less than a whole stint of fuel, I set off not knowing what was to come. It was well past midnight, and I was a little tired, but I was happy to continue, since I enjoyed my previous stint (bar the last lap) Coming into the mountainous section, after the long straight, I lost control under braking and slid it sideways, gently bumping the wall on the inside. To get out, I'd have to reverse backwards where cars would be entering blind.
There was a Mercedes on my tail, which was about to lap me. he went crunching into the back of me. In panic, I reversed the car to try and get out of his way, I then pulled forward and due to the Ferrari's turning circle we collided with eachothers' doors, fast forward to the end of the mountainous section, I knew I wanted to apologies, since he was a car on a lap ahead....and did the most foolish thing one could. along the straight, with the wheel in one hand, I search for the "5" key - which automatically displayed an apology. I was looking down, it was dark, I was going in excess of 70mph. I found it and pressed it. my car was three-quarters on the grass and my wheel was jolting around. I tried to force the car back onto the track. And Then It happpened. the grip of the tarmac was too much the car skewed one way, and then the other. I knew it was over. everything we had done up to this point had been all for nothing. The car ended up by the side of the track. I towed it. 26 seconds of towing times. The extent of the car's damage would mean long repair-times.
As with Zolder, William had put hours and hours and hours of effort, time, money (Fuel to get to my house) and was looking to significantly improve), but when the time came to race, a detrimental incident would happen. I had so many feelings inside me - feelings I had never felt before - anguish, anger, devastation, embarrassment, pain, disgust, disbelief, sheer disappointment, worthless like a let-down. I wanted to be sick, my head ached, all I wanted to do was just leave in some sort of way. I just couldn't bare it. All I did was leave the voice-chat server so that my team couldn't hear my cries... I haven't told anyone this, but the next thing I did was go to sleep. I didn't want to be awake, I just wanted this all to be a dream, I wanted to start the day again, I wanted to make so many changes, I remember back to during the race how we were so jovial and William was telling me how he got on well with Jonathan and just the contentment he looked - before it happened. I don't cry at movies, I haven't really properly been emotionally affected by a passing away, except from Drew, who I miss more and more as I grow older, and memories of a good times we had replay over and over, but this is the first time I have ever properly had a meltdown, fallen to my knees and just felt like melting, just getting out of the current situation. Everything hurt. The amount of people I affected by doing this destroyed me - most of all the Team, we've tried so hard to get good results, we've had drivers come and leave, Top 15's in the recent races and being within the reach of a Top 5...The Top 10 is special, but saying you were in the Top 5 of your split in a special event is something else - my thoughts then turn to Will, and his fiance. Will who's spent so much time and effort getting to where he is now, battling and beating drivers - no matter how good bad or ugly, practicing every waking hour to improve his skills - had I not crashed, I think this would have made myself, the team, him and his fiance incredibly proud and happy, the last place he belongs is the bottom split. For the second time in a row though, to have had a DNF at Kabort Motorsport is unacceptable. He spent a considerable amount of money and time too to get to my house - It's over 70 miles away (in each direction) and he drove it just for me - just to see me and race with the team. I feel too for his fiance, whom I shall leave un-named, she supported Will in iRacing since the day they met and has been encouraging him along, motivating him and helping to improve, and to see what happened on that 282nd lap must have been absolutely heart-wrenching after the absolutely fabulous drive he had on the day. Kabort have a long way to improve, and many things to improve on and improvements will be made over time, and the effects of these will be a faster, more efficient and more connected team as a whole. These were the events of Bathurst, and I'm deeply ashamed of myself and understand the impact that this has had on both the team and William and his fiance, and I would like to take this moment at the end of the blog to truly apologise for the way that I drove at Bathurst, and hope you all can forgive me remember the past, but focus on a brighter and better future for everyone. Robin Truswell