Updated: Jan 26, 2020
Road America - ELMS - Week 1
Whilst the Team Principal was under tight scrutiny from "a close family member", Season 4, 2019 kicked off. Kabort Motorsport's brand spanking new LMP1 was fresh out of the factory, and a bunch of new faces were ready to hit the track. Kabort's LMP1 squad was comprised of the supreme combination of Oliver Mandrish (CAN), Declan Eady (USA), Aitor Sintes-Galindo (ESP) and The Bock himself, Nicholas Boccanfuso (USA). Also in black and gold was the GTE Team of Daniel Newell (USA), Joseph Griffin (USA), Shaw Syska (USA), and Marcel Van Den Berg (NTL). Another member, Marco Marozzi (ITA), was not able to make the deadline for registration and was not able to race with the team. Although he would still complete the race individually, he was disqualified soon after. ELMS rules state you must have at least two drivers per team.
Kabort's LMP1 team went straight out and stuck it on pole, for the first race, with a shattering 1:43.095, almost a whole second faster than second place!
After a slightly shaky start, falling briefly to 3rd, the LMP1 team gathered their thoughts and returned to 2nd place for the first dozen laps, before losing the position to 3rd. Shortly after this, they dropped out of the top three for a few laps, before kicking themselves back into shape and shooting to the top of the order. Only briefly dropping to 2nd after their driver swap, Kabort Motorsport had total control of this race.
The second placed Doug Henson Racing White car had a race long battle with the boys in black and gold, swapping places as if it was a display! Almost half-way through the race and the #86 car of Sam Winton streamed past, leaving the Kabort Motorsport 919 with no answers.
Nicholas jumped in and Kabort was off, a podium finish was looking to be in the bag and with the race wearing on, it looked like they were slowly catching Doug's car - and on lap 153 the move was made, even with Sam Winton setting the fastest lap of the race, Kabort managed to just stay ahead, Nicholas was unmatched. Sam may have just got ahead for 2 laps, but Nicholas took control of the situation well, overtaking him. Kabort were P2 with less than an hour to go, it looking very promising..... It was then that disaster struck! As Nicholas left the pits, he knew that there was something wrong with his pedals...a calibration issue. A quick pit-stop could not fix this so he battled on. Eventually he and the team were disqualified for disobeying track limits. This was on lap 171.
The top 2 completed 189 laps, the driver behind us completing 174. This was the hardest day in Kabort's history - so close to a podium, yet so far. At Least Marco had fun though!
P: No Laps Completed
Q: 1st (D. Eady)
SOF: 2134 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Kabort Extra
Kabort Extra had an equally eventful day out - Shaw qualified P17 in a grid of only GTE's. After a rather wild start, battling closely for 16th position, Kabort eventually settled for 18th - a few laps later, another battle arose, yet nothing came of it. Shaw is one of those drivers that can have close battle, yet keep the doors attached. A late stop promoted us up into 15th, but a pit-stop was needed. After a lengthy stop, the GTE team was down in 22nd. This was going to be a long race.... And a long race is was, after 6 hours of gruelling battles, they eventually clambered up to 13th, once even reaching 11th place, but just couldn't hold onto it. That is the beauty of endurance racing - start at the bottom and climb your way up.
Q: 17th (S. Syska)
S: 28 (5 Non-Starters!)