Disaster And Success At Road America

Updated: May 29, 2020

- I'm a little behind on blogs, I understand and accept that, but due to the current situation that I am in, it's been hard to catch up, therefore, I have asked Andy Jones to write this blog to free up my back-log of blogs, I've only edited minor aspects of it. - Robin Written By Andy Jones Road racing at the highest level has not been the principal focus of motorsport historically in the United States. Instead, high speed Oval tracks like the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway have taken centre stage. But nonetheless, there are great road tracks here, from the old school track at Watkins Glen, to modern tracks such as the Circuit of the Americas near Austin. This week’s iRacing Endurance Le Mans Series visited one of the great golden agers - from the era when track designers were most concerned about using the natural controls of the location to create challenge for drivers and excitement for spectators. In Week 3 of the ELMS, the 6 hour event comes from Road America, near Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin. Elevation changes mean that this track is difficult - braking downhill into Turn 5, going light over the crest into Turn 6, there’s no time to rest, and being an older track, the walls are nearby and unforgiving with the additional challenge of having to dodge drivers who’ve made a mistake and been bounced back across the narrow track. After an incredibly successful Week 2 at Monza, the KABORT Motorsport team approached the race with confidence and unusually chose to enter all three classes of the event, the LMP1, and LMP2 classes for racing prototypes and the GTE class for GT cars from Ferrari, Ford, BMW and Porsche. In the LMP1 class, Kabort's finest drivers would be racing the Porsche 919 LMP1, In the LMP2 the HPD would be used, and in the GTE class, the Porsche 911 RSR and Ferrari would be used. Overall, KABORT started 6 cars across the 3 events that make up an iRacing ELMS weekend. Affinity WEBVANS (Porsche 911 RSR GTE) - 07:00 KABORT Affinity WEBVANS with Daniel Evans and Daniel Weber on board took the early morning start slot and came through to a solid result - finishing 11th after starting 17th with no dramas - even briefly being in the top 10 for a few laps, before finishing a solid 11th. Qual: 17th Fin: 11th Affinity BOA (Ferrari 488 GTE) - Saturday, 18:00 In the Saturday evening start, the plan had been for several cars to start, including the hotly anticipated duo of Samuel Thurtell and Maxim Badidi, but in the end, technical difficulties meant that only KABORT Affinity BOA with Berkley Cox and Andy Jones made a serious run at the race and even that was short-lived. In the first stint, Berkley put a wheel off on the exit from the sweeping Carousel turn and was thrown into the wall. At first, damage seemed minor and Berkley continued after a repair but it wasn’t long before worse was to follow with a blown engine leading to the prospect of a long stay in the pits. The team decided to withdraw the car and re-group ready to enter again in the Sunday afternoon edition of the event. Fin: DNF Affinity BOA (Ferrari 488 GTE) - Sunday, 14:00 Sundays have been good days for KABORT in recent rounds. Would that trend continue? Well, not for KABORT Affinity BOA sadly. This time Andy Jones took the start but couldn’t avoid a car spinning back across the track after The Kink and with 90 minutes of repairs needed before carrying on, they were left to rue small but costly errors. Qual: 14th Fin: DNF Affinity The Frying Dutchmen (Porsche 911 RSR GTE) - Sunday 14:00 KABORT Affinity The Frying Dutchman had a similar story with incidents delaying Max Badidi, Tijmen Berends and Nash Fry. They kept fighting until the end, finishing 18th in the GTE class (26th Overall) Qual: 36th Fin: 26th Jumping from 36th to 28th in one lap, however was definitely worth a mention. Affinity WEBVANS (HPD) - Sunday 14:00 They shared the track with that rarest of creatures, a KABORT Motorsport HPD-ARX-01c in the LMP2 class. There’s been a lot of discussion around this car in the team recently - it’s great fun to drive and KABORT Affinity WEBVANS decided to dive in and see what they could do. A good first stint and a terminal crash was the outcome, but expect to see more of this car in future rounds. Qual: 3rd Fin: DNF Affinity LITCANUS/LITCANGER (LMP1) In the end, the best result of the KABORT weekend was a hard-won podium place in the fastest class of all, the LMP1 hybrid prototypes. A new team entered as Lars Bachmann joined the establish pairing of Robert Land and Justinas Ribelis. The car started 3rd of the 12 starters in the class but came through to lead right up until Lap 53 when delays meant that the rest of the race was a fightback. A storming drive by Justinas Ribelis pulled KABORT up from 5th place on Lap 138 to bring the car for a 3rd place finish. A great result that keeps the run of KABORT podiums going for another week. Qual: 3rd Fin: 3rd