15 Drivers. 8 Teams. 7 Nationalities. 5 Top 10's. 3 Cars. 2 Managers. 1 Track. Monza was simply record-breaking.
Monza was always a hot track for GT racing - but we never expected over half of our entire team to come out to Italy to race.
The average attention span of an adult is roughly between 10 and 20 minutes - and with 8 teams to cover 6 hours - I'm going to have to do a very brief summary of how the team's races went. 07:00 Session Global #1 - Porsche Sam Thurtell Daniel Weber Global - Ferrari Robin Truswell
Daniel Evans To start us off was the two "Global" Cars. The "Global #1" Porsche consisting of Samuel Thurtell and new-comer Daniel Weber, and the "Global" Ferrari being piloted by Daniel Evans and Robin Truswell himself. these two were in the same split - and just like Sebring, the lower-qualifying Kabort car (Global #1, whom qualifed 25th) finished higher - much higher - 14th compared to Global's decent 20th place finish. A massive impact with the Ascari kerb didn't help matters either.
The other car had a the total reverse race from us - starting from low down and rapidly climbing up the field to have a well-deserved Top 10 finish!
Endurance Le Mans Series, Season 2, Week 2, 2020, Monz
Q: G#1: 25th (Thurtell) | G: 7th (Evans)
R: G#1: 14th | G: 20th
SOF: 1981 Time for the evening race! 18:00 Session Despite none being in the same split, the majority of drivers that raced at Monza would race in the 18.00 session:
Affinity BOA - Ferrari (Split 8) Berkley Cox
Andy Jones Affinity The Frying Dutchman - Porsche (Split 6)
Nash M. Fry Global #1 - Ferrari (Would Become "Kabort Daniels" to later become "Kabort Affinity WEBVANS") Daniel Evans
Daniel Weber ~ Affinity BOA
BOA had a very solid day out without too much drama, despite dropping down to 31st, they kicked themselves into gear and climbed back up to 12th! This was the sort of race that I wished for - climbing up the field cleanly and consistently whilst staying out of trouble. Affinity The Frying Dutchman
Despite a promising start, creeping into the the top 10...The Frying Dutchman would then suffer an 11 minute long repair due to a crash after stuck pedal was reported by Max. This was unfortunately the end for the team. Global #1
After spending the morning session split into two different cars, the Daniels decided to collaborate with one another and see how they would do - and it'd turn out to be the best decision they'd ever make.
a good solid race staying in the top 10 throughout the race was exactly what the team needed - and would help quickly form the Affinity of "Webvans" (Weber & Evans) - they couldn't wait to do it all again tomorrow!
Endurance Le Mans Series, Week 2, Season 2, 2020 - Monza - 18:00 Session
Q: G#1: 9th (Evans) | Flying Dutchman: 13th (Badidi) | BOA: 22nd (Jones)
R: G#1: 5th | Flying Dutchman: DNF | BOA: 12th
F: G#1: 30 | Flying Dutchman: 35
SOF: G#1: 1291 | Flying Dutchman: 2192 | BOA: 1666
"Successful Sunday" - 14:00 Session
We ll wanted to end the weekend on a high - so we had just a few more drivers on the Sunday session, just to see if we could push our luck any further Affinity Daniels (To be re-named "WEBVANS")
Affinity LLAMA/MLP (Mark, Lars, Peer) Peer had only just joined the team Lars Bachmann
Kabort LMP - LMP1 Justinas Ribelis
Robert Land The Frying Dutchmen
Nash M. Fry
The Frying Dutchmen
Dutchman Tijmen (don't ask about pronunciation) Berends would join "The Frying Dutchman" duo of Nash and Max to form "The Frying Dutchmen" As seen by his performance in the first ELMS race of the season at Sebring - Max isn't one to hang around - especially when he's in 26th on the grid.
In the first 15 laps alone he had catapulted himself and the team into 10th place. He'd spend the next few laps hunting down and catching the gaggle ahead - he passed them too with ease. By the time his Dutch mate Tijmen Berends got in, the car was in 4th place and hot on the heels of third. Like Badidi, Verstappen and Benecke, Berends too was also born with extraordinary Dutch Motorsport Blood - and continued Maxim's chase - eventually passing the 3rd place car in his stint. The pit-stop in between his double-stints stopping the Dutchmen (and American) from giving Kabort their first podium. Despite a little dabble in 4th place - the team would come home in an absolutely sensational 5th place - well-worthy of a celebration!
Affinity LLAMA (MLP)
This Affinity team had an absolutely brilliant day out - starting down in 41st, slowly climbing the field throughout the race to finally arrive at an absolutely outstanding 7th Place. But the success wouldn't end there!
For the first time since Sebring, in November 2019, where an LMP1 would run. This race unfortunately resulting in Kabort's only inter-team collision. However, this time out the LMP1 was on fire - but Robert and Justinas would have to do some fighting first - despite starting on the second row of the grid - they'd fall down to 47th by the third lap. Fortunately, the LMP1 had a little more power than the GTE-Dominated field, so just like a hot knife through butter, the dynamic would slice through the field - briefly pausing at 25th - near the Pushrod Racing of ex-Kabort legend Aitor Sintes-Galindo, before returning to the top 10, where they belonged.
They wouldn't settle for this either - climbing into the top 5. With all three classes (GTE, LMP2 and LMP1) present this was an incredible achievement - especially considering how low down they were. Had it not been for the problem they suffered - I'm pretty certain they would have been challenging for the podium the whole race! This feat is even more impressive when there was a total of 13 LMP's (including an Eleven9 Motorsport Car)! I'm hugely proud of them - and it's surely a day to remember for them!
Kabort Affinity "DANIELS" (would become "Webvans")
I've saved the best result to last - because this is such an insane achievement - but, I believe the best place to start with these things is the very beginning. Starting down in 18th - I thought it was just going to be another normal race - maybe with a Top 10 if things went smoothly... Lap 1 from Evans was absolutely astonishing - immidately leaping into 12th before the second lap. The Brit wasn't done. He continued to sprint up the field - getting into the Top 10 before Lap 10. Mr Evans was simply unstoppable from here - sneaking into the podium positions even before a quarter of the race had gone by.
One of the pit-falls of Kabort is sometime having one extremely competitive driver with another which isn't quite up to pace as the first... Evans would take the lead on his first in-lap - it would be crucial that everything during this pit-stop went flawlessly.
Even though they came out in the mid-top 10's after the pit-stops, there was still hope as Weber pitted for his double stint.
The Daniel Duo decided to do the undercut for the next stop - boxing early so that you can catch the others on low fuel and old tyres. This would work a treat and Kabort was back into the top three, but Weber would have to splash and Dash since there wasn't quite enough fuel to get to the end. Everyone suffered this, yet Kabort used this to their advantage and would climb back into third place. Evans was in for the final stint and was ready to set some lap-times alight. Using the same pace he did are the start of the race, Evans would hone in on and pass 3rd place - it was just about bring her home from here.
Being the Team Prinicpal of the team, I was allowed up on the podium along with the two Daniel's - and my, oh my was it a view - to stand on the podium was AT MONZA was simply an honour. Endurance Le Mans Series, Week 2, Season 2, 2020 - 14:00 Session (6th Split) Podium 1st - HSR Team #379 - BMW M8 (German national anthem played)
Daniel Jänike (GER) Marcel Rothstein (GER) 2nd - SDS Endurance Le Mans 1 - Ford GT Nixon Montero Ugalde (Intl.)
Francisco Yanisselly (Costa Rica)
Alfredo Cabrera (USA)
3rd - Kabort Affinity DANIELS - Porsche 911 RSR GTE
Daniel Evans (GBR)
Daniel Weber (GER) Endurance Le Mans Series, Week 2, Season 2, 2020 - 14:00 Session - Monza ET: Daniels: 49 | The Frying Dutchmen: 50 | LMP1: 50 | MLP: 49
Q: Daniels: 18th (Evans) | Frying Dutchmen: 26th (Badidi) | LMP1: 3 | MLP: 41st
R: Daniels: 3rd 🏆 | The Frying Dutchmen: 5th | LMP1: 5th | MLP: 7th
F: Daniels: | Frying Dutchmen: 36 | MLP: 36
SOF: Daniels: 1438| The Frying Dutchmen: 2256 | MLP: 1902
It was a stunning piece of work and the celebrations went long into Monday night - the truck driver being the only one awake on the drive back to the airport.
Whether it was a one-off occurrence, or the fact that Andy Jones helped MASSIVELY by launching the Affinity Cars, or it was because we entered so many a good result was impossible to miss or even because the Daniels' are a truly unstoppable force it isn't quite yet known yet - but what is known is the fact that Road America is up next - and it will be a HUGE teller.
To end, I must thank every single, individual driver for coming to Monza for racing - I know it may sound cliche - but without you Kabort would be nothing - and to have so many teams and drivers during a weekend was a pure blast and plenty of fun and I can't wait to do it all over again! My final thanks must go out to Andy who's been really helping to manage and run the team for the past month - managing a team is not a one-man job by any means and you've made this so much more easier and enjoyable to run! - Robin