Following my all-nighter on the night before the Sebring 12 Hours, I then stayed up (rather foolishly) until 3am on the night after - celebrating with the team a very great result. My body obviously didn't react well to this and only woke up at 5pm on Sunday - this meant a totally screwed sleep schedule, which was slightly concerning as I had college the very next day (Monday). Monday was a very horrible day. I didn't have a headache, but I felt groggy and incredibly tired and didn't have too much of an appetite - so after a relatively easy (not too many lessons) day at college, I got home and crashed (went straight to bed and slept). This unfortunately meant missing The Porsche iRacing Cup at Sebring, but having already done 12 hours - and doing 6 more the coming weekend, I wasn't too fussed. Tuesday was a very good day, I returned to normal health, and we rolled out Kabort Affinity - the new system that would allow drivers with close bonds to race with another, in addition to separating those who were looking more longer term, and those who were doing the ELMS season race by race, the following week a livery would be made for both cars.
Tuesday also saw the "Driver Improvement Program" (DIP) rolled out. The D.I.P helps drivers to set and monitor a target for the season. This would in turn help boost drivers' contributions within the team
An example of this would be: to try and have 10 or fewer incidents in the first stint, and 5 or less during the rest of the race.
The final change for the new ELMS season was to introduce "TrackBank", which aims to improve the participation barrier of not owning a certain track. by gifting established drivers of the team tracks they don't have.
Round 2 of The Porsche iRacing Cup was at Zolder, which was unfortunately closed (Round 3 being the following week at Spa, which also shut) The Race
As we all entered the session for the inaugural race of the Season 2, 2020 Endurance Le Mans Series Championship, we noticed that we were all in the same split - a very nice surprise to start the session off. The three cars we were running in this race (two Ferrari's and a Porsche) were piloted by: Porsche
Mark Turek (AUS) Samuel Thurtell (AUS) Peer Brennscheidt (GER) Qualified: 21st (Brennscheidt) KBM Ferrari Robin Truswell Maxim Badidi Nash M. Fry Qualified: 2nd (Badidi)
Andy Jones Qualified: 14th (Cox) After an absolutely staggering qualifying from all three teams - the whole Kabort garage were thoroughly pumped for this race. KBM Ferrari Having last started a race at Suzuka the previous season, I had no idea how well max would fair in a 6 hour endurance race....and it turned out....very bloody well! Maxim managed to keep the car in one piece and on the podium for the whole of his double stint, Nash would only get in and one better this - by putting the little gold Merc in front - yes there was a couple of spins here and there, but alas, he kept it out of the wall - and in front. Trouble would only start in the penultimate stint of the race, when Nash would drop to 4th - still recoverable - yet I wanted a go. Having waiting 5 hours for a stint, I got in with the last 45 (or so) minutes...but since I wasn't at the pace of Nash and Maxim - the Kabort car dropped down the order - out of the top 5 - only just keeping 10th as the checkered fell. It may have been a slightly dampened way to finish, but it told us something massive - we had potential. Massive potential. Max and Nash had single handily almost given Kabort their first win - and had luck been different (and maybe had I not been in the car) I truly think we could have put something shiny on the mantelpiece. Kabort Affinity and Global will help to push this - and hopefully, not too far into the future - that day will come when Kabort can say "we have a race win" Porsche 911 RSR GTE After gaining a total of 4 places on the first three laps - Losing 9 on the forth was certainly the last thing Sam wanted. Despite a good Stint, it turned out to be all for nothing as the repairs for the car put them in plum-last.
Peer would take over, but the damage was done - and although they managed to overtake a couple of cars in the closing stints - it was not enough, and the others found their way back again and the Porsche Team would finish last of the running cars. Definietly a day to forget - but a friendship to remember.
Ferrari KBM Extra Of the three cars, KBM Extra had the best race - both in terms of luck - and, dare I say it - performance. Berkley (the returnee from The Good Old Days) qualified a mediocre 4th place....little did the team know of the race they were about to have On the first lap alone, Berkley leaped four places, before only losing two. From here, he'd pick himself up, and gain back a further 4 before the pit-stops. Welshman Owen was next in, and knew just what to do. By the end of the stint the team was 7th - comfortably in the Top 10. Andrew Jones was the next to take control, and like those before him - he too knew the mission - and did his very best to meet it. Andy would assist Owen by gaining another place - putting the team in 6th - a top 5 was on the horizon. On lap 101 it happened. Owen Price would overtake the #13 car for 5th place - all that had to be done now was to finish the race. This came down to the responsibility of Andy and Berkley - Andy was the first in and kept pressure on 4th place, whilst Berkley did the deed in the final stint of the race - I'm not sure how late they stayed up partying but with the truck still reportedly in the parking lot early on Sunday morning - I can't imagine they left in a hurry! Endurance Le Mans Series, Sebring, Week 1, Season 2, 2020
Q: KBM Ferrari: 2nd | KBM Ferrari Extra: 14th | KBM Porsche: 21st
R: KBM Ferrari: 10th | KBM Ferrari Extra: 4th | KBM Porsche: 23rd
Pictures from a very memorable race
The events post-race were also equally important. The drivers in the "Extra" Ferrari team would band together create the Affinity group "BOA" (Berkley, Owen Andy), over the next fortnight, more group would form - eventually leaving u with 4 main "affinities": BOA Berkley Cox Owen Price Andy Jones LLAMA Lars Bachman Mark Turek LITCANAUS Justinas Ribelis (LIT) Robert Land (CAN) Tennyson Whitty (AUS) The Frying Dutchman Nash M. Fry
Maxim Badidi (NTL) The rest, including myself, would race much more "freely" with less pressure on results, who they would race with - and how many races within the season they'd run. The premise behind this being GLOBAL drivers race with anyone in Kabort "globally" yet "Affinity" ("a group of people linked by a common interest or purpose.") - which Andy will be mainly managing - is more group of drivers who know/like/get on with each-other and strive for the maximum points and position. It's at this point I'd like to give a mention to my painter DeNise Designs who somehow managed to churn a good half-dozen cars within a fortnight - These were the:
Mercedes AMG GT for the Sebring 12 Hours Re-painted Porche 911 RSR GT & LMP1 cars Global/Affinity: Porsche 911 RSR GTE, BMW M8 GTE and Mercedes AMG GT. There are very few people out there quite like Doug (DeNise Designs) with a very understanding, friendly, polite, and chatty moral with great attitude to both his customer(s) and work (completing almost - if not all on time). It's honestly a such pure pleasure to call him my painter. Not to mention nailing the precise rich shade of Gold I was after the moment I first joined trading paints. (Not Sponsored)