Good morning - hope you are all well.
The last blog I did was the on the GT3 Challenge...where my steering was heavy and my mood was sour.
I had stuffed this less than an hour before the first 12 Hour "Creventic Endurance Series" race at Spa.
Creventic Endurance Series - 03/04/2021 (My Last 12 Hour Race)
Following the huge success of the IES (iRacing Endurance Series) of last year, iRacing once again ran the mega-multi-class 6+ hour racing series running throughout the year - this time Creventic being as a title sponsor
The first round was held at Spa at with 50 Incidents until a drive-through penalty, teams and drivers would have to be incredibly careful when it came to track limits.
Kabort would field two cars - Pink and Green.
Pink (a GT3 Lamborghini) would consist of three incredibly skilled drivers - Dan and Jonathan above 2K, Joost at 1700.
Green were slightly more casual, all drivers above 1100 iRating, but not exceeding 1750.
Pink and Green would both choose the 2pm slot, but would be put in two different splits.
Pink started phenomenally - qualifying an incredibly impressive 4th, before slotting into 3rd for a few laps, before settling in 4th.
The team would stay consistently in the Top 10 before devastatingly having a crash with someone almost half-way into the race - with over 3 minutes of repairs, and their hopes dashed, they retired.
Luck wasn't overly on Green's side either - after a "banker" lap was all he could manage, Dante Reynoso, one of two Mexicans in Kabort (the other being Angel) qualified us 16th. In the mid-pack, it was going to be a tough old race.
Dante started us off well, immediately putting us in the Top 10 in the opening laps before even having a little sniff at the podium positions...
However, it wouldn't be a Kabort race without a little drama. The combination of a failed experiment to double (or even triple) stint tyres in addition to the long length of the pit-lane/pit-stop we'd be in 27th after leaving the pits following Dante's double-stint and me getting in. The only way was up.
On my last racing lap (after my double-stint), the team would be in 15th position.
Tim came into the pits and a few laps later emerged in 12th place and stayed there for his entire stint.
I'd take over from Tim after this - completing my last (double) stint in a 12 Hour Race, before heading off to Uni later in the month.
Dante would finish up, doing the graveyard shift from 1am - 2am BST.
It was an incredibly positive and fun experience and both Tim and Dante were great and other than a few sketchy spins - we kept it out of the wall and had a good run.
With a total of 153 incidents, we amassed a WHOPPING 6 Drive-Throughs over the course of 12 Hours. Spa is notorious for its overly-harsh track limits and whilst it was fun, I cannot wait for the next Creventic race I can take part in.
At the time, the 1144 iRating I achieved following that race was the 4th highest I had ever achieved - and the highest of the season - the three higher than I had were in previous seasons (x2 in 2019, x1 in 2021)
Sunday 4th April
Sunday was a mixed day - whilst my final assignment until May was due, it was also a time for celebration - it was one year since Kabort's First ever Podium (Monza, ELMS) and also the very first race of the Extreme E series - it was an interesting mix of Dakar Rally, Rallycross and the World Rally Championship - unfortunately the dust was so thick that it provided poor/not close racing.
Extreme E aims to bring awareness to the environmental challenges that the race-location suffers from - in Saudi Arabia's case - it was "desertification" and the fact that the warmer (climate change) tempretures are meaning that there is less rain in the Saudi Desert.
I very much liked the concept and give it a few years with a few more cars it could be a great series.
The only thing that bugged me was Mr. Hamilton - racing in a petrol racing car, being sponsored by a fuel brand (Petronas) racing at high speeds in a very fuel inefficent car whilst also doing Extreme E and striving for a better planet.
I don't know - just seeing Lewis and Zac Brown there made me feel a little bit conflicted - almost like going vegan/vegetarian to help the planet but then eating at your own Beef-Eater GastroPub/Resturant - Lewis and Zac are in the midst of a Formula One Season, but doing Formula One and Extreme E kind of conflict eachother. /rant
It was also the day that myself and Lorenzo Malave would tackle the VRS Endurance Race at Daytona (Roval).
VRS Endurance - My Penultimate VRS Endurance Race - 04/04/2021
Oh boy oh boy oh boy! VRS Endurance at Daytona...What. A. Fucking. Race!
It'd be me and Lorenzo Malave - coming into the race he was at 1149 iRating - I only recently discovered I was on his tail at 1144.
He'd qualify 17th after not emptying the tank of fuel.
Lorenzo would have a mega start, launching into 10th by the second lap.
Less than 10 laps later and Lorenzo would have made it into the top 5...but there was a problem - we had about 7 or so laps of fuel left...something had gone wrong and the car had not been filled up fully with fuel (at the start of the race) - we'd have to take an early stop.
Our obscure strategy may have dropped us down to 24th at the time, but Lorenzo was an absolute bullet and for some unknown reason...our strategy worked a treat - putting us in the podium positions after everyone had pitted.
Lorenzo did the first two hours - leading 7 of them, before I jumped in. After 3rd place had to go for a late splash-and-dash, we inherited the position and finished 3rd. My first VRS Podium and first at Daytona - the podium had offically made this year more successful than any other - and it only being April! In 2020, I managed to rack up 4 podiums (One NEC, 3 Skippies), this year managing to get five in the first four months of the year.
Monday 5th April, 2021
Monday was a rather difficult day. I fucked up big time. As with Felix the prior week - I was invited/asked to come over/organised to come over to Annie's house (Evie was present too).
Long story short, I was supposed to go on a walk however the walk didn't take place because the individual I was supposed to be walking with fell asleep and over half the day "slipped by" - I don't like calling people, because I don't like calling people (myself) and after being left on delivered for a couple hours - when I did call, I unfortunately woke them up.
This coupled with being unable to find an Easter Egg (well, I had one but left it at Annie's over the weekend - this not lasting long) meant I was a little miffed.
I did eventually drive to Annie and Evie's for our last (or one of our last) meetups before I headed back to uni, unfortunately, due to my tardiness - in short, it went to shit. Luckily, Evie agreed to go out to Box Hill with me to watch the sunset - us grabbing food on the way. It was fucking SPECTACULAR and I wish Annie was there with us, but unfortunately she was not - there's plenty more days in the summer though, so, just one of those things.
I drove Evie home and then went home myself - I wasn't in the best of moods due to finding out news, but it's just one of those things that happens.
Tuesday 6th April, 2021
Tuesday was an incredibly lazy day - only getting dressed at 7/8pm for MOFO's Practice at Monza where me and Niels practiced for the weekend's Monza EES (European Endurance Series) race at Monza - he wasn't dissapointed at my pace - so that's a win for me - what wasn't a win was that we clattered into each-other twice - once on the start line and once when I was trying to be a "wannabe Lightning McQueen" through a pile up....and he was the one I hit.
Tuesday marked the start of my final week on iRacing before heading off to uni for a couple months (sad times)
Wednesday 7th April, 2021
Wednesday started off extremely early - at 8am or so - must have come from going to bed at midnight (extremely early for me!) - I lay in bed for a few hours, had breakfast and then decided at 11 - 12 or so that the time had come to hit Lime Rock Park.
Last GT3 Challenge Race, Lime Rock Park,
As per usual, I did the midday timeslot. I usually race between 12 and 3pm as I'm up and awake and not tired out from the day at that point.
Lime Rock Park is a very interesting circuit and not usually one which one would associate GT3 Racing with - the fact it's very short, narrow and quick usually tends to end up in chaos - me racing at Lime Rock being a little bit of a risk - but one well worth the risk!
Being so short (and fast), qualifying at Lime Rock is about finding those tenths of a second - being braver and more ballsey than your team-mate.
To my surprise, I'd qualify 6th - on the third row. Unbeknownst to me, this would be my best qualifying of the season thus far.
With the exception of the opening lap/s, the race itself was not as crazy/wild/mad as I had originally expected - from the 3rd lap onwards, myself just sitting in 4th, just keeping the laps going....
On lap 19 out of 25, the leader cracked - putting a wheel over the kerb at the last corner and face-planting the wall...this promoting me up into 3rd position. With an incredibly broken car - and the leaders far off in the lead, I was in a comfortable little position and cruised home to a lovely little podium.
2nd finished 5 seconds behind the leader, I finished a further 6 seconds behind him - for a track as small as Lime Rock, that is quite some margin. I had a gap of 18 seconds to 4th as I crossed the line. 10th and below were lapped.
It was also a 0-Incident run too - which is never a bad thing for the ratings!
And on the subject of ratings, this most recent race has given me ample - 58 of the finest iRating, putting me at an impressing 1225 iRating - my first ever time reaching these levels!
It was "freebie" after "freebie" - Truswell being handed 6th, 5th and 4th on a Silver Platter!