KABORT'S DAYTONA 24 HOURS!

Updated: Mar 27

Prologue - The Past It's mid-October, 2019 - Kabort is up and running and has a steadily growing community.


Before this point, I hadn't really bought up the questions of "Special Events".


In the year we were founded, we only managed to compete in the The Glen 6hrs (one car - 21st), The Spa 24 Hours (3 cars, 1 folded, 2 finished - My car 12th, Kabort Gold: 23rd), finishing up with the Bathurst 1000km with our fellow Koreans finishing 4th, and us an absolutely crazy 7th!


We'd also have a couple of runners in the Petite Le Mans, but at the time, this didn't interest me so much - these were:


GTE: Gold: 6th | Extra: 14th My post in October had quite some varied interest - but two shone out from the rest - the Spa 24 Hours with 5 votes, and The Daytona 24 Hours with 7.


Daytona has always been a "Go To" event - after the Petite Le Mans in October, it's the first (road) endurance race of the year - and very much a "it's a new year and a new start to this year's specials" type of event.

2020

In 2020 (our debut year at the event), we had four entries - only one of whom made it to the end.


In my (team's) case, a driver joined the wrong team, and without being able to join him - or remove him from the team he was in - we were out before even starting the ignition. There were only three of us (who hadn't registered to a team) - it was myself and two Americans - meaning many stints and many grave-yard stints had we chosen to drive.


In a statement that year, the fault was down to myself.

"This was down to my naming of the teams. All the teams ... running are either abbreviations of initials or abbreviations of the nationalities of the drivers..."
These are very easy to forget and muddle up. "LITCANUSUK", "BRUKUS," "CAC" and "CANUKUS" are not real words and don't mean anything, and with some drivers having a language barrier to contend with, this is just a recipe for disaster. and (driver) accidentally joined the wrong one."

Another of our teams was subjected to an engine blow-up in the pit-lane (mid-race) - the final team (an escapee) finished 19th.



2021


12 Months later and one major virus outbreak later, and we returned to Daytona.


With a complete re-brand, new team principal and new teams, things were looking on the up.


Come race day, we had four teams ready and raring to go.


With a brand spanking new Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo added to the service just a month prior - I too was VERY excited to drive this BEAST of a machine for 24 hours....


"Kabort Green" as my team was called, managed to get all of our drivers registered and hopped into the session - usually these are about half an hour to an hour before the race session opens....


Usually.


iRacing had totally misjudged how much the ongoing situation/pandemic affected their service - so many had registered that the scheduler had run out of splits and had a complete meltdown.


For context, driver swaps were introduced in 2014, and special events came along in 2016. Daytona was the first, and in their first iteration had 13 splits in the 1pm session (13x42 teams). For 2017, they had the same amount of splits, but now had no more than 60 teams in each split.


In 2018, this only marginally grew to 17 splits - 2019 seeing a growth of two more splits, and 2020 seeing a little more growth (8 more splits)...2021 however (and after a year of being in lockdown and a year of being in a pandemic...47. 47 Splits. 47 Splits of 60 Teams - that's MONUMENTAL growth - and growth the scheduler couldn't handle.


As we waited, the iRacing developers kept in touch oover the forums and twitter - constantly updating us - Eventually they got everything sorted at 5pm and we were ready to go racing!

Brayden qualified us a miraculous P2 (front row!) and (during the race) we would stay here (or in the top 3)


After Brayden's double stint (2hrs),


Dominic (Ryser) would jump in and do his double stint. He came out in 3rd place, but would keep up the pace.


Eventually (after a successful double stint), our third driver would come in and take over from Brayden. During his stint he'd pick up a stop-go penalty.


Upon serving this, he'd miss the pit-box and reverse up the pit-lane. The team would subsequently be disqualified. My team made it 122 laps further than it did in 2020. Me though? I once again did 0.


I don't know if our quali/pace was simply down to Brayden being an insane LEGEND, because of our low iRating (us all - except Brayden being under 1.1K - me and Lorenzo being under 1K) or if it was because of the scheduler "doing it's thing" - but I guarentee - had we kept going, we would have been in a very good place - or well, I was about to miss my stint due to some "personal difficulty" - but we were still ON for a good result.


During our entire Daytona 24 Hours, we'd fight for the lead of the GT3 class before our competitors eventually slipped away.

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At this point, I had a DNS and a DSQ and was REALLY looking forward to a finish at the Daytona 24 Hours.

2022


A new year presented itself, and as we were only disqualified (in 2021) for a foolish mistake last year, I decided to round up the same drivers as last year - hopefully this year us NOT reversing and keeping it on the track....well, we managed ONE of those things.


I asked Dominic if he wanted to come race with us in 2022 (18th December) and I got the response that he didn't know when he was available on said weekend, but it should work. We didn't discuss it in PM's since.


Nearer to the race, he appeared on "drivers without a Team" and since Will & The Charitable Gamers were desperately searching for a driver or two, I suggested Dominic went with Will.


Where Dominic dissapeared, we gained a new face - Tom Wallace - a good friend of mine and a rising name in the land of Kabort.

~


The prior weekend to the race, was the ROAR Before the 24 - a "lead-up" event to the Daytona 24 Hours in Mazda's, GT4's and TCR's - and since it hadn't been held since 2019 or earlier - it was certainly an event to behold.


I finished the 2hr and 25 minute race in 4th place after quite an amazing strategy featuring Tom and a cone stuck underneath my car...


Unbeknownst to me, this was about as much luck as I'd be getting.


Onto the race weekend (Finally) and we'd have a record-breaking 7 entries! These were:

Kabort Blue - LMP2 (12:00pm) - (Split: 22/43)

Lars Bachmann (GER)

Emmanuel Ijere (USA)

Spencer Kemble (USA)

Q: 9th

R: 16th

Kabort Green - LMP2 (12:00pm) - (Split: 28/43)

Jorge Vazquez (ESP)

Tom Van De Pol (BEL)

Andrew Jones (GBR)

Boyd Franken (NDL)

Q: 16th

R: 12th


Kabort Pink - (LMP2) (12:00pm) - (Split 20/43)

Koen Schippers (NDL)

Aston Egelmeers (NDL)

Enzo Van Oosten (NDL)

Mathijs Franken (NDL)

Q: 3rd

R: 2nd

Kabort Purple - (GT3) - (12:00 / 16:00) - (Split: 40/43 - 12:00 | Split: 13/15 - 16:00)

Robin Truswell (GBR)

Lorenzo Malave (USA)

Brayden Smith (AUS)

Angel Villazon (MEX)

Thomas Wallace (GBR)

Q: 31st (12:00) | 14th (16:00)

R: DNF (12:00 | DNF* (16:00)

Kabort Yellow - (LMP2) - (07:00) - (Split 2/8)

Daniel Weber (GER)

Joost Bouwmeester (NDL)

Daniel VanDerLinde (NDL)


Q: 10th

R: 8th

Kabort Silver - BMW M4 GT3 (GT3) - (16:00) - (Split 11/15)

William Burfield (GBR)

Matthew Powell (GBR)

Colin Van Rooijen (NDL)

Dominic Ryser (Swiss)

Q: 43rd

R: 13th (In Class)

Kabort Classic - BMW M4 GT3 (GT3) - (16:00) - (Split 5/15)

Maxim Badidi (NDL)

Nash M. Fry (USA)

Nicholas Archer (USA)

Q: 42th

R: 24th


(Used same car & livery as Kabort Silver - hilarity WOULD ensue if they were in the same split!)


I won't do a full in-depth race review of each of these cars, because that will take up about 7 Blogs of content and this is already lengthy as it is.


If my car being the only to retire* isn't a curse...I don't know what is - a DNS in 2020, DSQ in 2021 and a DNF* in 2022 - that's not just bad fortune....


I can only IMAGINE what 2023 has in store for me (Let me guess, the 2023 Daytona 24 Hours doesn't happen?)


Purple's Race Review


In the lead up to the 12:00 split, I was having quite a few internet connectivity issues - either it would just hang and not load or it would disconnect or my PC would connect to the wrong "connection" (we have two wifi options, both useful for different things)


No matter, After a pretty shoddy opening stint getting bashed around and a lack of luck, we eventually decided to do the 16:00 race.


(We started 31st, but after a very messy start - and repairs we didn't really want to continue and had the opportunity to turn over a new leaf and start again - so we did - making it past the first lap without major drama.


It wasn't the most enjoyable race, but it was what it was. Tom qualified 14th and ended the first stint in 13th, only receiving 4x for car contact, which could have been a brush of the wall.


After emerging from the pits/pit-stop cycle in 21st, Tom continued on for another hour before finishing his double stint in 15th.


Next in was Lorenzo who emerged from the pits/pit stop cycle in 25th - after his double stint, we finished up in 21st. (with a little spin or two at the Bus stop chicane sprinkled in there too!)


He handed the car over to Brayden. Brayden left the pit-lane/cycle in 20th and did exactly as we asked him to - go out there and run laps.

By the end of his first stint we were 17th - He emerged (18th - exactly where he was previously) and continued on. He finished this stint in 17th - but had a little bit of damage due to an alteration with an Audi on the final lap of his stint - requiring a few optional repairs.

I waited (no more than 5 - 6 minutes), sulked a bit and then got into the car and just popped in a 0x double-stint. Lovely jubbly. After this, we were back in 16th after falling down to 21st due to the optional repairs taken.


Angel then took over from me and then he too did a rather lovely stint ending in about 14th. By the time Angel finished his stint, we were an cumulative 9 laps behind. I should have gone to sleep, but I guess I stayed up talking to him/spotting him.


I got in the car, and within 10 laps of my double stint, I got a wheel on the grass after the kink, tried not to hit the car ahead and ploughed backwards into the wall. 9 minutes of repairs. I was done. I was tired, fed-up and had enough. I then went to sleep - I think it was the fact we were like 10 laps behind and not really making any progress.


Angel took over again (hero!) and he set off in 23rd.

He handed over to Lorenzo in the dark hours of the night, he started his stint in 21st and continued on.


The duo (Lorenzo and Angel) handed the car between eachother (I don't know for HOW many hours) until Brayden woke up and went for a drive. By that time the car was miraculously in 17th...I don't know how!


This unfortunately ended in another accident and the car plummetting down to 25th - close sources tell me that it was about a 45 minute repair job. Ouch.


I saw some things that I probably wished I didn't see (during the night), but after a couple of hours, I woke up to Tom calling me on Discord - he told me my stint was in a couple of laps (this being at about 09:20am)


I then did a double stint annnnnnnnnnnnnd....


nobody got in the car after me.


If I got in the car at about 10:00am and did a double stint, it meant I'd go until about midday or so. Lorenzo got in the car at 2:42pm to do the final two hours to the end. As a result of the car being left abandoned at the side of the track (pit-lane) for 2 hours, we dropped 7 places and to last of those still running. In the last 5 laps, Lorenzo managed to gain a single soul position. Despite losing 3 iRating a piece, we probably saved ourselves from losing even more had we retired earlier in that race, which I believe is one of the only good things to come out of that race. Most of us also gained quite a bit of Safety rating (sorry Brayden), so that was good as well.


With the race all but done, I started to pack my clothes albeit rather slowly.

As it was a Sunday night, the last ferry back to the mainland was at 7pm - merely two hours before, I hadn't even begun to pack my suitcase.


Naturally, my mother was very concerned - but on the back of a (excuse my French) Shitty race at Daytona, I was in no mood to hurry.


We eventually got everything in the car (including my monitor, computer and rig) and I set off for the mainland (in a little bit of a rush)


Under normal circumstances, I'd drop by Essex and drop my rig off, but given the time, and the fact that going Essex direction would add a potential two-hours to my journey time, I thought about delaying bringing the rig over to Essex - especially as the following day was Monday.


Right. Tomorrow (or well, today) is Monday, I'm a week behind on the blogs, but I will catch up when I can - Uni tomorrow, see you then!


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