It's got to be said that Kabort's luck over the last two months has been less than ideal, but there are also some incredible moments worth celebrating that sometimes slip out of our minds. The first race of the 2020 Endurance Le Mans Series season (still in 2019) was Spa Franccorchamps and was quickly put behind us due to being plagued by issues, in addition to a horrific injury to John, one of our Porsche Drivers. This was then followed by the unfortunate events and Double DNF of The Winter Nurburgring 24 Hours. Heading into 2020 we needed quite some luck - 2019 was the year that Kabort was born and grew massively, although took some stumbles (as everyone does) along the way. 2020 would have to be the season where we laid down some results. Already limiting new drivers to Class B and Above has already helped this and so will limiting the iRating to 1000 and above, which will be done when I reach this milestone.
The year was definitely ended on a high with the hiring of Robert Land (15 Dec) and Carter Hutcherson (30 Dec). It was clear from the get-go that Carter and Robert were a hit - and got on with everyone around them. These would make up the terrific Ferrari trio of Robert, Justinas and Carter. These three along with Cheng would later to form the "LITCANNUS" Ferrari - one of the best places to be during an endurance race. It's really interesting to see the team dynamic and how much the team as a whole changes when everyone in the whole team gets on and almost forms a family and not only supports and encourages - but loves (no homo) each other as well, the love within the team shaves a second off. It's not only the new dynamic that I am now being taken a back by - the team talks in very high detail about both track and Tyre temperatures as well as the specifics about setups and New Tyre Model 7 (NTM7)
From here, we used this and entered the new decade in great positivity. Despite the horrifying bush-fires in Australia which are still raging on today, and political tensions in particular countries, we still held our head high. Andy Jones would be the first driver to not only join Kabort in 2020 - but the first driver of the decade. The most recent Korean - and real life racer Jang Han Choi (also part of URO Motorsports) would also join the team in this time
As well as a newborn from another of our drivers wrapped up the good news. The first ELMS race of 2020 was Road America, and despite the qualifying position (or lack of), the team was positive and tried their hardest to get a good result - unfortunately, during an 11 minute repair, the engine was left on, overheated and thus exploded - a massive lesson the whole team learnt.
following a 50 minute repair job from the mechanics (which could have been spent racing and gaining positions), the team left the pits and starting a long, tedious recovery drive. 29th out of 40th is not half bad considering the amount of time spent in the pits. For the third round, the team headed back to europe - for an absolutely wild double-header weekend - 30 hours of non-stop racing - from 07:00 on Saturday to 13:00 on Sunday. We also began to talk about the Daytona 24 Hours on the 9th of January. I don't think we've ever talked about a special event 10 Days or so in advance of a race before.
5 Days from here, I celebrated my 1 year anniversary on iracing with a nice cake, and hiring the legendary Sam Swallow. Maxim Badidi would celebrate my 1 year anniversary by reaching his Class B licence two days later. I couldn't stop staring at that "1 Year" badge next to my name!
Wednesday before the race was the final cut-off date for new drivers to join, but Bob Kern only just made it. Daytona and Le Mans was a bitter-sweet weekend - the Porsche finished 9th out of 10 or so that entered due to repairs, and only one Ferrari finished the Daytona 24 Hours. The most important things is the lessons we learnt - these lessons will be used to great effect in the future. Lessons such as don't name the teams after very odd abbreviations which can confuse many, never put drivers from the three different continents which cannot be further apart (Asia, Australia and different locations in Europe). And finally, to pit if bad ping is detected, and whilst pitting to always turn the engine off. To end, I must thank every single driver who has driven in not only Le Mans and Daytona, but the season - and in Kabort's history thus far - you are truly incredible and I am truly appreciative of all of your efforts and Kabort couldn't be where it is right now without you. We may have some tough races - but there's so much more to be glad for. Suzuka is next on the 1st of February, followed by the Bathurst 12 Hours a week later. Let's see what memories we can make!