After attempting (and dramatically failing) the first vVLN with Berkley in the 911 Cup, I decided that since I would be doing the Nurburgring 24 Hours in the Mercedes AMG GT3 - Why not get accustomed to its handling in the vVLN 4 Hour Race? Upon entry to the session - I instantly recognised some incredibly familiar names - Chang Mun Ryu in the Uro Motorsports #1 car, Jae Heon Bang in the Uro Motorsports #4 car as well as an empty Kabort Bronze Car - For the first time in the history both the Uro Motorsports Car (Kabort's Korean "division") and the regular Kabort car were in the same split. Jaehan An and U Seong Yoon (Yu Sung Yoon) would also race for Kabort Gold in a different split, but they would unfortunately not see the end. Kabort's entries for the race were as follows: Kabort AMG GT (Mercedes AMG GT GT3) James A. Peace Sam Thurtell Robin Truswell Affinity WEBVAN (Porsche 718 Cayman GT4) Daniel Weber Daniel Evans
Team U/Pinglebo (TCR)
Affinity BOAT (718 Cayman GT4) Andy Jones Dirk Reski --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Following a thoroughly enjoyable 4 hours, every single Kabort car that started the race finished it, an an absolutely amazing feat for us at such a challenging circuit.
Affinity BOAT Boat would finish 40th overall, but 15th in class WEBVANS The Webvans would come home to come home to score their second podium in a month for Kabort's - this time in the GT4 Class, finishing behind "Positively Racing S" Team U/Pinglebo Martyn Pearson would also come with some silverware - finishing 9th overall and 2nd in the TCR Class - an absolutely amazing achievement for a tiny little Audi RS3.... here's his version of events:
After finishing 8 laps down in my first ever endurance race in the first round of Nurburgring Endurance Series I was hoping for better going into round two. In the lead up to the race I had been trying the Porsche Cayman, however I never felt particularly comfortable with it so I switched back to the Audi RS3 TCR for the race. I had a few laps to get my eye in again, and away we went.
I found myself in split 11, exactly halfway down the order, with a SOF (Strength Of Field) of 1563. Qualifying went well, posting my fastest ever lap of the VLN layout in the TCR. This placed me 5th in class on the grid. The opening couple of laps were highly eventful. I found trouble even before crossing the start/finish line. I got tagged from behind by another car, sending me onto the grass on the inside of Hohenrain. I think I was partly to blame, by squeezing them a little, but such is single monitor iRacing. The most important thing was I didn’t hit anything else and was able to carry on my way. Although down the leaderboard a little, there was another 4 hours left. The first couple of laps were a minefield of Porsche 911 Cup Cars and Porsche Cayman GT4s that clearly didn’t know their Antoniusbuche from their Quiddelbacher Hohe, plus a few others that had experienced incidents.
On lap 3 I caught up to another Audi TCR car and after harassing them round the far side of the Nordschleife I followed them too closely into the braking area of the right hander before Schwalbenschwanz. Unfortunately I ended up nudging them lightly and sending them to the barrier, the car then came back into my path. After contact my steering was no longer straight and I used my fast repair to top up with fuel and get going again. All this dropped me down to 10th out of 14 starters in class, not what I had been hoping for. This also put me on a slightly different strategy.. My plan from the start of the race was to do two stops, all 4 tyres and full tank at the first one, and then just fuel at the second. The early top up of fuel meant that my second set of tyres would do slightly less time and also I would take on less fuel at the final stop. The challenge now was to drive hard and clean to catch up the lost ground.
This plan was briefly interrupted by a Porsche 911 Cup Car diving down my inside at Hohenrain, I don’t think he was going to make the corner without making contact with me. I couldn’t feel any damage so elected to carry on. After the field made their first, scheduled pitstop, I was in 3rd, and dropped to 5th as I completed my long pitstop. The class was now all on a similar strategy. It was satisfying that I had made up five places, even if many were not passes on the track.
One lap later I was in third place about 20 seconds behind second place, and catching slowly. At this time I was lying 15th overall, from 51 starters, despite being in the slowest class! This was more like it! They pitted on lap 21, before I got to within striking range. I pitted on lap 23 and came out in second place. Their pit time was a minute longer than mine, they must have done tyres and maybe some damage repair too. I then had 35 minutes to hold onto a 50 second lead. After a couple more laps I started to regret not taking front tyres at my final stop. My braking distances were getting longer, I was metres from the apexes, and corner speed was severely reduced. I watched my lead over third fall by 5 seconds a lap, then 8s and more. Thankfully I held on, crossing the line 15 seconds ahead of third place and received 80 iRating points. Next time I’ll take front tyres at my second stop!
Kabort AMG GT3 But undoubtedly the greatest drive of the four that entered was the single GT3 entry of "Kabort AMG GT" who were flawless all race - (Staying in the top 5 for the whole race) to swoop up third place overall - and add another overall podium to Kabort's growing trophy cabinet. The ending of the race was very bitter-sweet however - The team weren't sure if the car in the tank at the 3 hour 30 mark would make it to the end. Not wanting to throw away a potential 3rd place, Robin made the tough decision to pit on lap 28/30 - which ticked over onto 29/30 as he crossed the start/finish line in the pit-lane. As he came into the pits, he was a little hot for the stewards liking - so they hit him with a 40-second stop/go penalty. Robin would fill up the tank, change the tires, wait a second or two for the penalty to start before crucially exiting the pit-lane (having never specifically waited for 40 seconds for a penalty). The black flag would remain as Truswell went around on his white flag lap - At the end of this he'd box again as he crossed the line to finish the race
There was mass anxiety about weather the Merc was disqualified or not. Fortunately,we were still in 3rd place after the race results were published - this was a little annoying as I would have wanted to celebrate such an achievement, but this was a little over shadowed. The next car was lap down, so weather iRacing added 40 seconds post-race is unknown.
Uro Motorsport/Kabort Gold
Unfortunately Jaehan And Yu Sung were not able to finish their race for Kabort Gold, however Uro Motorsport mega-star Chang Mun Ryu managed to win our (Mercedes AMG GT3) split all alone. We were the highest placed team with any drivers having less 2,000 iRating.
Jae Heon Bang would finish 16th.