On the last weekend the iRacing World Tour take place at the legendary 24 Heures du Mans. It is one of the biggest events, when not the biggest, in iRacing. This year it was the first time the new LMP1´s were part of the race, besides the Honda HPD ARX-01c a LMP2 car and the GTE class.
With a two car effort we tried to fight for the podiums of the LMP1 class and the GTE class. Thanks to good preparation, we get awesome results in qualification.
Simon Grossmann and Michael Mittner put the Porsche 919 Hybrid into the first row on our LMP1 debut in an endurance series. Jürgen Frank had a great result as well. In a strong competition SimRC.de Crimson was allowed to start 3rd.
On the race day both teams showed a strong performance and underlined their qualification results.
The LMP1 driver line up Simon Grossmann, Michael Mittner, René Osterkamp, Rudolf Nagel and Patrick Jung put their nose into the fight for the podium for many hours. Due to a well fuel strategy SimRC.de Emerald was one of two team going for 13 lap stints. All others had to refuel a lap earlier which should save Emerald at least two full pit stops (approx. 2:30min) for the race. Pure Racing Team escaped early and it was a fight for P2 with Radicals Online, LDLC by Tx3, TTL eSports, Sorg eSports and the Spanish team NWS.
TTL eSports had an early aerodynamic damage and were forced to do an extra stop to repair the damage. Sorg eSports who were on the same fuel strategy got hit by a HPD ARX-01c after their pit stop. That was the moment where they were out of the fight for the podium as well. Carl E Jansson a Swedish driver from Radicals Online had technical issues with the gear box, so that they fell back.
For Emerald the race was very clean. Without any fights for a position, caused by the alternative strategy, they could run their laps for many hours fighting for the 2nd place with TTL eSports. TTL eSports recognized that the 13 laps strategy worked perfect, so they adjusted their strategy.
What was running quite good on Saturday, was running bad on Sunday. A lost of control in the night forced the team to a pit stop to repair the car. From now on the fight for the podium was lost. A few hours later the engine blow up and the car had to stay in the pit lane for 30 minutes. With both incidents the car felt back at P13. The drivers didn't want to give up the car after a great performance the day before. So they started the recovery drive and closed the big gaps finishing 9th.
The GTE Team starting third had to defend their position before they crossed the straight finish line a first time. Due to the early attack from Williams JIM Junior they lost the draft to Williams eSports and Pure Racing Team. Jürgen Frank was leading a long train of GTE´s in the first couple of laps. It was part of the strategy to save fuel when it was possible, so he decided to take the draft by Williams JIM Junior and Altus eSports. Showing great lap times, he alternated the seat with Johannes Mairworm. Going into the night on P4 Marcel Fassbender and Dustin Hickmann drove the car around the Circuit de la Sarte. Without any issue the car survived the night in P6, so that they could run some awesome lap times in the morning. Johannes and Jürgen started to fly around the 13km chasing SRT eSports. It was Johannes Maiworm, who caught the Ferrari 488 GTE from SRT eSports five hours before the end. But the mission wasn't ended yet. Jürgen Frank overtook the Williams JIM Junior yellow car for P4 in GTE class, who had some aerodynamic problems.
It was a great result for the team that showed the capability in both classes. Stay tuned!