6 months after the first time the lights went green in this years DGFX series, it was time to head to the last round with 10 hours of the BES/WES layout of the Nürburgring GP circuit.
Unfortunately this time out the #102 P2 team couldn't make it this time out, so their season finished early. The plan was for the GT AM team to head out with just Ryan D Walker and Calum Wright, but more on that later. Following a couple of disqualifications for administrative issues, this race was about taking part and enjoying ourselves as well as trying to secure any points that came our way.
Ryan qualified the car 13th in class using a setup recycled from an IMSA set which was known to be nice and steady. A calm start to the race lead to a good number of positions gained in the first lap – a few cars did the usual "let's win on the first lap" drill and had the expected consequences. A few mistakes during the first stint, as well as not double stinting tyres early on, dropped us back to 13th but the race was still on.
LMP1 and P2 traffic were very respectful and easy to handle throughout the race, waiting through the critical areas of the track for the GTs and making their manoeuvres on the straights for the most part.
3 full stints later and Ryan handed over to Calum for a planned 3 stints. At this point we were P30 overall and P13 in class. Ultimately by this point of the race Calum found himself not racing many people for position on track, gaining a couple through accidents and trying to gain back a lap from the teams in front. The car was showing great pace, keeping up with the GT PRO leaders despite limited practise and no setup work.
Then came Ryan's hardware failure. Just as he was due to get into the car his wheel would not connect, so Calum was left to go out for a fourth stint – by far his longest in an endurance race. He continued to pound in the laps as help was sought from elsewhere, with Jason Dilworth swapping beer for coffee and getting in 5 quick practise laps in the dark before taking over.
Calum handed the car over after an incredibly consistent period in the car having gained places to P24 in GT overall and P10 in the AM class.
With two and a half hours to go there isn't much to say about Jason's stint except that he didn't crash and ruin the hard work of the rest of the team. A couple more cars ahead had issues, and by the end of the race we'd ended in a respectable P7 in class and P21 in GT overall.
This first season in DGFX has been a learning curve for NOMAD, both in terms of the rules and strategy involved as well as the high calibre of competition, but we're hooked. Bring on the next series!