NOMAD iRacing 2019 Sebring 12hr Race report

7th March 2019 by Simon Underhill
Category: Endurance
Drivers: Tony Baird Jason Dilworth Ryan D Walker Niklas Hjelm Simon Jacobsen Simon Underhill Mattijs van Delden Calum Wright

NOMAD Sim Racing - iRacing 2019 Sebring 12 Hours

Date 2nd March

NOMAD entered 3 teams this year, 2 x Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype and a Ferrari 488 GTE. Here's each teams account of their race.

Team Blue - Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype

Tony Baird
Niklas Hjelm
Jason Dilworth (from Team Green)

Unfortunately Barry Baird couldn't join Team Blue for this endurance race so Jason Dilworth stepped in from Team Green to help out NOMADs top team.

Team Blue found themselves in 2nd split in our DP off the back of Tony’s iRating, and before we could finish talking about how high the quality of competition was in there it was time for qualifying. Tony’s first lap went wrong, and he decided to exit to the pits and take some fuel out for the remaining lap. That left it tight to get the lap done, and in the end he crossed the line with about half a second to spare. P9 for the grid.

Come race time, it became clear early on in the first stint that we weren’t in this race for a win and we all agreed that P5 was a tough but achievable target if everything went well. Tony got his first stints out of the way, followed by Jason and Niklas, and after a third of the race we were down to P12 after an unfortunate pit entry penalty, but by the halfway mark we’d clawed that back to a great battle in P5. Once we’d settled into P5 it became a case of trying to keep it on track for the second half of the race, but that wasn’t to be. Tony had a connection issue, which lost us a huge amount of time and dropped us to P7 around 8 hours into the race. We started to resign ourselves to a P7 finish, but then it got dark.

In the darkness a couple of cars ahead of us had their own issues, and with 35 minutes to go we were gifted our 5th place back. A really great race for the team, showing that consistency despite non-contact issues can still bring a great result.

Team Green - Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype

Simon Underhill
Calum Wright
Mattijs Van Delden (from Team Red)

Simon qualified Team Green in 7th position in Split 4 and took the helm for the start of the race. Green lights and straight away we were up 2 places. Unfortunately, the cheers soon turned to distraught as Simon was tagged in the rear and spun into the hairpin by another DP. This dropped us to 16th place, last in our class. Not letting this get to him, he got his head down and took the challenge of fighting back and by lap 11, we had made it back in the top ten. Discussions with Mattijs, it was decided to triple stint the first part of the race to try and get back some more positions by not taking the driver change penalty. By the end of Simons 3 stints, he had managed to put the team into a position of a potential podium, handing the car over in 4th spot.

It was then the turn of Mattijs to continue the good form we had been showing. After a dozen or so laps, he got himself into a good rhythm and was turning consistent laps whilst watching the gap between himself and 5th.

Then on lap 114, whilst driving around the final bend (Sunset), a GT3 had been involved in an incident, spun and parked himself on the racing line. As Mattijs approached the Merc, it decided to move forward, and with the split second decision already made to drive around the front of the Merc, resulted in Matty locking the wheels and sliding into the GT3. This resulted in a circa 20 minute repair, toppling us down the field into 14th position, many laps down from the lead pack. After the repairs, it would become clear that 13th would be our best finishing result barring issues with other teams and with the motivation at an all time race low, we decided to park the car and go for a beer. Maybe next time.

Team Black - Ferrari 488 GTE

Ryan Walker
Simon Jacobsen
Adam Groves

Team black was put together a few days before the race due to various availability problems. Simon qualified 24th in a very tight GTE field and took the challenge of racing the first double stint. He had an amazing start and we found ourselves P16 after lap 1. Over the next hour Simon kept the car clean and avoided many incidents. We decided to double stint tyres which ended up paying off as we soon found ourselves in P6, soon battling for P5. However, towards the end of the stint, those who had changed tires, caught and overtook us at the pitstop, and we dropped to P8.

It was then Adams turn to take over the car, this stint was to be plagued by traffic. Battling over 7th, 8th and 9th positions, Adam unfortunately was then tagged and we were sent into a spin. Luckily there was no damage and we were able to rejoin safely in P10.

At the next driver change, Simon got back in the car and spent the next 2 hours getting through traffic and catching P7 and P6.

Ryan slid into the car for his first double stint and the car was still in tip top condition after 6 hours. Some of the GT3 field made been consistently making questionable decisions while being lapped, and with Ryan ready to handover the car, he found himself in a risky situation, getting squeezed into sunset and pit entry which resulted in a spin. The slight rear damage was fixed in the pits, and as we had managed to make quite a large gap to cars behind us, it hadn't cost us any positions.

The car was handed over to Adam to complete his last double stint in P6. Whilst pushing a little too hard, Adam spun the car in Sunset bend, avoiding the barriers, rejoining in P7. It was then Ryans turn to finish off the race and with further more small incidents, Team Black managed to bring home the prancing horse to a very respectable 8th place.

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