Team simrace247 finish in the top 10 for the special ACC event at Silverstone for the 10hr endurance invitational.
51 teams entered the ACC Silverstone 10hr invitational endurance event and team simrace247 where involved. With a fresh new team, it was time to be part of an ACC event.
Every now and then you take a step back at look at something and it captivates you. Times where a great event or achievement will never be forgotten. You see, at times victory is not the answer, but the sheer determination and excellence those involved put in.
This is going to be one of those articles where firstly I would like to thank the hosts for the 10hrs of Silverstone special invitational event in Assetto Corsa Competizione.
With credit given to the hosts, we move on to our team. This is what this article is going to be about, they deserve it! Others can speak for their own race and shenanigans etc.
With the quali session about to kick into gear Dan Babic, Alex Torregrosa and Jimbo Mansi were ready for the challenge ahead. Alex would take the wheel for the quali session, and produced a great P9 for the grid. This sent a buzz through the team that the car was good.
Like all racers, we started to talk about race finish prediction and a top 15 we felt would have been fantastic. But there was that looming thought that endurance racing always bites hard.
Lights out and the race was underway, Alex got a great initial start defending his position well and knowing T1 was not the race victory. By the time he got to maggots and Becketts he had some clear air behind him and a slight gap to the drivers ahead.
It was the perfect start, no drama, clear air and Alex settled into the groove really quickly. Alex is that metronomic racer, lap after lap he was consistent and looking after the car and setting great lap times.
With Alex’s stint coming to an end, Jimbo Mansi was ready to jump in. Alex enters the pits hitting his markers perfectly and Jimbo was ready to go. Down drops the car off the jacks, limiter on, comms check, and good to go.
With Jimbo exiting the pitlane….Bammm!!! he gets slammed by a car not seeing him exiting the pits, the dreaded moment of “is everything ok” sparks up but thankfully Jimmy reported no damage and just a slight off track adventure costing 1.5 seconds.
Jimbo’s stint from then on was relentless, but we still had that thought of was their damage looming, time to dust off the issue and press on. We were sitting P10 and a lot of traffic was around. Time for Jimbo to show us his skills in traffic, patience was the key here, he had worked his way up to P5 there was still a lot of time left in the race.
With great comms communications, we were keeping Jimmy up to date with cars around him, one by one we were working our way through traffic. This was exceptional driving, holding station we maintained a very good pace with the car. Jimbo’ had earnt his stripes on that stint.
Next up in the car was Dan Babic and after Jimbo making his stop, Dan exited P11 due to others and their strategies. Dan took a deep breath and focused. This was his time to show what he could do, again another solid drive and keeping his times within our calculated margins.
All of the team was showing a great spirited mentality, with moral boosting humor and feedback, team simrace247 was a great unit. We are all racing fans and we know what it takes to have great team harmony, it’s something you cannot buy.
With Dan deep into his stint he was enjoying his racing, the nerves had calmed and was working his way through backmarkers. P10 and holding station, this was great stuff. any issues that got thrown at us, we dealt with and got straight back to it.
Alex was ready for his next stint, Dan pulled the car into the pits with a sigh of relief and achievement. Alex was back on track and does what he does best, relentless laps and tenacious defensive driving. if you want to see an example of how to defend with great pressure, Alex is that example.
However, with Alex making great pace and driving, others on track were not paying attention. A back marker driver in front had gone off track and rejoined almost slamming into Alex. Fast reactions and a slight off track had meant Alex avoided a huge incident avoiding the car.
Moving on Jimbo and Dan’s next stints were very good, tough conditions of backmarkers and fatigue from some of the other drivers in teams were starting to show. Endurance racing is brutal, it never lets up.
Moving into the final few hours of the race and the sun is glaring really strong, Jimbo was setting race PB times and Dan was holding steady with his pace and Alex was maintaining. P12 was our position, we were pleased with how this was going.
The final hour and a half was prime time, position 12 and with 13 being so far back, we could focus. Calculations for the last 2 stints were being made for Dan and Alex. We knew we were going to be in a fight for 10th, 11th or twelfth.
Positive vibes were running through the team, but with me being me (Darren), I was keeping a very close eye on those in positions ahead and talking to Jimbo about strategy for Dan and Alex. Dan was to maintain his pace, ok job done we are still P12.
Now, remember what I said earlier about Jimbo setting a PB for the team in the race? Well, with Alex being Alex, he loves to compete… i could see it in his eyes….this guy was fired up. Straight out of the traps like a bull on a charge Alex was on a mission. Lap after lap with 50 minutes to go his pace was amazing and broke the team PB by 0.250.
After clearing some backmarkers Alex had clear air, we were keeping an eye on our nearest rivals up ahead…” guys we are in with a shot here of the top ten!”
What happened for the last 25 minutes was just amazing. Alex had put the hammer down in the clear air whilst P9 and 10 were caught up in a huge pack of back markers, I do not think they knew we were coming at such a rate of knots. Alex was picking off backmarkers and taking chunks of time out of P10 and 9.
Team simrace247 was buzzing, the surprise launch to catch our rivals was paying off, Alex was at times 2 seconds a lap quicker than them. 18 minutes to go and Alex was back in clean air, we were 17 seconds behind P10, the hunt was on!!
For the last part of this race, we were all sensing something great coming our way, the team was being very calculated with timely updates, sector times, and more. It was great, this team had gelled, we knew it. Alex was flying and still taking chunks out of the times of P10 and 9.
15 minutes left and I say “I do not think they know we are coming, P10 and 9 were still caught in traffic and holding each other up”. With under 12 minutes left P10 and 9 must have got the wake up call, that we were hunting them down, they started making moves to fight and this was working in our favor.
10 and a half minutes left CONTACT with P10 and 9 and a drive through for P10, but we did not stop. Alex still had the afterburners on and we were not going to stop him. Nine minutes left and P9 was 8 seconds ahead, caught in traffic with probably bad tires and fuel saving.
The final few minutes were outstanding from Alex, at the finish line, P9 only finished 1 second ahead of us at the end. WHAT A RACE!
Team simrace247 finished in P10, an outstanding achievement by all those involved. BRAVO GUYS….BRAVO
Our team for the event
Darren Buckner from SimRace247
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