The last race of the NES series took place at Road-Atlanta. Since we scored 0 points in the last race, the season podium finish was miles away. For this reason we did not do much preparation, but showed up to have some great fun. In that spirit – my job was to qualify the car on Saturday and to also take the first stint. The qualifying-result was as expected: I was second last in qualifying, just 1/1000 of second faster that the guy closing the grid :-)
The 6-hour race was on and the start was nice and clean. The track is great to drive and time passed quickly. This time the faster class cars did a good job overtaking in a safe manor. This was not the case for one of our competitors. He made a nice dive-bomb on me in the turn into the long straight, costing him a 60 seconds stop-and-go penalty. The car was still handling ok – but some top-speed was lost. Shortly here after my stint was over and the car was handed over to the PRO’s - Karl and Dave from the remaining part of the race.
As usual, they managed to drive the car up trough the field by doing fast and consistent laps despite the loss of top-speed caused by the incident.
Suddenly the 95 car of IRDK Endurance made a small driver-error and crashed the car costing 10 laps during repairs. This meant that a chance was given to re-claim the overall season third place from these guys. All that this required was to overtake 92 car of New World Sim Sport and thus finishing in 4. place in this race. They were 25 seconds ahead of us but had one pit stop less. So we would jump them as they pitted. It was soon clear to us that they did NOT intend to pit again – but instead try to pull it off with one less stop. Karl was flying this day and started the hunt for the 92 car.
Karl was closing the gap rather quickly, properly because they needed to manage fuel-consumption. With 4 laps to go the gap stabilized around 2 seconds. Would New World Sim Sport make it to the checkered? No – with only one lap to go, the fuel was out!! In this way we took the 4. place of this race and the season overall 3. place beating IRDK Endurance by just 2 points!
Thanks to Karl and Dave for an amazing performance trough out this first NEO Endurance season! :-)