IVRA Endurance finale at Motegi
This year’s final race in the IVRA Endurance league took place at Motegi, a track that is not run so often in the official leagues on the iRacing service. A 10 hour race with a total of 150 points in play for the winner would determine the final standings. None of our cars had a chance bigger than pure theoretical (as in, full points for us and no points for the competitors) so the goal of the race was more to end on a high note rather than competing for the championship.
As usual, we competed with our two LMP Pro cars and our GTE Pro. With a 10 hour race, we put three drivers in each car to not put too much strain on each driver. It’s possible to do 10 hours on two drivers, but the chance for mistakes grows and the day after the race is not as pleasant as when the driving time is lower.
After a good qualifying session where the GTE car started on the second row and the LMP cars started in mid-pack, the race set off in the same direction as it would continue. Some tight racing, some cars in the gravel trap, some aggressive overtake maneuvers, some mistakes and very little time to relax. The track consists of a lot of heavy braking and straight line acceleration but none of the straightaways are long enough to really relax, especially in a multiclass race where traffic management comes into play on the straights.
Most of the race was undisturbed green flag racing and the field became spread out over time. However, about halfway through the race a safety car gathered the field and during the restart the race took a completely new direction. One of our LMP cars got turned and suffered major damage and had to retire. The GTE car saw itself in fifth place before the safety car but due to a major crash in the restart which was masterfully avoided by Jonas, the GTE car climbed up to second place in just one corner. The rest of the race was rather uneventful, the LMP car that survived came in as fifth and the GTE car defended its second place.
When looking back at the championship, neither car got the result we hoped for before the season. Partly due to really good competition, but even in that competition we think we should have placed ourselves better. Most of it is on ourselves, we made too many mistakes and saw ourselves having a meeting with Race control too many times during the season. That led to big loss of points and in the end, a quite unsatisfactory result. Our two LMP cars ended up in 6th and 8th and our GTE car in 4th. We believe that we are better than that, but it’s on the race track that you need to prove it, not in a text on our own site. :-)
What we are satisfied with is the professionalism that IVRA puts in their endurance league and even though we do not always agree with the outcome of decisions, we respect the effort they put in and appreciate the racing their league provides. We would also like to send our appreciation to Racespot for their excellent broadcasts this season. It’s not easy keeping the viewers interested over so many hours, but they made an awesome effort!