Round 3 of the DGFX was held this past Saturday afternoon at Barber Motorsports Park with Team Buschfink Racing to be represented by the Swedish dynamic duo of Magnus “Almost Finland” Vallström and Andreas “Definitely Denmark” Olsson. Rarely used in the official iRacing service, the Barber circuit is considered to be more friendly to open wheelers than Prototype and GT machines and with a sub 70 second lap for the P1 class, there was a big question to be answered as to how well suited to multi-class racing the track would be. After the “Daytona Demolition Derby” (or Triple Dee as I like to call it, to no-one ever…it’s the small things that make me smile you know – which is handy I guess…) of the last round which saw almost as many FCY periods as it did laps, all the teams had been given a bit of a dressing down by the organisers so everyone was expected to be on their best behavior.
Class based open qualifying kicked off with the GT AM’s for 15 minutes followed by the GT PRO’s, P2 and LMP1 classes. Magnus piloted the TBR Green Ferrari 488 entry to a 1.17.184, good enough for 9th spot in class. Pole went to Geodesic Black with a 1.16.648 and with P4 to P28 covered by less than a second, it was going to be a highly contested race.
Since the DGFX rules state that whoever qualifies must take the start of the race, come 4pm Magnus lined up alongside 59 other crazies ready for around 170 laps or so over the next four hours. An early mistake by the German SimRacing GTE entry had TBR elevated to 8th in class by lap 2, a position he maintained through to the first stop at L40. Managing to curb his enthusiasm at the prospect of 2 hours around a track he has come to despise, Andreas jumped in and set off in a whirlwind of virtual dust and tyre smoke. Andreas managed to keep the car in position, save a small error in to the downhill chicane losing a spot for a couple of laps, until L61 where an issue with some lapped traffic led to an off-track and the loss of 3 positions. 15 laps later, just short of half distance and the first FCY of the race was thrown. Andreas took the opportunity to pit. Unfortunately for him, a lot of other teams chose to stay out and took a wave-by gaining track position, although still needing to pit. A few laps after the FCY cleared, another incident required another FCY (Cautions breed cautions ya know…) and whilst Andreas was able to stay on track, the teams who had previously chosen to remain out, pitted – however Andreas didn’t receive the wave-by. Sounds more complicated than it probably was, and if I’m honest, I don’t really understand what I’ve just written (doesn’t help that Andreas told me all of this in some kind of hybrid English/Swedish gobbledygook) suffice to say that the FCY shafted the boys….not for the last time either.
By L124, and the end of the 3rd pit cycle, Andreas had managed to climb up to a mighty impressive 5th position – possibly due to his amazing driving ability, but more likely due to people pitting in front of him… the truth is we will never know as whilst in the pits and handing the keys back to Magnus (complete with scratches and a bent wang) another safety car came out meaning that Magnus would be sat waiting at the pit exit, like an impatient teenager revving his engine at the traffic lights for what seemed like an hour (but in reality was probably only a minute or so). However long, it was enough time for Magnus to drop back to a massively frustrating 13th spot. Magnus drove the rest of the race and by this time it was a case of managing fuel, traffic and incidents. Hovering around the top 10 mark and finally grabbing 8th spot after a couple of other cars were given black flags for exceeding the incident limit.
So again, in what seems to be the story of DGFX this year, a frustrating race for Magnus and Andreas. Starting P9 and finishing P8 is a gain, but I feel that had the FCY’s fallen slightly differently, a potential top 5 was on the cards. Positives to be taken are that the guys were on pace through the whole race and did it in a clean manner, attracting just 23 incident points in 4 hours – which did actually place them in the top 5 LOWEST incidents in the whole GTE field.
Congratulations to the class podiums:
|1st||Wyvern Racing||1st||Team Heusinkveld|
|2nd||Bad Cactus Racing||2nd||vApex Racing Group|
|3rd||Kinetic Racing||3rd||FitzSty Motorsport FightingCRC|
|GTE Pro||GTE Am|
|1st||Graphite Racing||1st||AVA Vervatic|
|2nd||FitzSty Motorsport FightingCRC||2nd||VRG Engineering|
|3rd||Team Heusinkveld||3rd||Usagi Racing|
In the overall standings, TBR are currently standing in 10th spot, 5 points behind 9th and 4 ahead of 11th. Next round isnt until 2019! The 6hrs of Monza – well that should be fun right?
iRacing results are here.
GSRC coverage of the whole 4hrs is here.