Last Sunday was Round 4 of the SCO Endurance, held at the Circuit of the Americas – a track which divides opinion almost as much as Marmite – some love it, some hate it!
TBR have 3 cars running SCO this year, one in each class and for this event Matt Farrow and Michael Loosen would run in the P (Porsche 919 LMP1) class with Corey Ott and Teemu Toikka in the PC (HPD) and finally Joris Thielen and Dan Sosulski in the GT (Porsche RSR GTE). Qualifying for SCO has the teams running solo for 4 timed laps within a 20 minute period and whilst the guy who sets the Q lap doesn’t have to start the car, they do have to compete in the race (makes sense really!)
For qualifying, Matt stuck in a stonking 3rd lap to set a time of 1.41.834, one of only 2 cars to get under the 42’s and good enough for p2 on the grid behind Thrustmaster Mivano #21. Teemu did a 1.52.280 for 8th on the PC grid, with Joris setting a 4th lap time of 1.59.309 for 11th of the 20 car GT field.
At the green, Matt got caught napping slightly, leaving too much of a gap to 1st and seeing the Radicals Online JRT car nip past in to 2nd. Matt stayed within spitting distance though, but lap 5 had PRT make a pass for 3rd, not for long however as Matt took the place back on the next lap and got his head down chasing after the 2 leaders.
For Teemu, consistency was to be the key. Maintaining position throughout the first stint to the first pit stop at lap 20, and again right up to the driver change on lap 40. Handing the car over to a rather sleepy Corey for the 3rd stint of the race (it was 01.30 in upside down time). Corey managed traffic well and saved fuel where he could, handing the car back to Teemu still in 8th spot (after the pitstops had completed) Similarly, Teemu drove hard but clean, passing Team Heusinkveld and Legends Racing in the final hour or so of the race for a great final spot of 6th.
The start of the GTE race had a fair bit of door banging in T1 of lap 1 – thankfully Joris was able to avoid any contact, gaining several spots in the process. An incident later on was judged to have been caused by Joris, resulting in a Drive Through penalty on lap 25, dropping him back to 16th spot before handing the car to Dan 6 laps later. Dan drove his typical tyre saving style and jumped a good few spots throughout his middle 2hr stint, passing the car back to Joris for the final stint from P13. For the final 18 laps or so, Joris was stuck in a head to head with Team Chimera’s Jamie Wilson, finally getting the better of him on lap 111 of 117 for P10, where he remained for the rest of the race.
Meanwhile, things hadn’t been going so well for you Mr Farrow. Running in P3, Matt made a pass on the Radicals car for P2 on lap 14, finally catching Mivano’s Marcus Hamilton and pushing him hard before the pit cycle started around lap 25. Despite having a ton of pace and matching (and even bettering) some of the best teams in the service, a missed Drive Through penalty resulting in a 30s stop and hold, dropped the TBR Blue entry down the field to P10. From here it was a recovery drive and with championship points in mind, Matt handed the car to Michael Loosen on lap 63. Michaels job was a simple one – survive for an hour or so and keep the car alive and clean, a job he did perfectly. Pitting 25 laps later, Matt jumped back in and set about the recovery drive, picking up places over the final 45 laps before finally finishing 7th overall.
Once again proving the to top teams that TBR is definitely a force to be reckoned with in LMP1 it was another race of what could have been. On the plus side, Corey’s convict internet didn’t drop out, so another decent finish for the HPD guys puts them in P7 overall, just 2 points behind a Top 5 place with 2 races to go. The GTE guys put up a decent show with another top 10 finish, however their two non-scoring races have placed them well outside the overall positions in 17th, a position which doesn’t match their abilities. As for TBR Blue, well even the lowly score of just 5 points from COTA has them sat in 2nd spot in the overall. Luckily the cars around them in the table didn’t have great drives either and whilst Radicals lead of 67 vs TBR’s 55 seems pretty big, its “do-able” if things finally fall in our favour at Interlagos and Silverstone.
Results are here.
Iracing Esport coverage is here.