6hrs of the Glenn
Watkins Glenn, about 2 1/2hrs NE of Noo Yoyk in the U. S. of A is one of those tracks that you either love, or you love….. if you don’t, then don’t even talk to me, ‘cos you’re wrong – Watkins is GLORIOUS! Anyway, the actual real life Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glenn takes place on the 30th June and true to form, iRacing’s official Special Event 6hr race was to be held over the this past weekend with 4 races to be held over the weekend, 3 on Saturday and one on Sunday – with the SOF race expected to be 13:00GMT on Saturday. The event is based on iRacings IMSA multiclass series with the Chevrolet DP, GTE’s and the Merc & Audi GT3’s
Team Buschfink Racing had a 2 car entry with Dan “Frenchie” Page and myself, Phil “Old man” Bedford in the AMG Merc of TBR Red and new boys Erwan Woudstra and Andreas Forss choosing to enter the Ford GTE for TBR Pink. With the way iRacings “Match Making” system works for endurance races, there are a couple of options for entering a team. Firstly, get your highest IR driver to register, so you gain the highest split possible – down side is that your lower IR guy might be out of his depth. Secondly, get your lower IR guy to register – this obviously puts you in a lower split with more potential for a better result (since your high IR guy should, in theory, be quicker than the rest of the field) This is classed as “cheating” by many and frowned upon by those who know. Or thirdly, and by far the “fairest” method – all drivers register the car together and iRacing will take an average of your IR and use that to determine your split. This was the method myself and Dan used which placed us in the 3rd split of 10 for this iteration of the event. Erwan and Andreas placed in the 6th split.
Qualifying for the event was attached to the race session and with Dan being marginally quicker than me he was nominated (coerced, forced… call it what you like…) to take on the challenge. Fluffing his first lap like a baguette eating pillock, he took a safe second lap and whilst his time was good enough for 6th on the grid, by his own admission, it could have been better. Andreas was the chosen one for TBR Pink and managed a 1:43.453 placing the Ford on 28th spot of the grid out of 34 cars – so plenty of work to do there.
So to the start and Andreas would take on the first stint of Pink’s race – and since driver changes don’t add anything to a full service pitstop, he would be alternating with Erwan at each stop. At least, that was the theory – after a decent start, gaining 6 positions by lap 6 Andreas got tapped in the rear end by an over ambitious Big Boi M8, sending him in to the wall. Whilst he was able to continue, his steering would be severly wonked and required an unscheduled 3 ½ minute stop for optional repairs. Coming out of the pits in 40th spot it would be a recovery drive for the Swedutch pairing for the next 5hrs and 50 minutes. Roughly half way through the event and they had climbed to 19th place when another unfortunate incident claimed Andreas again, forcing another stop for repairs. This time the stop wasn’t an option, with 12 minutes of required repairs dropping the guys back down the order again. Eventually, they would come out and climb their way steadily back through the order. 33 laps from the finish, Erwan had an incident causing another 12 minute stop. To their credit, the guys continued and eventually brought the Ford GTE home in P19.
Dan and I had taken a different strategy, doing a 3hr stint each with me starting the race and Dan finishing off. Starting 6th on the GT3 grid and if Im honest, probably a little out of my depth, we got off to a decent start, jumping P5 at the start and since the class pole sitter had disconnected already, that placed us P4 at the end of lap 1. The race was pretty un-eventful in fairness. The first hour or so was pretty hectic. The DP’s passing was tough, then the GTE’s was bad as they aren’t quick enough to pass on the straights – but when the DP’s were lapping the GTE’s who were lapping the GT3’s it was, well…. it was chaos. I had some almighty brown-pant moments with Dan ooough-ing and ahhhhggg-ing in my ear, but after 3 stressfull hours in the seat, I handed Dan a nice clean Mercedes from 2nd spot. In fairness, most spots had been gained due to others mis-fortune – but as the old saying goes “in order to finish first, first you must finish” and so it was that Dan set off for his 3 hour stint. The only potential fly in the ointment was Aises Motorsport who had some super weird pit strategy going on, meaning they were fast, but hugely out of sequence with us – and we really didn’t know where they were coming back in to it…As it turns out, they had some issues at about 2/3rds distance dropping them out of contention – which was a shame to be honest, as we were really confused by their strategy. Anyway, Dan kept the car clean for the second half of the race, save giving a couple of ridiculously slow DP’s a wee ass-tap, and we came home in a fine 2nd spot.
Honorable mentions should go to our TBR alumni as follows:
Antti Ahola – 13:00gmt – 1st Split GTE – 1st Place
Carl E Jansson – 13:00gmt – 1st Split DP – 4th Place
Alex Simonic – 13:00gmt – 1Split GT3 – 4th Place
Teemu Toikka & James King – 13:00gmt – 2nd Split DP – 2nd place.
Tim Greven – 17:00gmt – 1st Split DP – 2nd Place
Teemu Toikka & Fraser Williamson – Sunday – 1st Split DP – 2nd place.
Magnus Valstom & Jocke Ljunggren – Sunday – 1st Split GT3 – 4th Place
..and probably some others I couldn’t find in all the results….
Next event for us will be the Spa 24hrs of offtrack, which is a GT3 only event on the weekend of 20th July.
VOD of Dans stream is here