New Dimension Racing Events // GTAL 2011 (Season 2) - Round 3
6 Hours of Fern Bay Black (FE4)
You want to smoke some grass ? May you want a watch ? Or some Sunglasses i got in my pockets ? Just kidding, but we're giving you a warm welcome from the stunning seaside of Jamaica, on Fern Bay Black Circuit, where the 3rd Round of the Grand Touring Amateur League is taking its part. With 6.6 km length it is the 2nd longest track in the season and we all looking forward to have a great race here, which will be very hard for all the teams, because of its fast and slow corners, followed by short and long straights, and most important the risky chicanes with very high curbs. All in all not very much time to take a deep breath and prepare for the next corner, or concentrate on, as we'll see in the coming lines.
We've already seen some cars rolling and flipping in the Green Chicane while qualifying. This gives us some look ahead what may can happen in the race too and maybe can cause some safety cars situation. Besides this fact, we have to keep in mind that this is an amateur league, where the chance to have some cars crashing or flipping all over the place is a bit higher. But well, hope for the best, expect the worst.
The sun is shining all over the place here, its very hot outside and we can hear the seagulls singing MINE MINE MINE MINE from the coast, which is only some footsteps ahead. Right in that moment of nearly silence and idyllic moments, the powerfull GTRs starting to goose the engine and going out of the pits to find their spot on the start/finish for the upcoming long race. I'm walking through the grid and was able to speak with some racers, while some others are trying to find some break and a moment of silence, because its going to be a hard race. We also had no chance to talk with someone of Cargame.nl, because the starting driver P. Krüger was already sitting in his car, speaking some last words with the mechanican Jos Meerten and the second driver from estonia, T. Lomp. After the great result from Westhill International Circuit some teams were having their focus on them and the officials and moderators of the event also were having an eye on them too. With not such a good position 17 placement in the qualifying here, they try to do their best for sure to finish their car in a top 15 position again.
It's 15:00 UTC as the safety car with the driver Stuart Baker moves away to start the rolling race, having the polesetter R. Heijerman from Genuine Racing for the very first time in the young season there, who set a superfast 2:21:98 in his FZR, followed by DRUNK Teams M. Wentjärvi, whose teammate A. Falck set a 2:22:40 and P. Navarette of Just Driving, whose teammate E. Leyton drove on position 3 with 2:22:49. The fastest FXR was F. Gehammar who had a stunning run with a 2:22:63 he drove in the first qualyfing session earlier this week on saturday.
Here we go, GREEN FLAG as the race goes on, and already having a big mess up in the first hairpin, when A. Falkenhain of RAPTOR Racing collides with Joe Holmes and get pushed to the very end of the gravel nearly hitted the walls. He pushes the throttle hard, the tyres are spinning as he tries to get out of the gravel there, while one corner ahead in turn 2 chicane P. Krüger of Cargame.nl is having problems with the wheel and spins out there, standing across the track, but still able to continue back on position 23. After we've seen some great battles in the first 15 minutes when M. Wentjärvi does a stunning barrel roll in the Green Chicane, landing back on the tyres, damaging his suspension very hard, with no chance to continue at all, he still manages to drive the car back to the pits, but forcing the safety car coming out for the first time this race. After the first restart Heijerman still leading in front of Isaac Price and Gehammar in the strong FXR which is supposed to have some better perfomance here on the track then on all the others during the season, doing a great job so far. Simon Cattell of Adenoids Racing which is the guest team here, starting from position 18 behind Cargame.nl and almost reached position 4. Still having some problems, P. Krüger of Cargame.nl Team decided to switch the driver after just half an hour of driving on the track, trying to get some pace and positions back with T. Lomp. Still on second place we have Isaac Prace loosing the connection the server, right in the moment he flipped in Green Chicane, as the race goes on he finds the way back to the server. After the first stint goes by and some drivers changed over, the race continues with great battles in front and middle of the grid, when the safety car needs to come out again after 1 and a half hour of racing. And we will see some more safety car situations this race, to be exactly 12.. no, 13.. or was it 14 ? We couldnt even count them after many of them, mostly caused by flipping cars in the green chicane, when the cars laying on their roof next to the corner over there.
Luckily there has been many safety cars, giving the chance for Cargame.nl to stay in attacking position in front of the field, when they had a bad start, but now able to drive into top 10 position, when T. Lomp pitted and they found their way back to position 17, and some safety cars later surprisingly on position 4. In every restart they managed to defend their position, and stayed out of all the crashes happened their, sometimes forced the safety car to come out again right after. As we told this is going to be a hard race, but some teams managed to stay on track and just giving their cars some rear left suspension damage while going flat through the Green Chicane. After T. Lomp was driving 2 stints he reported that their may be some engine damage, because the car is way to slow on the straights, when he gave the wheel back to P. Krüger he noticed that too and tried to push the hell out of the car, trying to let all the cars behind them because of the very good position they got now.
And again the safety car saved their lives, when Krüger was able to move away on the restart a bit better from Falkenhain in his FZR. Everything seemed to be very fine and maybe they had to much luck during the whole race, driving their car from position 23 after Krüger messed up the start, coming in front to position 4.
4 minutes left in the race, Krüger was concentrating to much on tyre pressure, temperature, cars behavior, position, times between him and the car behind, how many time is left and how many laps that would be and because of that, Krüger lost the concentration and drove way to hard over the left inner curb of the Green Chicane and flips the car on top of the roof, when someone crashed into him and damaged the car even more, but the car of Krüger landed on the wheels again, with both front suspension damaged so heavily that he wasnt able to steer nowhere. He ended in the gravel of turn 9, when the Rescue Car tries to help him out there. Krüger was crying under his helmet, with 3 minutes left and a top 5 position this could have been the best result of the season, he doesnt gave up and still tried to make it to the pits to finish the car somewhere and earn a hand full of points. He only moved some meteres ahead, landing in the grass on the left inner side of turn 9a, still pushing the throttle, tyres spinning as right in that moment the race administration wrote that they need to spectate because the car is too heavily damaged. P. Krüger still full of anger, frustration, you could have seen him crying and shouting out loud "FOR GOD'S SAKE" under his helmet. The Safety Car was moving away for the last lap of the run with Joe Holmes in the lead, finishing the race on first place, K. Harvey made it to second place, with the best FXR position in the season so far, and finally Isaac Price finsihed 3rd, giving us some great racing and overtaking moments.
You have just seen the weirdest race in the season with 14 safety cars and many cars flipping in the green chicane, there are no words left to say than just: CRAZY. But still a fascinating perfomance of all teams, proofing that this amateur league is not amateurish enough, great racing though. Congratulations to the podium and teams that have finished this hard race. Cargame.nl is still in sorrow, when P. Krüger apalogizes a hundred times via team radio and after the race. The team was sad about this, but tried to push him a bit and told him that this is racing and you have to learn from your mistakes, for example that pushing so hard in the last 3 minutes of the race was really not that necessary. And for sure they will try to fight back in Round 4 when they are driving on maybe the most safely track, Aston Grand Touring Reversed.
(c) P. Krüger (aka M. Romboy of Cargame.nl)
Sorry, had no time enough to analyze every single lap and overtaking manouver, also the race was quite long, thats why i maybe missed out some great moments and overtakings, but still tried to make the review clear what was the main fact of the race, with all the safety car situations. Besides this i didnt try to correct all the mistakes in grammar and spelling.
Thank you to the commentary in the stream who showed and praised our team a lot of times, but on the other side this made us even more sad that we couldnt finish the race to proof our stunning performance we was surprised even by ourselfs.