SAVAGE Report, 2011-12-07
Round 2 of the Super GT Series
After a succesful first round of the Super GT Series, SAVAGE SimSports was looking forward to the next round. It was time for 80 laps of Blackwood Reversed. Thomas Lönn and our newest addition to the team, Jesse Telkkälä, were set to drive.
Since the team was 3rd in the overall standings of the series, we were automatically locked in for the main sessions of the round, meaning that we could skip the qualification heat race. Jesse was qualifying for us, but unfortunately it did not go as planned and we suddenly found ourselves to be in 15th position in our class. A rather dissapointing session, but we were still confident that we would do better in the race.
Jesse was also set to do the first stint. He managed to get our car off to a safe start and quickly gained a couple of positions. He ended up fighting with the cars of Angel Power Racing and PlayerZone. In the end of his stint, Jesse got rear-ended by a GT500 car and lost control of the car and clipped an elevated curb, causing a significant amount of suspension damage to our car. Jesse headed into the pits to repair the damages, refuel and get a fresh pair of tires. Unfortunately we suffered from a mishap in the pits, trying to change our wing-settings, as only the front wing was changed. Thomas took over and did his best to tame the out-of-balance car. At this point we were in 11th and just a few seconds behind the two cars in front of us. Thomas was catching up and things finally seemed to go our way. But on lap 62, he was swiped off track by another careless GT500 car. The rest of the stint was pretty much just about survival and Thomas crossed the line in 11th place.
Overall this was a very dissapointing and frustating race.
Round 3 of the Super GT Series
Next up was the the third round, 60 laps of South City Long. Magnus Björndal and Niclas Malmgren were set to drive this round, but a few days before the race, Magnus was informed by his ISP, that his internet would be down during the weekend. Luckily Jesse was able to step in, so we wouldn’t have to back out of the round. But the night before the race, Niclas was told that his father was rushed to the hospital after having a stroke. Naturally this meant that Niclas was out of the picture and that Jesse was the only available driver. Everything was pointing towards SAVAGE SimSports having to back out of the race, but with less than three hours to race start, Reno Kööts of spdoRacing agreed to help us out and drive with Jesse.
Reno did a good job in qualifying, securing us 7th place, even though he hasn’t driven FZR for a long time.
The plan was to let Jesse start the race and then let Reno do the last part. It was quite clear that Jesse had literally no practice before the race, as he lost several positions during his stint. When Reno took over the car, we were down to 13th place. Reno started a fierce chase for better positions and when all cars had done their pitstops, Reno was already in 8th position, gaining five positions in just 20 minutes.
With 20 laps to go, Reno secured 6th place, chasing down Mafia Racing and PlayerZone. On lap 44, Mafia Racing made a mistake and made it easy for Reno to pass without a fight. On the next lap he overtook the PlayerZone car and we were up to 4th place, with LowLandLions being about 50 seconds ahead. Reno showed good pace for the rest of his stint and managed keep our 4th place safe, until he reached the checkered flag. After the race was over, we realised that we made a mistake in our strategy, as we accidentally violated the rule of maximum percentage/time driven for each individual driver; a maximum of one hour. We exceeded this rule by 4 minutes and 23 seconds and we received a -2 lap penalty, which meant that we ended up in 13th position.
Despite the penalty and lack of preparation, we are still very happy about how the race turned out. A big thanks to Reno Kööts for helping us out on such short notice. And all our best thoughts to Niclas’ father, wishing him a full and speedy recovery.
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