At times, this race was messier than it should be, in fact far messier than it should be just 1 week removed from the iRacing Petit Le Mans. Yes, the SOF field depth was greater here compared to a week ago for the Top Split, but this shouldn’t have impacted the quality of racing we witnessed, especially at the sharp end.
Before the race, I stated that patience and concentration would be key for the LMDh field in particular. This proved not to be the case with many teams at the start of the race, and without pointing fingers, I’m sure that there were many drivers, teams and fans who were disappointed at some of the quality of racing; both from the direct incidents, and those caught up in the mix. The ‘Orange Army’ for sure must have felt gutted at the fact that the 3 time Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen was resigned to just streaming on the Team Redline Twitch page, rather than showing what he could do in a clearly fast GT3 car.
Sadly, it’s highly unlikely we will get the chance to see him at his home circuit, as even though there’s nothing left to fight for in either the F1 Drivers’ or Constructors’ championship, I doubt Red Bull Racing will allow him to have an hour on iRacing just hours before the Brazillian Grand Prix. There is a slim chance you could see him compete in the final round at Suzuka, but after a night race in Vegas? Who knows.
Moving on to the rest of the teams, there was plenty of luck, and plenty of heatbreak throughout. Some teams seemed to have forgotten the purpose of a brake pedal at points, and other teams seemed to be forced to become accustomed to their car being used as a moving tyre barrier. Thankfully the way meatball flags and damage is attributed in both classes at present enabled some of the latter off the track and being forced to think deeply about their actions whilst sat on Pit Road, whereas for others, the very reasonable incident limit being violated just proved how aggressive their driving was. Having 4 teams go above the 25 incident limit threshold is unacceptable, and hopefully this will improve come Zandvoort.
In more positive news, despite a penalty, it was good to see a new winner in LMDh, with Williams Esports carrying on their successes from a week ago at the iRacing Petit Le Mans. Apex Racing Team’s win in GT3 is a massive boost to Salva Talens in particular, vaulting him up into the Top 20, and keeping the door open on more prize money come the end of the season.
Next time out, we goto the newly rescanned Zandvoort. Another narrow track, but one with plenty of camber / banking, allowing for the opportunity of overtaking, and some easier lapping, especially into Tarzan corner. The same two buzzwords apply: Concentration and patience. I just hope that from team manager – driver, and all involved in the middle, they heed this notice, in order to provide a less frantic, and truth be told more holistically enjoyable race.