TEST RACE RESULTS -- Laguna Seca

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    John Bacho
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    TEST RACE RESULTS -- Laguna Seca

    Post by John Bacho on Sun 7 Jul - 12:16

    FEATURE RACE

    1st #68 Anders Nilsson - AF Corse Ferrari 458
    2nd #18 Stephen Bailey - BMW Z4
    3rd #74 Ian Mills - Porsche 997
    4th #64 Kjell Stenbeck - Porsche 997
    5th #52 Justin Allison - Audi R8 LMS
    6th #00 Jimmy Broadbent - BMW Z4
    7th #35 Nabil Abusharr - Nissan GTR
    8th #51 John Bacho - Audi R8 LMS
    9th #47 Dan Minges - McLaren MP4-12C
    10th #23 Garth Buchanan - Feint Motion BMW Z4


    SPRINT RACE

    1st #74 Ian Mills - Porsche 997
    2nd #68 Anders Nilsson - AF Corse Ferrari 458
    3rd #64 Kjell Stenbeck - Porsche 997
    4th #18 Stephen Bailey - BMW Z4
    5th #00 Jimmy Broadbent - BMW Z4
    6th #51 John Bacho - Audi R8 LMS
    7th #5 Paul Schuman - Lamborghini Gallardo
    8th #52 Justin Allison - Audi R8 LMS
    9th #35 Nabil Abusharr - Nissan GTR
    10th #23 Garth Buchanan - Feint Motion BMW Z4
    11th #47 Dan Minges - McLaren MP4-12C


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    RACE REPORT

    On July 6th, SROL held a test race at Laguna Seca, a week before the Season 1 opener in Monza, Italy. The point of the test was to go through procedures, iron out any rules in the month-long planning stages, give an opportunity for competitors to meet on track and to drive their machines in a typical race environment. Two days prior, Paul Schuman hosted two events filled with quick races for the 4th of July. According to all reports, it sounded like everyone had a great time driving mixed grids of 5 lap heats around 10 different tracks.

    Qualifying for Laguna Seca saw a switch of manufacturers for Stephen Bailey and his teammate Jimmy Broadbent. Previously they committed to the Mercedes SLS AMG, but decided to change to the BMW Z4 after looking at the timesheets and scratching their heads leading up to this test. It appeared to be a wise choice (for this race at the very least), as Stephen Bailey was able to claim pole position with a 1:21.7 over Anders Nilsson’s 1:21.9 -- times they kept in their pockets until it mattered in the session!

    In the 31 lap Feature Race Bailey was unable to convert his pole position into a flag-to-flag victory. His BMW bogged down on the start and allowed the Swede of Anders Nilsson to claim 1st position by Turn 2. From there, Nilsson’s Ferrari slowly pulled away for the entirety of the race. Afterwards Bailey would claim “I’m really sweaty. I had only 1 bar of tyre remaining on the right-front by the end.”

    Ian Mills had the most exciting race of the field, joining during Warmup and starting from 10th position, the Salisbury man would climb up to 5th place by Lap 2, only to out-brake himself into the final corner of the very next lap, touching the back of Jimmy Broadbent’s BMW and spinning as a result. Mills found himself in the sand on the inside of Turn 11 with a stalled car. He restarted his Porsche 997 from 10th position yet again and set off to chase after the field. Mills would methodically carve through the competition to claim the final spot on the podium with a great overtake at Turn 5 over Sweden’s Kjell Stenbeck on Lap 24.

    Nissan GTR driver, Nabil Abusharr and Team Audi’s John Bacho never left each others sight for the whole Feature, both cars within 2 seconds for lap after lap. On the start, each of them had to take evasive action around Stenbeck’s Porsche. Kjelle would claim “my throttle didn’t work!” but experts suspected meatballs stuck under the pedal. Abusharr lead the way for most of the race in 7th spot. The GTR and R8 suffered from tyre wear late in the race, but neither pulled an advantage on one another and held position to the end. Garth Buchanan had an unfortunate last minute harddrive failure before the race, having installed rFactor during Official Practise. Here’s hoping he has his settings figured out for next weekend.

    For the 15 lap Sprint Race, admin John Bacho chose a random number from his pants pocket to decide the inverted grid order. And he chose? #8! Groans of “bullshit” emerged from the crowd since that was his very own spot to start on pole! Collusion?!

    Even though reverse grids tend to create chaos for any racing series, it was another clean start from the 11 drivers taking part -- Paul Schuman having joined in his Lamborghini. Bacho was unable to keep his lead into the opening curves as Broadbent rocketed up the inside and held his line in the BMW. The Audi teammates were left to defend in 2nd and 3rd against a tide of faster running cars closing behind them.

    Again, Ian Mills was the star of the race, climbing up to 4th by passing Stenbeck and Abusharr between Turns 5 & 6 on the opening lap. On Lap 2 he quickly moved past the Audis of Bacho and Allison (Justin spun at the Corkscrew) and set off after Broadbent for the lead, taking it by Lap 7 and never letting go.

    By this time, Stenbeck, Nilsson and Bailey had made their way towards the front to fight for podiums. The two Swedes had a fantastic battle starting on Lap 10, with Stenbeck’s 997 quicker out of the final turn and Nilsson’s Ferrari 458 faster towards the run up to the tricky Corkscrew corner. Several attempts were made by the Ferrari driver to get around, but the Kjell drove defensive lines into the braking zones. The Porsche went wide on the exit of Turn 6 on Lap 14 and allowed Nilsson enough room to cleanly slip by for 2nd.

    After the race there was spirited debate between the typically calm Swedes concerning Kjell’s brake antics. Videos were posted, opinions were asked and it appeared that public opinion sided with Stenbeck. It was all settled and forgotten over a bottle of Glenfiddich.

    Late-comer Paul Schuman began the race from last on the grid and made his way up to 7th position behind Bacho before suffering bizarre mistakes at key moments. The first time during Lap 9 as he accidentally downshifted into neutral, and again while attempting a pass on the Audi a few laps     later into Turn 3, this time his car locking a wheel and refusing to make the right-hander.

    The California surfer dudes and dudettes were pleased by the gentlemanly displays of hard racing and respectful passing. Righteous. Gnarly.


    Last edited by John Bacho on Tue 30 Jul - 16:39; edited 17 times in total
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    John Bacho
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    Re: TEST RACE RESULTS -- Laguna Seca

    Post by John Bacho on Sun 7 Jul - 12:18

    STEWARD REPORT

    Honestly there's not much to point my finger at. The starts in both races were clean, even with Kjell barely moving out of his grid in the Feature. In the Sprint there was a similarly hairy moment with Nabil's Nissan not getting off the line, sandwiching Ian in-between Kjell and the GTR. A little bumping maybe, but no warnings required.

    • Ian's late brake into the bumper of Jimmy sorted itself out on Lap 4. No official warning needed.
    • Nabil and Garth had a coming together on Lap 9 of Race 1. Buchanan's BMW was slowed by sand on the outside of 6 which gave Nabil a run on him towards turn 7 and 8. Garth seemed to brake a tad late for the corner and Abusharr didn't account for the closing speed or the recovering line of the Z4. Garth's BMW lost its' splitter and required repairs because of the contact. In a real event I'd give only a warning for this incident about safe driving around others that might have recently made a mistake.

    I didn't see anything else worth mentioning. Great job by all!


    Last edited by John Bacho on Mon 8 Jul - 7:26; edited 4 times in total
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    Justin52

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    Re: TEST RACE RESULTS -- Laguna Seca

    Post by Justin52 on Sun 7 Jul - 15:52

    John Bacho wrote:The Audi teammates were left to defend in 2nd and 3rd against a tide of faster running cars closing behind them.

    Again, Ian Mills was the star of the race, climbing up to 4th by passing Stenbeck and Abusharr between Turns 5 & 6 on the opening lap. On Lap 2 he quickly moved past the Audis of Bacho and Allison (Justin spun at the Corkscrew) and set off after Broadbent for the lead, taking it by Lap 7 and never letting go.

    Alas I made a fool of myself there.... Meh, Monza will be better for us. Although I do dread T1 after the start.

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