No mistakes. It’s what’s needed to win the 2.4 Hours. Maybe a stroke of luck too. Unfortunately, we didn’t have either portion go in our favor.
We began mid pack and ended about mid pack, but only after having to gain back lots of ground. The start of the race did not go well for us. I was late to the throttle at the start which immediately pushed me to the back of the pack. From there, I only went further back. Braking into Forza Chicane, I was clipped by another car, which pushed me into the armco, damaging my driver’s side front suspension and brakes. I limped the #15 Gulf Corvette back to the pits, where the crew got to work, taking the opportunity to change out the flat spotted tires and refuel as well. This would determine the rest of our race. Unfortunately, the hit into the armco also created problems for our radio and our communications were effected by local media stations.
Out of the pits, it was flat out for the rest of the race. When you’re dead last, there’s no alternative, especially with points on the line! Within a few laps, I’d made it to ninth, where the battle would begin. The #2 Ford GT and #777 Corvette spent much of the race in a battle for position. I entered that battle, where for the next two stints, it was a heated battle for position, with the three of us within a second or two of each other trading back and forth. At one point, I went into the run off at Indianapolis and lost both positions, but regained seventh by the time we’d reached Dunlop.
Thanks to the early pit stop, by the end of the first hour, we’d secured seventh in GT. Not where we’d like to have been, but at this point, finishing was the priority. The Corvette, while perhaps a little down on speed, had a good set up and proved reliable. I look forward to next year’s race, and we’ll be back again in Gulf colors.
For now though, it’s off to Spa in a new car. The race should be interesting. The weather reports are suggesting rain.