August 10, 2015 Darren

Neo Endurance S1

I stumbled across a race report from my final race for Apex Racing UK which took place at Road Atlanta in the Neo Endurance Series, before I moved to Friction Racing.

Broadcast:

Report from the #4 Apex Racing TV Car.

Once again, our team were lacking for drivers for this race. We had a very simple strategy – which was keep it on the track and get to the end of the race.

After qualifying, we were on the back row of the qualifiers. We almost didn’t make the grid start as in qualifying, I managed to join in the #3 car and couldn’t qualify. We managed to track down one of our AWOL drivers who renewed his subscription and put in a banker lap for us preventing a pit lane start.

I had the first stint, so planned to take it cautiously in case of any first lap dramas – so full credit to everyone for that not happening. We appreciated it was a six hour race, and despite not having the pace of everyone else we thought we may be able to get a top 10 position for just finishing with as little incidents as possible.

In our first stint, we had our first bit of drama, where a Ford GT seemingly forgot to brake and punted me off at the chicane. I don’t know if we protested it as a team but the Ford GT had a stop and hold penalty for the incident. The car was still drivable but down a bit on top end straight line speed and certainly felt a bit awkward throughout the first stint. I continued going, but then we had our second incident with car contact of the afternoon. In front of me, a Racing Lions HPD dropped the car on the exit of 5, spearing across the track. As soon as I went left to overtake, it continued on its journey and I had no choice but to brake, locking my wheels up, and sliding square into the back of their car and I think ending their race. We were minus a nose and got back to the pits before Conrad took over on the first of his stints. One thing iRacing did get right in this build is the ability to replace the nose cone of the car and we had this replaced in the stop.

We didn’t have any other major issues until the end of the race, I had a small spin in the chicane and ran wide in turn 1 late in the race after I completely misjudged a Ford GT’s trajectory.

In the end, due to others misfortunes, we managed to finish 7th in the race.

A massive thanks to Dean Prescott for providing the setup for the team, and also for Conrad Venter for his consistent running. 3 incidents in 127 laps today, and 3 incidents in 124 laps at Interlagos shows he didn’t put a foot wrong in both the last two rounds. His average laps without incident was 41.2! Unfortunately, with the bad driving displayed by our other drivers as COTA (including crashing into one of the team cars) and various penalties we received in that one race, it ruined our averages.

We didn’t make the top 8 cut but we were always aiming for the top 10 when we signed up, it dawned on us rather quickly that the quality of the teams in the Neo Endurance is second to none. It is not all the time when you can say you beat Coanda Simsport in a 6 hour race, although full credit to their team to continue and see the flag as they had a terrible afternoon with only half a car.

Both the Apex Racing UK #3 (Dean Prescott) and the Apex Racing TV #4 cars ran with an alternative livery to say goodbye to Apex Racing UK.

The Neo Endurance is one of the best ran leagues on iRacing, with even the smallest details taken care of. In the end, I only participated in the Sebring, Interlagos and Road Atlanta rounds, however I hope to be back with my new team for Season 2, just not in a HPD this time.

 

Round 1 – Sebring

Round 2 – COTA

Round 3 – Spa

Round 4 – Interlagos