SR Fall Short Again in VLMS-ERL 12 hours of Sebring

After skipping Round 6 in Sepang, Satellite came back to the VLMS-ERL series ready for another crack at 1 of South Floridas premiere races. The 12 hours of Sebring was host to round 7 and with the extra time off the Simcraft Acura ARX-02a was stripped completely down. After finding a few bugs internally we rebuilt the car and rolled into the central Florida track hungry for a win. 12 hours around the old airfield though would be no cake walk on man or machine.

Coming off the trailer for practice we were instantly on the pace with the likes of our buddies across the paddock at Deuces Motorsports Club running 1-2 through practice. We went into qualifying optimistic of a solid top 2 for Acura between us and Deuces. Matt unfortunately could never put a full lap together and had to settle for 4th behind DMC, the 05 Motorsport Audi R10, and the TINART Racing Pescarolo Mazda.

The race started as expected with the top 4 cars running line astern pulling away from the field. after just a few laps though the traffic started to hit and it was a complete cluster ever since. It was a constant eb and flow going through traffic with 1 car catching it slightly better then the other 3 then another etc..

Passing TINART for 3rd overall early on

After swapping positions a few times the TINART Pescarolo came caught up with a GT BMW and lost a bit of time from the lead battle. Deuces had squeaked away to a 12 second lead while 05M and ourselves were still nose to tail. The battle between Smulcheski and 05M driver Kamran Choudry came to a head with light contact coming out of turn 1 while Smulcheski had to lift slightly for a GT at corner exit and Choudry couldn’t check up in time. No harm no foul though and everybody continued with minimal damage.

Chasing DMC for the lead through traffic

After the first 3 hours Mike jumped out putting Matt back in to continue pressing on and hanging on to the lead lap. 10 laps into his stint more electrical issues reared their ugly head and unfortunately we were done right there just 111 laps into the eventual 403 lap race.

“Its hugely disappointing” said Strand. “We all worked so hard going through the car during the break while the series was in Sepang. There just isn’t much you can do with the rough nature of this place. There’s only 2 rounds left and we’ve got nothing to lose so its just race wins we’re looking for now. At this point though I’d be happy just to finish.”

Next up for the VLMS-ERL series is 6 hours from the beautiful Spa Francochamps. We’ll also be debuting our shiny new Pescarolo Mazda with TJ Halsema and Nick Rowland behind the wheel.