Long Day at the Nordschliefe 24 Hours

Round 3 of the sim-racing.org GT3 Series found us running 24 hours in hell. The Green Hell that is. The 24.4km classic circuit was host to round 3 of 5 in the newly formed GT3 series. We didn’t know what to expect coming into the race. Our first 24 hour race ever was at Spa Francochamps and it was a huge mess from beginning to end. A massive learning curve that we were hoping to build off of but at a place like Nurburgring, that’s hard to do. It is such a unique place essentially you have to run fully on instinct which nobody in the team had enough time here from previous racing to say we’d be able to do.

Mike Edwards heading onto the original circuit during Qualifying

The weekend started off better then expected with Mike Edwards qualifying car #164 in 19th out of the 34 cars entered. Car #108 qualified 29th with Matt Strand behind the wheel. Running a qualifying pace seemed pointless to us so both cars ran in full race trim to get more practice in for the extremely long race ahead. Even with the strong effort that Edwards put in on a race setup we knew both cars and teams were in for a long night as it gets dark early in Germany this time of year then nobody turns the lights back on… ever…

Coming into raceday we found out car 108 would be hit especially hard with half of the drivers falling severely ill just prior to race day. Jeff Cable and Matt Strand would end up driving for nearly 22 and a half hours of the 24. TJ Halsema was still hanging around the team garage and attempted to get in for a couple hours to give Jeff and Matt a break but had to pop back out due to his illness. At 1 stage late in the event the team nearly parked the car as now both Cable and Strand were sick due to their exhaustion. Cable came in and instantly passed out once and Strand had pulled over on course to throw up. The 2 managed to push through their sickness and kept digging towards the finish even after all the incidents and missing body panels the car endured.

Jeff Cable with brakes glowing in the middle of the night

The #164 of Edwards, Nichols, Walker, and Warren put in a better performance from its race at Spa but with mechanical gremlins for the final 11 hours of the race they fell further and further down the order. The electrical problems were so frequent the team actually decided to leave the hood off of the car to save time for the car overall. There were battles all through the field even on the final laps. Everybody lined up in the final series of corners for a group photo op. We managed to get car 108 a top 20 after numerous problems but we squeaked into 19th in the final few hours. Car 164 came home in 23rd despite running on essentially 2 cylinders for 2 hours. Both cars are due time in post race results but positions shouldn’t change.

whats left of the field crossing the finish line together

2012 was a big year for us as we expanded on every front, picked up some marque wins, and more importantly had a laugh while doing it all. That’s it for us until January. Want to wish everybody a happy holidays and happy new year and we’ll see you all on track in 2013 in the Virtual Le Mans Series, SCCA Formula 600 Challenge, Florida Winter Tour Rotax Max, sim-racing.org, and finally the GPVWC.com Supercup Series. new equipment both sim and real coming with new challenges and we couldn’t be more excited for it.