Vulcan Sim Racing Weekly – Edition #7: Smells Like Team Spirit
VSR weekly is back once more and is your one stop shop to find out all the action going on in the Vulcan Sim Racing team. Another week, another edition; let’s get it on!
We had a new addition to the academy last week with talented Race Anywhere advocate Mick Anderson. A proven quick driver, Mick will be participating in ERO this weekend, at the 8hrs of Sebring in the Ferrari 488 GTE. We wish him well on his debut!
Also last week, we had a bout of league racing, kicking off on Monday with WGTC where Mo Janko piloted his #777 Vulcan Audi R8 to 5th place in Pro-Am class at the 2hr Spa endurance round, keeping up with some of the best in the business. In CXR on Wednesday, Luke McKeown, Dom Forster, Callam Brant and one-off participant Paul King raced at Barber Motorsports Park. In the 45 minute race, championship contender Luke was busy hunting down the top 3 when a miscommunication between him and a lapped car sent Luke spinning off the road and incurring a stop and go penalty in the process. However, with a cloud, there is a silver lining, and Callam Brant was able to secure P6 and CXR debutant Paul King won driver of the day, finishing P13, just ahead of Dom Forster in P15. Another debut was made in the ARL league as well, with Mo Janko taking to Imola on Sunday along with Luke McKeown in the BMW M8 GTE. In the 25m race, Mo comfortably won the Am class, coming P4 overall, with Luke right behind in P5. However, in the 40m race, Luke was involved in a collision early on, putting him out of the race, but Mo finished P1 again in Am, P6 overall.
The main event this week though, was Petit Le Mans. We had three teams take to the track on Saturday; Vulcan Yellow in the Dallara P217, Vulcan Black in the BMW M8 and Vulcan in the Audi R8.
For VSR Yellow, Mo Janko took the Dallara through the carnage at the start to work their way up to 4th place at the driver swap period, the GTEs proving a pain in the backside after Mo took to the grass, incurring floor damage. However just after the driver swap, and still in 4th place, a GTE deliberately smashed into the side of the LMP2, taking the team out of the race for good.
However, true resilience and team spirit took centre stage for VSR Black, who started 16th out of 18 GTEs but in just 50 short minutes Tom Male, eager to make up for his poor show in qualifying, took the M8 through the field up all the way to 3rd place by the first round of pit stops. However contact with a stopped GTE put an end to their top 3 challenge, but still sitting pretty in 4th place after the driver swap, reserve driver Jason Hodgson put the car into the barriers, going straight on at turn 8 and clouting the barriers. Then just after, a 6 car pile-up caused substantial damage to the already beaten BMW and a 15 minute pit stop followed, throwing the team way down the order. They surged on, however, Daniel Kovacs and Tom Male again pushing harder than ever before to try and grab a top 10 spot until, with 2 hours to go Daniel was hit by a nervous GT3 and Jason was heavily rear ended, making the car close to undriveable. Even though giving up was the easiest thing to do at that point, Jason pushed on, and managed to secure 12th. Not the result they hoped for but a determined effort nonetheless, incorporating true Vulcan spirit.
VSR qualified 1st in their Audi GT3 and surged away from the pack, with Luke McKeown at the wheel to create a gap behind of over an entire minute and lapping all the way up to 3rd place by the driver swap. After picking up spots of damage from faster classes, Dom Forster took the wheel and got painfully unlucky with substantial amounts of traffic and 50s of optionals was the price that had to be paid for such bad luck. Luke jumped back in the car, 40s behind 1st, closing the gap all the way down to 10s with their heavily crunched R8. Team boss, Steven Leahy, got in the car for the first time and picked up the first of two drive-throughs due to excessive incident points. Keeping their car away from further carnage, a valiant effort took place for the team to push their Audi all the way to 2nd place at the line!