CoRe Only With 2x P4 After Being Victims Of Interlagos Night!
It should have been an Interlagos race like all the previous races in Sao Paulo CoRe SimRacing has done and finished in the past. But this time, on the 4.3km long Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace racing circuit, it was definitely one to remember. The Sports Car Open 1000 Miles of Interlagos was a 10h race in which CoRe entered with a GT3 line-up using the McLaren MP4-GT3 including Janne Kiuru, Maxime Pauly and JJ Nylander. The two competing CoRe GT4 squads, who used iRacing’s new Porsche Cayman 718 GT4, were Marius Golombeck, Ross Balfour and Thomas Gibson. The secondary CoRe GT4 Porsche team consisted of Sven Neumann, Baptiste Boudelier and Maik Paluch.
It was a competitive field in Interlagos and so was the qualifying performance of most the teams. Only tenths were seperating several entries in both GT3 and GT4 category. Janne Kiuru, who did the hotlap for the CoRe GT3 team, qualified in 7th while the secondary GT4 team, qualified by Sven, had to start the race in 5th. A statement did Thomas Gibson, who fired off a fantastic pole position lap for the primary GT4 car and qualified 1st with a qualifying time four tenths faster than the rest of the GT4 field. And so was the pace of Gibson, Golombeck and Balfour – a gap of over a 30 second lead was pulled by the squad and secured a comfortable lead after the first couple of hours. Sven and JJ, who did start the race for the other CoRe entries, had to experience frantic traffic after the GT3 field lapped the GT4s. JJ was able to advance from 7th to 3rd just by using the traffic the most efficient – while Sven kept it cool, used the slipstream of the pack in front and raced the GT4 draft train of Prolouge React, SimRC and Simmsa Esports.
The long GT4 stints required patience, a little bit of tyre management and focus – something which did not work out perfectly for Maik in his first stint. Running down turn one after a fierce fight against Simmsa Esports’ GT4 entry, Maik hit the rear of their car and spun them around. Due to the traffic pushing behind, Maik could not avoid the car in front and crashed into the side of Teemu Toikka which made him flip and DNF the car. As a result, CoRe’s secondary GT4 entry had to suffer a 30 seconds stop & hold penalty which made them fall back to P7. While the primary GT4 squad still led the race by a comfy 40 second margin, Janne took over from JJ in the GT3 and continued their race sitting in 4th position. The sun started to go down, the clouds covered the sky and so was the track temperature – which went down from a high mid day heat peak to a freezing cold.
Baptiste and Maxime took over in their GT3 and GT4 entries and continued the chase to the podium positions in front. Then the frustrating part happend after the track got darker – Ross lost their leading GT4 car in turn two and totaled it in the armco after grinding a curb on the exit. Baptiste spun as well losing a potential podium position. Only Janne, Maxime & JJ finished on their possible maximum by ending the race in 4th. A tough result to swallow for the team after reviewing what it could have been. The broadcast of this race can be found here.