GES S2 R6 Monza

On the high speed circuit that is the Autodromo Nazionale Monza,  the interaction between the classes proved to be the main talking point.  Several of the Protoype field would incur rapped knuckles and a stop and hold penalty for avoidable contact with the slower classes, one such penalty spoiling what had been a promising start for the Legends team and what had been to that point a faultless drive from Adam, demoting them from fighting for 4th to recovering from 10th.

In the second half of the race Darren kept it clean, and dealt well with traffic and with the pressure from the recovering HAWK prototype.  Having recovered to 6th by the end of the race gave the team another solid points scoring result, but were left ruing a missed opportunity at the chance of their best finish of the season, particularly as NKH drew level on points after a deserved second place.

One small compensation was that the Legends duo once more led their class for the CleanX Award, having collected the least incident points in the race, and looking to be the likely recipients of the award at the close of the season.

Legends Podium in the iRacing Sebring 12-Hours

In the “lull” between rounds 5 and 6 of the Gathering of Tweakers Endurance Series (GES), the now regular Legends pairing of Darren and Adam set their sights on a strong performance in the Sebring 12-Hours, one of iRacing’s annual special events.

As usual with the special events with a large number of teams competing, race splits were determined by iRating, with grid positions set by qualifying time.  Having had a strong showing in qualifying,  the Legends Prototype lined up in 4th place on the grid in split 3, with the team looking for a strong performance and a podium finish.

Whilst successfully keeping out of trouble in the early part of the race, the team dropped a number of places, dealing their aspirations a blow, but as the field starting to spread out the fightback began, and Adam and Darren started chasing down the frontrunners, including some long-time rivals in the form of the vApex and Torque Freak entries.

Traffic, connection issues, accidents, and backmarkers all played their part in the remainder of the race, and whilst Adam and Darren kept out of trouble there were more than a couple of close calls!  As the race was drawing to a close, the team were running second, with Torque Freak Racing holding a small advantage.  Whilst it looked like the Legends duo might triumph, a momentary lapse on the penultimate lap left Torque Freak to take the win, with the Legends prototype a few seconds back.

Missing out in such a fashion was a disappointment, but the team can take great pride in their performance, and a thoroughly deserved second place.  They will look to carry their form through into the rest of the Gathering of Tweakers league races.

GES S2 R5 Interlagos

Qualifying was a tense affair at the Autodromo José Carlos Pace, with less than 1/10th second covered 5th-8th, with the Legends prototype starting 0.019 behind 5th in 7th place.

The battle for 5th was as close as it had been in qualifying.  Positions would be gained and lost in an intense battle on track.  With both two and three stop strategies possible, in contrast with the majority of the field the team opted for the two stop strategy.  This meant that the team were under pressure in the closing portion of the race, and, unable to keep BlackAdder Motorsports behind, the team looked to be doomed to 6th, but an uncharacteristic mistake from Gary Hickman of vApex Racing handed the team a season best 5th place finish.

GES S2 R4 Spa

After a positive week of practice, Darren and Adam took the grid once more for the Gathering of Tweakers Endurance Series fourth round in the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

Ultimately the Legends pair would leave disappointed.  After qualifying 5th, the team’s position would yoyo between 4th and 11th in a race that was plagued by avoidable contact, a penalty and a dropped connection.

Whilst the contact from the NKH Racing prototype entry didn’t result in damage, it was scant consolation for the positions lost.  A significant stop and go penalty incurred for speeding in the pit lane negated the time and positions recovered, and after suffering a disconnection with 5 minutes to go, a top 10 finish was a remarkable result.

The team will look to bounce back in Brazil for round five.

GES S2 R3 Watkins Glen

The third round of the Gathering of Tweakers Endurance Series took the team to Watkins Glen, with the team looking to better the two 7th place finishes from the first two rounds of the season.

After a tricky build up to the race weekend where both drivers were struggling for pace, starting in 5thwas a pleasant surprise.  A disrupted start procedure meant the race would start having run behind the safety car for a couple of laps.  Darren would get a little boxed in as the field got underway in earnest, but this setback paled in significance to that suffered  when the FRT Hawker prototype collided with the car on approach to the bus-stop chicane, pushing the car into the barriers.

The car was clearly damaged but was able to continue with the loss of just one position.  The FRT Hawker Co team would receive a 30 second stop and hold penalty for causing the collision, as they became the second of a number of teams that would incur the wrath of the stewards throughout the race.  Some reparative work was carried out whilst the fuel tank was refilled and the tyres changed at the first stop, with the team still running in 7th.

Another incident saw the prototype receive more rear end damage for the Legends Corvette, and a mandatory pitstop dropped the team further down the field, and out of contention for a top 5 finish.

Whilst the car would avoid any further complications in the race, only one place was to be gained.

Finishing the race was a relief after the multiple incident the team were involved in, and a season best 6th place was a bonus.

Despite their most incident filled race to date, the team retained the top position in the CleanX Challenge standings.

The Legends duo will look forward to a less eventful race in the next round at the historic Spa-Francorchamps.

GoT American Team Challenge

Legends Racing fought hard but ultimately fell 3 points short of a podium place in the Gathering of Tweakers American Team Challenge at Road America.

Adam and Darren hopped out of the Corvette Prototype and into the Corvette C6R GT1 and Ford GT GT2 for the one off end of season tournament hosted by the Gathering of Tweakers.

After qualifying 8th, Adam got away a little slowly, dropping a place, and found himself in a race long battle with the #777 SimRC.de Corvette.  A mistake by the #777 late in the race giving 8th place back to the Legends Corvette driver.

Darren, having qualified 7th in class, had a frustrating time behind the wheel,  dropping a couple of placed and finished 9th in race 1.

In the main 90 minute race, the Legends Corvette benefitted from mistakes made by cars starting further up the grid,and after the pit window had moved up to 4th.  A collision with a spinner and massive front end damage led to the car limping to the pits and reemerging in 8th position,  ahead of the recovering Oguz Akkent, but would move up two places to finish a deserved 6th.

Darren, still not feeling quite at home in the Ford, moved up from his starting position, finishing in 8th.

After the race, it then came time to count up the points – and the incidents – and crunch some numbers.  Legends Racing would ultimately fall an agonising 3 points short of 3rd place.

GES S2 R2 COTA

A mistake by Simracing for Holland caused a temporary reshuffle at the front of the field at the beginning of the race, and with NKH Racing pitting early as part of their alternative strategy, for the majority of the race, the Legends prototype would, as in round one, be fighting the HAWK Simracing entry.

Running as high as 3rd during the pit windows, after the driver swap the main competition for the Legends continued to be HAWK Simracing – different drivers, but the same battle.  After the fight had raged for nearly 80 laps, a mistake by the HAWK finally put some distance between the cars.

NKH, on their alternative strategy, now showed themselves to be the main threat to the 6th place spot occupied by the Legends car, and were closing fast.  After a frantic couple of laps, with the leader a lap ahead and in close proximity, the NKH car took the position with only a couple of corners remaining in the race.

Whilst 7th place matched the finish of round one, it could easily have been better.  With the drivers starting to understand the car better, their collective performance took a step forward, and bodes well for the future.

Whilst the race was not without incident, the team moved to the top of the CleanX Challenge standings.

GES S2 R1 Sebring

The season opener saw the team starting 5th, with Darren’s first stint in the car dominated by the fight with HAWK Simracing.  In the mid-part of the race Adam struggled to keep pace with the HAWK car, losing a couple of positions, but keeping out of trouble, doing well to avoid several incidents.

Late in the race a miscalculation on pit-strategy meant the team lost time and a couple of positions in the pits, and with too little time to recover, ultimately finished 8th, though they would subsequently be promoted to 7th following a disqualification of the NKH Racing entry for a driver time infringement.

The team finished 2nd in the CleanX Challenge – where at the end of the season, the team with the best incident count will win the Challenge, and with it some iRacing dollars.

With some driver swap related lessons learned, it was a positive introduction to the series, with room for improvement the team will aim to better their finish in round 2.

Gathering of Tweakers Endurance Series Entry Confirmed

Legends Racing will participate in the 2015/2016 Gathering of Tweakers Endurance Series (GES).  Following the announcement of many other GT3 based series, the organisers are moving away from the GT3-only grid to a multiclass format.   The upcoming season will see the Corvette C7 Daytona Prototype, the BMW Z4 GT3 and the RUF RT-12R C-Spec taking to the virtual asphalt, with Legends Racing competing in the prototype class.

The GES is the official support series for the NEO Endurance Series (NES), a series which  – as part of the Team Chimera entry  – Darren and Adam participated in in the inaugural season (finishing 7th and 6th in the Prototype and GTC classes respectively).

The GES will follow the NES schedule and provide support races on the same weekend, on the Saturdays before the NES races. The GES will visit the same tracks, uses similar rules, and will also be broadcast by Racespot TV – allowing for a very realistic full race weekend with the GES support series on Saturdays followed by the NES main event on Sundays.