Tuesday the 16th of March marked race 3 on the SRHI GT Championship calendar. This time the venue was Silverstone Circuit “Home of British Motor Racing”, It’s a well-known fact that Great Britain is well used to its, shall we say, unpredictable weather. It’s a good job that the brits have plenty of sayings and words to describe the rain! It’s raining cats and dogs, Tipping down, Bucketing down, The heavens have opened, Downpour and last but not least the Deluge. The Deluge is reserved for those serious downpours where it rains sideways, a ‘deluge’ describes the carnage caused by the rain, tending to result in a severe flood. Well thats how it felt being at the back of the field at race start (believe me i know seeing I qualified 37th :-)).
The Silverstone circuit is on the site of a World War II Royal Air Force bomber station, RAF Silverstone, which opened in 1943. The station was the base for No. 17 Operational Training Unit. The airfield’s three runways, in classic WWII triangle format, lie within the outline of the present track. The circuit straddles the Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire border and is accessed from the nearby A43. The Northamptonshire towns of Towcester (5 miles) and Brackley (7 miles) and Buckinghamshire town of Buckingham (6 miles) are close by, and the nearest large towns are Northampton and Milton Keynes.
As the title states, all hail King George, George Boothby had another phenomenal race currently there is some discussion going on what cheat codes he uses ;-). Just kidding, George took a well deserved 3rd win at Silverstone Circuit with a flawless race. George was followed by a hefty podium battle for 2nd and 3rd place between Niels van de Koekelt and Cody Pryde taking 2nd and 3rd place in the pro class.
Tim Krol took 1st place in Semi Pro, some words from Tim: “It was a very very wet race with poor visibility especially at the start. Had a stable setup, didn’t drive fast but mostly just consistent. A bit to my surprise it brought me P1 in class, very happy!“, Dennis werkman took 2nd place, his race report can be found below and Bart Zweerink took 3rd place in class, an “all Lexus podium”.
Dimitri Schenk tried hard to prevent the all Lexus podium in his “flashy” Honda NSX but unfortunately was disconnected from the server in the final laps of the race. Something to note is that the NSX is already a “temperamental car” in dry so my hat goes off the wat he handled it in the rain!
Dennis Werkman’s race report:
After a long couple of weeks with an amazing 4HR of Monza in between it was time again for the 60 minutes league race at Silverstone. Of course, looking at the weather predictions a couple of days ahead RAIN…. What else in UK?, but at Chriss quoted it never rains in the UK “IT PISSES DOWN”!
Practice rain with increasing rain expected in 30 minutes and of course I did not practice wet conditions as usual which gave me 45 minutes to get the setup and pressures ready for a rainy day and practice some lap before the wet qualification. Generally speaking, hotlapping isn’t my strength. why? Because I am just not practicing enough driving at the limit I guess, or I am just too slow 😊.
Qualification result, P33 not surprising. I know my race pace is in general equal to my qualification pace, so I am not too worried about it. I decide as we must make a mandatory pitstop incl. tire change to go for a little bit longer first stint as I expect that my race pace is faster than a couple of guys which qualified in front of me.
GREEEEEN flag!!😊, the spray… luckily, we had wipers although that did not make a difference as it was hardly impossible to even see the car in front of you. Before we reached Copse corner, I received a tiny love bump from Wesley behind (not his mistake) as he gets an ever-harder love bump 😊. Yep damage…., but just a hand full of seconds nothing to worry about. The next couple of corners I tried to keep my head down and focus on the car in front of me and try to avoid possible collisions. Moving forward (not even 60 seconds) Nard brakes late into Vale, but keeps the outside as we go side by side through Club me thinking (stupidly) that Nard backs off as I’m almost in front of him and letting me take Abbey on the normal racing line…. , but no he keeps his foot on the throttle and keeps his line while I steer a little bit to the left and touched Nard which made me spun and kisses the wall, F*ck 15 seconds damage and back at P44 :’(…. (Luckily, Nard could continue). I decide to pit straight away to make the mandatory stop, fix the damage and get some laps in clean air which can potentially bring me into the race again as I do not make big mistakes. After my outlap I see Zimmermann coming out of the pits, Zimmermann!!?? I know he is general way faster then me and told myself: Try to follow him, but do not force yourself or Simon into a mistake as you will only lose time with fighting. As the laps progresses and driving around at 2:11s and 2:12s (Yes, same as my qualification time), more and more drivers pitting early and they are all joining the track behind us. We start moving up the grid every time we round a lap and within 26 minutes, I am back at my starting position P33. Looking at the screen I still see that a lot of drivers must do their mandatory pitstop. I’m aware while I’m moving up the grid, means as well that faster drivers coming back after their pit stop with fresh rubber and it would be more difficult to maintain my position.
Halfway Yanniek Vallenduuk coming out of the pits within 2 seconds behind me… Yep, he is as well in general faster than me, but yeahhh WHO CARES?? I drive LEXUS 😀 and he is driving Lambo in the rain which can give me a slight advantage as it is hard to overtake the LEXUS and if he wants to pass me he must fight for it :D. He tries to force me into a mistake, but I did not make one 😊 while is pushing the Lambo he makes little mistakes and loses time and comes back a couple times, but always stays between 3 seconds (majority of time within a second) of me while Zimmermann is still within 2 seconds in front of me. Great fun and great fights over the next 25 minutes! What?? Position 14!!?, but with the timer already at 00:00 Zimmermann takes a defensive line into Vilage to secures his P13. I take the normal racing line but tapping the throttle a little bit too early SPUN!! ☹ the pressure…?? I am aware that Arwin Naam and James Warren are within seconds of me and Vallenduuk and I know I will lose those positions as well, but I try to stay calm and do not push the throttle too hard and to avoid a double spun. Coming back on the track with Koen Skepter behind within a second!
Last lap, I try to stay calm and try to avoid another stupid mistake as I know that P17 would be a decent result for the Semi-Pro championship. I do not make more mistakes and crosses the finish at P17 and I am happy with it. I was surprised to find out I was second in the semi-pro class and very happy with the result!
The full replay of the livestream (with some unfortunate server issues) can be found below. Be sure to join us for race 4 at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Tuesday the 30th of March.
SRHI – Virtual cars, Real drivers