2014 starts with a Bang! Part 1: Pro Series, Daytona 2.4H

Julien Dill On January 27, 2014
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The Pro Series
Davy makes it to the DWC once again. But not without pain! Besides missing quiet a few rounds as well as considerable misfortunes in a few others, he held on and produced a substancial effort to qualify for what will be his second iRacing WCS!  

"This year's qualification has been rather complicated. A strange new build compared to the previous one really hurt me, and with an average, or even average-good setup, you would easily end up at the back of the grid as an also-ran whereas in the last WCS I could get a top 10 without forcing too much. That together my disqualification from the first round (-Davy got DQed because of the newly introduced Inc limit feature - althoug iRacing said it would be turned off, it wasn't-) didn't really help me to get in a good dynamic.
Followed a series of really bad qualifyings, no matter how much I practised, and other misadventures at the starts...
The viscious circle was in full swing.I managed to improve towards the end of the season but overall I remain unsatisfied by myself: my usually strong points like consistency were eluding me.
In brief, I snatch the qualification nonetheless but end up a little annoyed. The idea now is to forget a little about this, get my mind to other things and get back on the saddle in a few weeks time, with the objective to have a strong 2014 start!
Big up to my Orion mates who helped with the setups when I was pulling my hairs! Now I'm eager to start with a strong dynamic"

Davy qualifies for the iRacing 2014 WCS

And congratulations to our former teammate Aleksi who went on to win the Series in a great fashion, as well as to everyone who qualified; see you all at Spa!

The Daytona 2.4H
This weekend, along with the actual 24 Hours event, was the iRacing Daytona 2.4H event. Four races were planned this year as the event is now part of the "Road Warrior" Series, which made for some controversy in the paddock...forum. Splits set by iRating instead of by Q times was one of the disputed subjects, along with the Australian server issue, and incident limit cap before disqualification (why not count only the 4x's towards a disqualification? And 1x's towards a stop and go or something?).  

The start of the iRacing 2.4H of Daytona. Race 1, top split.

But in the end it was the same for (almost) everyone. Our entries in the Daytona Prototype were George Sandman along with our special guest Mitchell deJong, and for the RUF, João Vaz for his return to simracing, along with Norbi Kiss. Ilkka Haapala had to forfeit, being flued to bed.
It was a RUF event (©finn 2014) indeed for João and Norbi. Besides a good Q (without draft) giving him the 3rd spot on the grid, João got taken out in the first top split race, on lap 2. A driving mistake from a fellow racer, insisting on going to the apron to overtake and not controlling his car, sent João to the tire barrier, ending his race.
In the second race and still in the top split, a DP driver messed up his start completely and got passed by a few RUFs. He then went on and missed his braking point to crash into João's car. Big damage and an anonymous 17th place finish. Very disapointing of course, having had the pace to fight at the front. It was good to see him still right on the pace though for his comeback and there's no doubt we'll see him be successful very soon, starting with the EPS league!

João's start, 3rd on the grid

As for Norbi, he started his racing weekend by securing the pole position. And while we know his ability to secure wins, it wasn't to be this time. While fighting for the lead in the second race's top split, he got spun around and couldn't see an incoming car while re-orienting his. Besides the incident, he fought his way back up to 2nd place. Then with only 6 minutes to go, got tapped by a lapped car, which disqualified him instantly, being over the allowed incident points limit.

On the Riley Daytona Prototype side, things were bright!
George Sandman, started his campaign with a 6th place in the first race, besides a bunch of issues, including but not limited to being sick and switching to windows after a pitstop...  The second race went slightly better, with a stronger pace, less issues, to get a 5th place finish. Finaly, in his 3rd and last attempt, George got on the podium with a 2nd place finish! Three very solid performances showing his good form, and resilience! Congrats!

Strong drives from Sandman, here dealing with the traffic

As for our special guest Mitchell deJong, what to say! Not content with signing the pole position (without draft thank you), he started his Daytona weekend by signing a brilliant victory in the first race top split. The first half of the race was intense; Mitchell didn't give an inch, while remaining respectful of his opponents. It's a fine line and it was played beautifuly. He could start breathing after the halfway mark however, having put some distance between him and a very competitive leading pack.
From there, he went on and repeat his performance for the second, as well as the third race! Three victories in a row in the top splits; thank you and goodbye Daytona!

Maximum attack for deJong!

Overall it was a nice event and we hope to be back next year. Hopefuly for a full 24H race! Thanks to all the drivers we raced with and everyone involved!

Stay tuned for part 2...


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