The 2017 opening race on the Daytona International Speedway was a big success for us!
Is there a better way to start the year than to win the 24h of Daytona for the second time in the GT3 class? Here are our impressions of the two Mercedes AMG GT3 cars:
Pure Racing Team Black:
Even if a lot can happen in a 24 hour race, it was important for us to start the race at least from the first start row. By a perfect lap of Maximilian B. we were able to get the pole position with about a tenth advantage to the 2nd.
The race went smoothly at first and we always tried to save as much fuel as possible, in order to save a whole pit stop. So we were in second place after 2 hours in the race, only about 10 seconds behind the TTL vehicle.
After the first driver changes, it became clear that our team had a very balanced pace, whereby we could fight back to the first position. From then on, our only task was to control the race. When
Denis G. came to a pitstop after a double stint, there were unfortunately major server problems, so almost all drivers had to connect again to the server. The order in both classes changed only slightly.
After six hours of driving, Florian W. was allowed to drive and did exactly what everyone expected from him. He drove quietly, concentrated and yet fast times, which allowed the distance to our pursuers of the VRS Coanda Simsport car to grow gradually.
Even though we were struggling with fatigue during the night, we did not show this on the track and continued with focusing on the goal which obviously was the 24h mark.
A few laps before the end, there was a short fright when a Daytona prototype unfavorable overtook us in the chicane whereby we collided with our sister car. Since the whole thing was only a light contact and the car stopped quite fast on the gras, we could continue without problems.
At noon on January 22nd it finally was the time for us: Denis G. crossed the finish line after exhausting but still very exciting 24 hours on the Daytona International Speedway on the first place in the GT3 class! VRS Coanda Simsport finished second and Mad Cow completed the podium.
Pure Racing Team Yellow:
The Yellow Teams started after a well qualifying from P8. Laurin H. was able to overtake a few teams in the first laps so that he could gain the forth position two places behind the black team. After 2 Stints of fuel saving in the slipstream it was a one two for Black & Yellow.
The first server problems and a disconnect caused a loose of 90 Seconds to P1 but there was no loose of position. In hour 6 the first problems on track happened. A DP wanted to overtake in the late braking zone of the bus stop chicane. The yellow team tried to avoid a contact but the DP spinned directly into the left front. The damage caused a loose of around 5 km/h top speed.
The teams tried to keep the pace up as they were still in second position. But two hours later the next incident happened. It was again a DP which doesn’t want to wait before the bus stop. Through the big contact the AMG GT3 hitted the wall with the front. The damage caused a loose of more than one second per lap. But giving up was no option because the car was still in second position.
The next server crash happened one hour later. It was a big loose of time and position for team Yellow. They restarted the race from position 6. The next 6 hours gone away without any incident but no gain of time through a very damaged car.
It was Laurin and Marc who took over the car on P5 from Andreas A. and Daniel S. in the early morning after a bit of sleep. There was still a little chance to get on the podium and the car was pushed to the limits.
With two and a half hours to go Laurin H. catches up P4. At the end of the overtake in turn 2 he got a hit to the left rear and spinned into the wall. It was again a big damage and also P5 was in danger. Team Black dragged team Yellow the last two hours to finish in P5.
Laurin, Marc, Andreas and Daniel have been a bit disappointed because they had the pace to win the race but after a lot of bad luck they finished at least on P5.