Final race report

21 05 2013

Job done!!

Team Gotz has completed the 2013 Nurburgring 24 Hour race, finishing 68th overall and 5th in class. An incredible effort from all concerned, the team being faced with a major repair through the night after a crash in the first qualifying period, and the drivers facing at times almost impossible conditions on the track, and at others having to cope with completely different surface condition around it’s 25km length.

The race was red-flagged through the night from about midnight due to very heavy rain and fog – lost about 8 hours. That meant one driving session less at least per driver.

For my final drive, it had been raining all day but the rain had stopped (at least at the pits) and from the TV coverage there seemed to be a dry line developing. Given our experience in Qualifying when the car crashed when moving off the dry line onto the wet it was decided to send me out on wet tyres. After two laps on an essentially dry track they went to mush so came in for slicks. As I returned to the track it started to rain again on the GP track (the first part before the Nordschleife) it start to rain again. With warm, but not fully race-warm, slicks on a wet corner I had a spin off the track – fortunately on the widest part of the track so no harm!

Naturally from here on I was very tippy toe until getting back onto dry surface once heading into the Nordschleife. At the end of the lap was called in to go back onto rain tyres as it was raining heavily at the GP circuit. Still dry on the Nordschleife and the tyres not too happy up there and definitely slower than slicks, but by managing them more carefully this time they didn’t go too soft.

Two laps later it was raining on the Nordschleife again and several cars on slicks crashed – some heavily – I was very pleased to have wets on, and actually passed quite a few going very gingerly on their slicks. Then for the last four laps it was dry again – the wets lasted not too bad, but  of course significantly slower than slicks.

Many yellow flags and several major wrecks!

Huge relief to come into the pits in one piece after one of the most challenging drives of my life, but fizzing for having completed my sessions without incident (plenty of close calls) – not the fastest sessions, but coming home clean is the primary goal!

Team Gotz has been a great team to be part of, a well oiled machine that works brilliantly when the going gets tough.

Huge thanks to Dieter and Sonja for the way they have welcomed a Kiwi from the other side of the world into their team like one of their own 🙂

I have made many new friends

 

Thanks to Nik Gannaway for this link to a NZ report on the race.

(Time is short right now – will post pictures later)

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2 responses

22 05 2013
Matty

First kiwi over the line!

23 05 2013
audidude

Apparently so 🙂

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