CoRe’s 2017 Petit Le Mans

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CoRe GTE Finishes In P2 & P5!

The famous ten hours race around the Road Atlanta circuit for the 2017 iRacing Petit Le Mans was being held once again –  three overall classes were featured in this event : The Corvette DP as Prototype class, the Ferrari 488 GTE and Ford GT 2017 forming the GTE class and alongside the GT3 class including the Audi R8 GT3, the Mercedes AMG GT3 and the brand new Ferrari 488 GT3. CoRe SimRacing was attending with four different line-ups in the Ferrari 488 GTE and the Audi R8. CoRe Orange with Ricardo Castro Ledo, Pashalis Gergis and Maxime Pauly, CoRe Black with Claudiu Clima and Maik Paluch, the amateur CoRe Onyx car with Ronald Großmann, Dominik Engel and Nicce Malmgren and last but not least the 2017 Blancpain GT duo Isaac Price and Frederik Rasmussen racing in the CoRe SimRacing White team.

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The topsplit starting positions for this iRacing event were Team Orange on P2, Team Black on P16 and Team White were last in class. With the green flag waving and the big car field coming down to the start-finish line at Road Atlanta, the clock started to run down its ten hours. Going uphill for the first time through the tough blind corner before the esses, the field went through in a pretty decent way. Frederik, who was starting for CoRe White, immediately started to pass their sister car with Claudiu in it and could advance up to 3rd position within the first stint. With CORE Motorsports with their Ford GT in the lead and Ricardo right behind them for the CoRe Orange car, the output of the first hour was pretty good for the team. But as things often like to change quickly, the first setback for the Team Orange machine happend.

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Ricardo got spun by a lapped car and lost about fifty seconds for rejoining. Anyway, with Maik and Claudiu swapping each stint as tyres were taken every stop, CoRe Black could catch up to P7 after the first couple of hours. With good mood and having three CoRe cars within the Top 10 in the topsplit, the next setback had to happen. Maxime, who have run a great stint for CoRe Orange, lost the car in the esses and smashed into the concrete wall. As result, a meat ball flag and over 20min repair time made the promising CoRe Orange team retire. With CoRe White advancing to P2 and Isaac trying to catch up to CORE Motorsports, CoRe Black was getting into a promising Top 5 position.

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Maik and Frederik touched the tyre barrier out of the notorious Road Atlanta uphill left hander before, but Claudiu had a harder impact. CoRe Black was punished with a broken steering for the last 90 minutes of the race after the optional pit repair time kept raising up. An early pitstop gave the CoRe Black team fresh tyres and full fuel – and lucky enough Maik was able to keep an enough decent pace to get the 5th position back. With around 450 laps done on the counter, CoRe SimRacing finished second and fifth. The team in Split 2 finished 4th in class.

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“Not bad considering we didn’t decide to race until yesterday, but we need to work harder to fight against CORE Motorsport.” – said Isaac after the race. Claudiu had to laugh : “Maik did all the work, I did anything possible to lose a Top 5 position but he was set on it.”  It was indeed a great effort for the team and a lot of fun. The two parts of the RaceSpot TV broadcast of this race can be found here and here.

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