NES S4 R1 Review
CoRe With Podium In Prototype!
The fourth season of the NEO Endurance Series, which is known as one of the most competitive multiclass leagues within the iRacing simulator, has come back with another exciting schedule of endurance racing. CoRe SimRacing is competing with three line-ups this year – including CoRe Prototype with Maxime Pauly, Santeri Kallunki and Isaac Price, the CoRe GTE Orange car with Frederik Rasmussen, Ricardo Castro Ledo, Pashalis Gergis, Thomas Arends and Janne Kiuru and the CoRe GTE Silver entry with Markus Blohm, Dominik Engel, Jere Pääkkönen, Claudiu Clima and Maik Paluch. The Prototype car is the HPD while the GTE entries are racing with the Ferrari 488 GTE machine.
The qualifying session, which was held a day before, has brought following results for the CoRe teams : CoRe Prototype was starting in 4th position in class, while CoRe GTE Orange started in P2. CoRe GTE Silver had to go from P27 in class. At the raceday a short delay of three additional pace laps occured as the organizers made an error putting the right hosted session settings. After the field was sorted though, a bit of a single file pacing was going on until the green flag was finally shown. Ricardo, who was starting for the CoRe GTE Orange car immediately got high pressure from one of the Coanda SimSport Ferraris behind. On the other hand, Maik was trying to stick through the field from very far back and could made up a bunch of positions until the field spread out. Isaac already was about to lap the big GTE field for the first time. And as a result of this, multiclass racing officially begun and the tension between the racecar’s bumpers started to tighten up.
After the first pitstop phase, the CoRe Prototype entry found themselves on the 9th position. Ricardo, who was going for his stints in the CoRe GTE Orange machine, was keeping a solid 5th position. Maik, who was giving over to Claudiu, could get the CoRe GTE Silver team a step closer for a Top 20 position. The race took its way and wriggling through the traffic around the tight corners of the warm afternoon Sebring circuit was the crucial aspect to make this opening round a success for the team. Claudiu had contact with a Ford GT in the hairpin but was lucky enough to escape without damage. Ricardo meanwhile was catching Coanda and presented a nice outside pass in turn one.
With swapping tyres every stop, Claudiu brought the car back to pits and gave over to Maik. Meanwhile, Janne took over from Ricardo for his first laps in this fresh NEO season. Also the CoRe Prototype team swapped their drivers and Maxime was up catching the field in front as fast as he could. Aiming for a podium spot, the french CoRe SimRacing driver set down a fantastic stinting performance. Janne was defending tough against Torrent Motorsports’ Ferrari behind to keep their 5th position. The CoRe GTE Silver team finally broke through the Top 20 position barrier, though. Having two incidents with lapping HPD’s, Maik was also lucky to not get involved in heavier incidents. Despite losing time because of that, CoRe GTE Silver was able to get off the field behind. But nevertheless, CoRe’s HPD with Isaac behind the wheel again started to make up positions, too. With another swap to Maxime their racecraft went to a good ending. And with the clock tickling down, the Prototype team finished 2nd for a great podium result. CoRe GTE Orange finished in a solid P5 while CoRe GTE Silver ended up on P12.
It was definitely one of the most competitive NEO Endurance Series season openers for sure. With P2, P5 and P12 overall, CoRe was quite happy with the outcome. “Congratulations to Isaac and Maxime for the great podium result. Also neat drive from Ricky and Janne, their setup was magic again.” – said Maik after the race. Nevertheless Ricardo and Janne had to admit : “Quite disappointed about our result, there was so much potential for a podium for us. Pace wasn’t so good as it should have been though. Bit of struggling with the rear made things tricky.” The next round of the NEO Endurance Series will take place at Road America. The RaceSpotTV broadcast of this race can be found here.