The 3GT Racing team came into Detroit riding on a wave of momentum after a historic first victory at Mid-Ohio a few weeks ago.
Unfortunately, that victory didn’t come from our side of the garage, but nonetheless it was a great confidence boost for the whole team. The only negative of our strong performance at Mid-Ohio was heading into the Detroit weekend we had been handed a substantial weight penalty, courtesy of IMSA’s Balance of Performance. We knew this would make life a little more difficult for us but nonetheless we knew that certain characteristics of the Detroit circuit would suit our Lexus RC F GT3. We hoped we could challenge for the victory.
Friday practice went very well. The engineering team and mechanics had done a fantastic job with the car and David Heinemeier Hansson and I both felt very comfortable straight out of the box. We spent both practice sessions working through various fuel loads and tires, both fresh and old, to try and get a better understanding of the car in different situations and to help prepare David in the best possible way for the qualifying session. An added bonus was that we set the fastest time of anyone in practice and we were consistently able to run a very strong pace.
Qualifying followed and David did a fantastic job to qualify the car P5, in front of all the other real amateur drivers in the field!
Race day came and the talk around the paddock was whether to take four, two or zero tires when pitting. It was a one-stop race and with the minimum drive time for silver drivers set at the 30-minute mark, it was clear that the pit stop would be a short fuel. This therefore meant that the time spent on pit lane would probably be decided by the driver and tire change. In a one-stop race, and with little passing, this pit exchange would be a golden opportunity to get it right or screw it up! Unfortunately, in the race it wasn’t a problem we had to deal with.
After making a solid start, David got caught out by a snap of oversteer in Turn 5 and hit the wall. That was our day done. These things happen on street circuits, but it was a shame as we were probably the only GTD car with the pace to go forward and make some passes. Ah well, would of, should of, could of, this is racing, and we’ll move on. The results are only part of it and as always, I look forward to the next race, this time at Watkins Glen.
It presents another opportunity to do things better, continue to refine my craft and understand how to extract more lap time and speed from the Lexus RC F GT3. This is what gets me out of bed every morning and keeps me motivated. I look forward to pushing forward with the rest of 3GT team from here on out, hopefully the results follow!