This weekend JBH took place in what would be his 6th 24 hour sim race in the past year. The 2018 iRacing Daytona 24 is the first major endurance sim race on the calendar with thousands of drivers making the 24 hour trek around the Daytona international speedway road course layout. This year Joseph would become a part of the newly formed Atlas Sim-Sport with its endurance subsidiary Wyvern Racing and would be competing in a Corvette C7 Daytona Prototype in the prototype category. After a lot of build up with the Roar Before the 24 taking place just a week in advance (http://jbhracing.com/2018/01/2018-iracing-roar-before-the-24-daytona-24-hour-build-up/) the Wyvern Racing team set out midweek to prepare the C7 setup for the 24 hour journey. This year Joseph’s car will consist of the same line up as 2017 with Sai Andra (USA/India), Alex Ellis (Canada), however a new edition and 4th driver will also step into the line up Juliano Romagnuolo (Canada).
Hours 1-6: Race start and first stint
This year Joseph would be competing once again in split 2 out of 14 ‘what is split 2?’(http://faq.iracing.com/article.php?id=36). Qualifying 29th overall and starting 3rd, Sai Andra would start the race and quickly move to the lead by the end of the first 45 minutes, however, drama struck early with an issue refuelling the car on the first pitstop which meant we came out in 6th with some work to do. Sai managed to move back up to 3rd before JBH took over the rains at the 1 and a half hour mark. Slow to get used to the conditions Joseph struggled for pace at the beginning of his stint but managed to move up into 2nd by the 2 hour mark before more drama struck with an awkward kerb strike off of turn 2 which caused damage to the undertray of the car causing a lack of straighline speed. At the 3 hour mark Juliano took over and slowly stop by stop managed to get the damage on the floor fixed. At this point it was time for some sleep just 4 hours before Joseph’s next stint.
Hours 7-12: The halfway point, second stint
After Sai and Juliano alternated throughout the night, JBH began his second stint in 3rd place looking to chase down the leader. Throughout the 2 and a half hour stint nothing much changed keeping the gap relatively equal to the leaders the whole way. However multiple close calls insured with one being the first place car in the GTLM category crashing right in front of JBH in turn 1.
Hours 13-18: Third stint, the battle for 2nd
With both Sai and Juliano completing all their scheduled stints for the race, Alex now began his campaign in fine fashion by moving the Wyvern Racing machine up into 2nd after an incident halted the car in front. JBH took over with 3rd place who had been slowly catching us throughout the race now hot on our heels. A battle insured for 2nd place over the next 2 hours with the leader just 40 seconds up the road. Unfortunately however just one lap before Joseph’s second stop in the stint another car in the prototype category running 8th came out of the pits on cold tyres right in front of JBH causing him to turn to the grass in order to avoid contact. The incident resulted in no damage although the 3rd place car was able to leap frog us in the pitlane.
Hours 19-24: Race to the finish, fourth and final stint
Alex managed to keep us hot on the heels of the 2 leaders before disaster struck exiting pitlane where another awkward kerb strike caused us damage this time being the splitter. The damage resulted in being 3 mph slower at the end of the straight making it virtually impossible to further challenge the 2 leaders in front. With just over an hour left in the race JBH was tasked with the job of bringing the car home in one piece and with a 3 lap gap to 4th a podium was secured provided we stay out of trouble. With 10 minutes left after 23 hours and 50 minutes of racing the GTD leaders began a huge battle for the win whilst JBH just cruised to the line. A 3rd place finish matches Joseph’s all time best finish on a 24 hour race on iRacing, and with Sai and Alex falling very ill throughout the night it definitely seemed like the hardest fought 24 to date.
” I couldn’t have asked for a better result, the whole Wyvern Racing team performed immaculately over the 24 hours with two of my teammates overcoming sickness to get us a podium spot. Unfortunately we just didn’t have the pace for the two leaders but were leaps and bounds quicker than everyone behind us. Big thankyou to iRacing for putting on an awesome event once again, and also a massive thanks to the Wyvern Racing/Atlas Sim-Sport operation for putting together the setup/livery/schedule. “