Again, for this race, it was Jerome Berthiaume duty to qualify the car for the race. Since a few weeks, we have worked really hard to get the perfect setup for the team, and a special thanks to Dany Duchesne who bring us some solid built! Unfortunately, a few days before the event, iRacing made a major update on the car and we had to work on the setup again. On Thursday and Friday, Jerome and Dany worked really hard to practice and find the best setup. On Friday, at his last attempt, Jerome finally managed to do 1:53.286 which put us on the pole for the race!
In a big event like that, with more than 60 cars on track, it's a real advantage to start on pole and we were very confident for the race. Jerome Berthiaume started the race for us. When the lights went out, he struggled with the gears and we unfortunately loose a place. A few laps later, Jerome managed to get the first place back. Unfortunately, at the end of his first stint, he made a spin and it cost us the first place. We ended up P2, 10 seconds behind the leader.
Dany Duchesne came onboard for his first stint of the day. He kept the same kind of pace than Jerome and managed the traffic perfectly. After a few laps, Dany faced some technical issue with his computer. His screen froze and it cost us 30 seconds, we ended up P5. The good news is that we were at less than a minute from the leader. Dany kept digging and we were stil in 5th after his stint.
When Kerlan Andrew took the wheel, we had some optional repairs to do, but we decided to not do them because the car was feeling perfectly according to Dany's report. It was a good call because Kerlan didn't noticed anything and managed to put consistent laps in the 1:57.xxx. Repairing the car would have cost us more than one minute. During his stint, Kerlan didn't had any major issue and he drove very consistantly. We took opportunity of other teams' mistakes and we managed to get back on first place!
Jerome Berthiaume came back in the afternoon for his last stint. He ran fast and consistant laps! The car still had some optional repairs, but it didn't affect the feel of the car. Jerome managed to do some laps in the 1:55.xxx and 1:56.xxx which gave us a lot of ground on second place. Again, we had a lot of traffic to deal with, and generally, the slow C7 cars and GT3 cars was fair. At the end of the stint, we had a comfortable 2 laps lead over the second place!
From there, the watchword was to stay out of danger and drive clean. We didn't had to push with two laps lead on 2nd place. Even if it took us some corners to overtake slower car, the plan was to stay out of trouble. Kerlan Andrew & Dany Duschesne closed the race and they did a fantastic job around the traffic. During the last 2 stints, a lot of C7 cars overtook us, but it was not a big deal with the big gap we had. We finished the race in first place with still a lap lead on 2nd place!
Again, we can't say how proud we are to win an important race like that. It's the first endurance win of all time at PRL and we hope we will manage to get more. The C7 team built up a good work ethic since the 24h of Le Mans in October. Since there, they never stop to increase in the scoreboard of endurance events!