Friday night may have been a holiday break for the Precision Racing League, but that didn't stop the organizers of the PRL PS4 leagues from scheduling a special event that offered plenty of entertainment during the festivities. In collaboration with the F1 2016 and NASCAR Heat Evolution PS4 leagues, the PRL Project CARS organizers hosted the second endurance race of 2017 with the 2 Hours of Laguna Seca GT3 event. While the race may have ended after the two hour timer ran out, the participants and viewers of the race will be talking about it for some time to come.
The evening got off to a quick start in practice, as AaronWebb85 made a strong statement about his intentions to dominate the event with a lap of 1:21.562, which was a full 1.2 seconds faster than any other driver. Yet even as the clear favorite to win the pole, the organizer of the F1 and NASCAR PRL leagues made it interesting by struggling during qualifying in his BMW Z4 and only logged a quick lap with 40 seconds left in the session. His lap of 1:21.733 was good enough for first, but with six drivers turning laps under 1:23 seconds it was clear there would be plenty of competition for all three podium positions in the race itself.
When the lights turned green it didn't take long for the race to offer up it's first surprise, as two of the front runners made contact and careened off the track. As AaronWebb85 and Mats35r were side by side for the lead going into the Andretti Hairpin, just behind them the third and fourth place cars of MysticJoker323 and Klio11 sustained heavy damage in their first corner crash. MysticJoker323, the F1 2016 favorite, would pit to fix his damage and eventually recover, but the European PCARS star Klio11 would struggle with his damage for the rest of the evening before retiring from the race completely.
Taking full advantage of the first corner carnage, KDawgHonda777 moved into third place after turn one and eventually settled into a comfortable second as Mats35r experienced an incident that earned some damage to the front of his McLaren and put him back into the reach of 4th place Bubba1889, who was the biggest mover in the race by making up seven positions in the first 3 corners! Yet it was AaronWebb85 who was out front comfortably until the first stop of the race.
When it came time for the first round of pit stops, it was clear that the front runners were operating on different strategies. KDawgHonda777 was the first to hit the pits for fresh tires and re-entered the track bent on turning the quickest laps in an attempt to close the gap with the leader. Running on medium compound tires, AaronWebb85's plan was to stretch the first stint as long as possible, but the plan seemed to backfire as he came out of the pits behind the Audi of KDawgHonda777 after making his stop. The two would wage a fierce battle for the lead (watch the battle here https://www.twitch.tv/videos/129524147), but it was KDawgHonda777 who would hold off the charging BMW until his next stop, giving him control of the race going into the night.
The darkness would not be kind to KDawgHonda777 however, as an incident with a lapped car would knock him out of the battle for the lead and eventually relegate him to a third place finish. AaronWebb85 would retake the lead thanks to KDawgHonda777's misfortune and would seemingly cruise to the win, but a late charge from ThePatsGuy kept the excitement level high until he ultimately fell short, scoring a second place finish.
The win was the first for AaronWebb85 in PRL Project CARS competition and his joy was heard by all in the victory lane interview (watch the interview here https://www.twitch.tv/videos/129526418). The driver made mention of a recent tough finish in the PRL NASCAR Heat Evolution league and is keen on carrying over the momentum from the 2 Hours into his next NASCAR race at Auto Club Speedway this Friday at 9 pm ET.