The final proper endurance event of the year on the iRacing calendar is October’s iRacing Petit Le Mans and it served as the debut endurance event for Holding93 Simsport.
Split 2 was always going to serve up tough competition and qualifying 15th in a 17 car GTE field didn’t bother us, because we knew our race-pace was solid and consistent. Our owner, PC builder and blog writer who is now writing in the 3rd person (such a douchebaggy move, Sam), Sam Lehmann started the car and after staying out of trouble in the early mayhem, settled into a consistent rhythm and eased into the top 10 GTE runners.
However disaster struck at the top of the second hour, when a GT3 car being lapped dropped a couple of treads in the grass and speared into the rear corner of the M8, breaking the suspension. An early pitstop and a loss of 6 minutes put the Holding93 team several laps down. Geoff Wang jumped into the car and fired off consistent lap after consistent lap to bring the team back to 12th position at the half-way point.
We wouldn’t say the race was uneventful at that point, however the team was doing their best to stay out of trouble – easier said than done with impatient LMP2 cars lapping us and fairly incompetent GT3 drivers seemingly ignoring their mirrors and relative boxes.
But we managed it and through a mixture of consistency, good fuel and tyre strategy and some attrition the 93 PC M8 crept up the leaderboard and into the last half hour of the 10 hour saga, we found ourselves in 7th position.
The drama of our race was not yet over. With 5 laps to go an impatient LMP2 struck the side of the 93 PC M8, sending us into the concrete at the exit of turn 1. The front of the car was completely wiped out. In the dark final stages with no headlights we were faced with an agonising choice – pit for repairs and risk a massive time parked or go for it and hope we can see just enough to make the end.
We went for it. The car was broken. It was driving straight enough, but the engine wouldn’t rev cleanly. Then there’s the pitch dark with no headlights issue. Using the headlights from other cars, Sam was able to see just enough to limp around those last 5 laps. We had plenty of buffer to the car behind, so just getting to the end became the only target and at 9:47PM we crossed the line with a very broken car but a very intact 7th place.
A top result for the team’s first outing and a big thanks to Geoff Wang for joining in!
Petit LeMans also served as the first test for our ASUS TUF Gaming nVidia RTX3080. There’s no question this thing is a beast – running iRacing on mostly full graphics settings didn’t even cause a sweat on this monster with the GPU temp never cracking 56 degrees. No surprises here, but it’s clear our 7700K based testing rig is seriously CPU bottlenecked now, so we’ll have to get an upgrade onto it before we can really get some meaningful performance numbers to report.