Fantastic news! We won our first Endurance race since we set up the team hardly one year ago. We ran in the normal class at Ebisu East Circuit in the 6 hour endurance race over the weekend.
Here is a shot of us on the podium celebrating the victory. We should have some more photos etc coming as well as some in-car footage so please hang in there.
We ran a 3 driver strategy for this race - each driver doing a 2 hour stint. I qualified on a drying track, Simon started the race and ran our first 2 hours. I followed this up with another 2 hour stint and then Mike brought us home 6 hours later, first in class and seventh overall. 18 cars ran altogether and we gridded in 13 place so we did well to move up 6 spots by the end of the race.
Personally speaking it was a relatively straight forward race this time round. In every race so far we've destroyed the tires each time in little over an hour. This race, we made some key changes which helped us run the full 6 hours and more on the 1 set of tires. We went from 205/50R16s to 235/40R17s up front and 215/45R17s on the rear. We also added negative camber on the front and the three of us made a pact that'd we'd drive fast and furious but we would be kind to our tires!
The toughest part of the 2 hour stint was when my tube stopped dripping water after my 500ml had run out and my mouth started to go dry. I was sweating alot and not putting anything back in and I could literally feel myself dehydrating. I drove pretty much without error though for the whole stint and kept really good concentration throughout. I was really proud when I finally climbed out of the car and saw there was lots of thread left and only 2 hours remaining.
We couldn't have done it without the help of a great pit crew. Sumi-san gave up his weekend to be with us and did a fantastic job organizing the pit and making sure the work got done. Thanks to both John and Alex for being the extra pit talent needed to make it really work. Thanks also to everyone who has been a part of the team so far. All of you have helped us learn what it took to win this race. I hope there will be many more!