Round 1 of the Fall Season IVRA Series took off in Germany's historic venue, Nurburgring. Though the race was not around the Green Hell but the WEC GP circuit, it still provided an exciting race from start to finish. 195 laps were completed before the 7hour time limit with 18 lead changes, 4 cautions that took up 17 of those laps. SOF for this event was 4302 across all classes.
Christophe Herbigneaux qualified the car in P8, a performance he was not too happy with afterwards. He struggled to get a clean lap in pushing the car to absolute limits. With IVRA though qualifying isn't as important then say a sprint race. There is plenty of race to catch up and the FCY system will eventually bunch up the field again. One thing that you risk qualifying anywhere but 1st is the possibility of getting collected in something which is exactly what happened on lap 1 coming out of the WEC chincane. Team RSO lost their car and came back across the track and Herbigneaux has 0 options to avoid and collected some front left damage. The car fortunately didn't take as much damage as we were expecting but a lot of time was lost and no FCY was thrown at that moment. Christophe charged on getting a feel for the car and at a much needed time at the end of the first fuel stint a FCY came out and allowed the crew to get out there and make the repairs needed to get some pace back in the car. In P13 towards the back end of the LMP2 on the restart Herbigneaux wasted no time carving through traffic and getting the car to the front. At the end of his stint he would have moved into the lead and led 6 laps before handing the car off to Alexandre Deletraz.
Deletraz would take over and lead 16 laps before the next FCY would come out towards the end of his first fuel stint. This is where things started to turn sour for the #33. The restart into T1 Deletraz would lock up the tires and nearly miss the corner slipping back into P3. A few corners later still struggling on cold tires he would spin the car but luckily avoid all contact with passing LMP2 cars and continue on. This became crucial as the team was keen to take valuable halfway points in first or second but ended up only getting 3rd place points due to some having to pit right before the mark. It took a few laps for Deletraz to get back his confidence and footing as the car came back up to proper temps. He managed to buckle down and push on and cut through traffic. He proved to bounce back really well, getting the car back into P2 before his total stint was over, handing the car to Alessandro De Tullio. Two incidents during that stint were listed as warnings but these announcements didn't come until later in De Tullio's stint.
Alessandro De Tullio appearing in his biggest team event to date since joining as a young junior earlier in the year has quickly made his way through the ranks up to the teams top roster and isn't showing any signs of stalling out. De Tullio despite the pressure and inexperience in multi class racing held his own and brought the car home with only collecting one incident with a GT3 class which resulted in a 20 second post race penalty which turned out to not affect the teams final placement as the gap to P4 was over a minute. Alessandro would finish the race with the fastest average lap time of the entire field, a very nice achievement for the 15 year old early in his multiclass racing career. Apex Tech Racing sneaked ahead of the 33 in the pits on a different strategy and De Tullio wasn't able to close the gap enough to contend for the position with the laps left but a lot of positive takeaways from the race.
Official Race Results can be found here:
Round 2 – 1000 km of Red Bull Ring
Venue – Red Bull Ring*
Date – 16 October, 2021
Race Length – 1000 km
Track Length – 4.318 km