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IMSA Michelin EGC Round 2 Race Recap

Round 2 of the IMSA Michelin Esports Global Championship took place at the virtual Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca. Christophe Herbigneaux would take on qualifying duties for your #99 Hardpoint by DeltaSport Porsche 911GT3R. Since the lone qualifying format was given, teams have the track to themselves to try and submit the best possible lap time and unfortunately for Herbigneaux he picked up a 1x on his hot lap and had to settle for his opening banker lap which was only good for 24th. 

By the first caution of the series coming on just lap 10 Herbigneaux had climbed up to 17th. The strategy for the team this round was to stay clean and stay off the protest sheets. A penalty really set back the 99 in round 1 and some early damage kept the car from performing at the level it needed to against this field. Herbigneax cracked the top 15 on lap 32 in what so far had been a relatively qui race for us making our way through the field without any attention. Herbigneaux was the first GTD to pit on regular stop opting to come in for fuel and no tires opening the race with a double stint which dropped the car back to 24th where it started and it was time to see how the strategy lead by Thomas Imbourg would work out over the race duration. 

Second caution came out on lap 62 which at this point after pit stops your #99 Porsche was sitting in 9th place. The strategy seemed to have paid off for the first stop and there was a quick call to go ahead and come in during this caution to swap out drivers as Herbigneaux was within 25 min of his max drive time. It was a little early and there were discussions of Modoff who would be taking over would need to do some heavy fuel saving to eliminate a stop in his stint. Pitting on lap 63 Carl Modoff would take over for the remainder of the race. Coming out of the pits in 16th place was interesting as a handful of teams opted to stay out when pits first opened for the GTD class. We then found out that most teams were trying to pit as late as possible to make sure they were good on fuel which seemed to mess up the caution cycle as RC had issues with getting the grid sorted which really dragged out the duration of the FCY which lasted for 13 laps. 

Once the race was set to go green again Modoff found himself sitting in 5th place as most of the teams came down pit road eventually to take fuel and be good until the end but due to the duration of the caution even our car was good on fuel to the end and turn the race into a 50 min sprint race to the finish. Swallowed at the start due to the cars ahead checking up as the leader launched we quickly fell back to 8th place as Team Redline, Apex Racing and BMW Team BS+ got a great jump directly behind and made it 3 and 4 wide into T1. Lap 78 came and through T4 along side Mercedes-AMG Team URANO Carl got a little too far out on entry trying to give space and dipped the left rear in the dirt causing the rear to slip out. Falling back to 17th with 35 min left. 

With some time on the clock and clean track ahead this meant Carl could get a little more settled in. This is the first time Carl is back racing after nearly a year away due work and a move but he quickly found his pace and started to run down the cars ahead. Lap 96 the #99 was in 13th place with a Top 10 back in visibility and about 13 minutes left in the race. Lap 104 came around clocking his fastest lap of the race in 11th and running down 10th which now looked like it could be a  3 way battle for 9th place between HPDS, Biela Racing Team Euronics and Team75 Bernhard by SimRC. TCR traffic played a crucial role in the passing game but wouldn't help any as all the good runs to attempt a pass where halted by a TCR. 

Lap 107 became even more eventful with a spinning Mercedes-AMG Williams Esports car in T1 who rejoined directly behind Modoff which changed the strategy a bit where has before all eyes were ahead now they were on behind as well. While battling for the position ahead exiting T6 Modoff got alittle loose which pulled the car out into the dirt coming up the hill which costed time to the cars ahead and allowed for the Williams Mercedes to pull closer. Modoff took the inside due to a TCR that was there going into the corkscrew but chopped the pass attempt off which allowed Williams to pull along on the outside which became the inside and the preferred line. The Williams driver Louis Nahser would complete the pass but then get held up by the same TCR which would allow for Modoff to slip inside but due to contact between the Mercedes and TCR Carl took evasive action off the track to avoid a potential spin from the Full Send TCR which game the #55 the position. 

There was on chance that he felt he could have a chance to regain that position as a top 10 was the goal now. After rejoining the track under braking into the final corner Modoff was able to show his nose just enough to throw Nahser off line which compromised his exit speed where Carl was able to complete the pass down the straight. Then became a full defensive project to fend off the charging Mercedes. Pressure from behind helped hold off Williams and Modoff would bring home 10th place for the team in what became a thriller in the end and would record the 4th fastest lap of the race back on lap 104.
Round 3 Information
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course)

Start Time: Nov 6, 2022, 7:00:00 PM UTC
Race Length: 2 hours 40 minutes
Weather: Dynamic

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IMSA Michelin Esports Global Championship

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