For the first time ever, 13th Man Racing took to the race track in iRacing. The race took place at the Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle, a temporary race track located on the Detroit River. It’s a challenging circuit for drivers, especially in an endurance setting such as the one the team took part in over the weekend. After 160 minutes of driving, the team had turned in over 393 kilometres of racing over 1456 turns and 104 laps around the track and came home in 10th position.
Nicholas Seigler qualified the car in 10th position in the GT3 field after laying down a time of 1:27.966. When the green flag dropped, he dropped back a couple of positions before having two instances of contact thanks to cars swerving on the straight and one car failing to hit the brakes on time before a corner.
He managed to get the car into sixth place before pitting for a driver change and a fresh set of tires on lap 41. It was a great stint for Seigler, although it was rather uneventful. That can be a good thing, however, especially during endurance races. At this time, Frankie Benvenuti jumped into the car and was charged with running the second stint of the race, a stint that was expected to be the same hour Seigler had just done.
Nearly immediately after coming out of the pits in 17th place, Benvenuti had contact from behind by an overtaking LMP2 car, causing minor damage. On lap 58, there was some more contact, but thankfully, no positions were lost. The team was back in eighth place. On lap 71, there was once again contact from a car that hit the brakes far too late, but once again, no position was lost.
On lap 72 of the race, there was a massive pileup into turn seven that created some chaos. Benvenuti was forced to slam on the brakes and come to a complete stop, but the driver who was in ninth place was able to sail on through. The disaster was avoided, but it did cost the chrome team a place. On lap 81, he was able to pit and give the car back to Seigler to finish the race. He was in ninth place.
Seigler came out of the pits sitting in 12th but had a chance to secure a top 10 with a good stint. He got himself into the top 10 rather early in the stint, and that’s where he would stay for the remainder of the race. There was a hope of catching ninth place, but that never happened. Regardless, 13th Man Racing had achieved their goal of finishing inside the top 10 at their first race.
13th Man Racing’s next event will be on Saturday, February 12th at 1 p.m. at Knockhill, a race track in Fife, Scottland. It will be streamed on Twitch.