LunatiK ARL GT Championship S5 : Race 9 Daytona Road

Posted by Trevor Sanna August 31, 2021 in LeagueRoad

After an off week due to the 24hrs of Le Mans the Wave Italy Apex Racing League GT Championship Season 5 returned on August 29th, at Daytona Internation Speedway. All three of LunatiK drivers participated in the race on Sunday being held on an overcast day in Florida. LunatiK driver Collin McKenzie looked to try and hold onto 4th place in the amateur division heading into this race. Qualifying was underway as LunatiK driver David Bush put his BMW M8 into 15th place followed by McKenzie in his Ford in 17th. LunatiK driver Nick Mathews rounded out the drivers putting his car in 28th after some trouble during the 10 minute qualifying session. The cars lined up on the grid for the formation lap to start the 25 min sprint race. The light went green and the field barreled its way down the straight coming into turn one. A clean entry and exit for a majority of the field allowed the race start off on the right foot. McKenzie and Bush lost some places in the first couple of turns but were still on track. They both worked together to try and stay in draft with the pack infront. McKenzie led the train for a couple laps until he ran wide on one of the horseshoes which put him into the grass. He recovered without any damage and got back on track but lost some places. Mathews was holding on to a pack in the rear of the field trying to gain as many positions as he could. As the 25 minute sprint race was coming to an end Bush ran into some trouble which saw him drop back behind McKenzie. On the white flag a group of 3 cars infront of McKenzie were involved in an accident going into turn one. This accident included P3 and P4 in the amateur division which McKenzie was easily able to get by. McKenzie finished P14 overall and 3rd in the amatuer division. Bush followed a couple spots behind in P18 with Mathews coming in P24. 

The invert was position 21 this race which saw LunatiK Racing’s friendly foes Shenandoah Shine have the pole spot with driver James Coulibaly. McKenzie would start in 8th and Bush in 4th. Mathews missed the cut and would be starting in P24. Mathews chose to start from the pit lane for the 40 minute feature race as the lights went green again as the field of over 30 cars were headed to turn 1. McKenzie was forced to the outside but was able to make it around turn one until a rival corvette hit him in the rear left which caused him to spin and hit the pit wall road. This bounced him back onto track with more carnage ensuing. Bush was able to make it thorugh the first couple of turns free and clear but played it cautiously and gave up a few positions to stay clean. Mathews came out of the pit lane ahead of the accident and was able to move up a couple of positions. The 40 minute feature race a race of survival and staying with the pack you were in. Multiple times cars fell out of draft from the pack infront of them and were just dead in the water. Bush got into some trouble mid way through the race that saw him sustain some aero damage which caused him to lose some speed on the straights. He was able to come home in P15 securing some points for LunatiK. McKenzie had to take his fast repair on Lap 2 which caused him to come out of pit lane last. He battled his way back up to P21 almost catching the pole sitter Coulibaly for P20. Mathews ran into some issues which lost him some time but was able to bring the car home in P23. 

The final three contests are coming up for the GT Championships. McKenzie was still able to hold onto P4 in the amateur division as well as increasing the point lead to P5 after a great sprint race finish. The drivers look to tackle Circuit Zandvoort in the Netherlands on September 5th, 2021 at 3pm est.