LunatiK Ends the 2021 Special Event Season in 4th.Posted by Special Events November 18, 2021 in
On a Saturday afternoon a team of LunatiK Racing drivers took the track to compete in the last iRacing Special Event of 2021. For 10 hours the drivers will take on one of the most historic tracks on the F1 circuit. Many driver championships have been won and lost in Japan as it is usually the last circuit on the schedule. David Bush, Collin McKenzie, and James Coulibaly the same three that took victory at the Petit Le Mans a month prior looked to finish the season strong.
Bush started the day off with qualifying 6th in the all GT3 field of 45 cars. As the grid was coming down the last chicane into the main straight the light went green. Some shenanigans at the front of the pack let Bush make a great start onto the inside of the track. Bush went door to door with another car heading into turn 1 which saw the opposing car lose control. Coming out of turn 1 the LunatiK Racing team was in second place. The lead car kept up great pace and put a second gap onto Bush after the first couple of laps. Lap 6 saw p3 get a little too impatient throwing a dirty block onto Bush coming out of turn 2. This sent Bush into the wall, sustaining some damage as well as losing positions left and right. When it was safe to do so, Bush returned onto the track to contribute his stint. No steering damage was done to the vehicle but some small aero damage on the back right of the car and wing held up Bush’s pace for the remainder of the fuel stint. Bush came into the pits at the end of his fuel run around lap 31 to refuel and take some repairs. After the repairs were finished Bush left the pits and was in P23. The group kept their sprits up knowing that there was still 9 hours left in the race. Bush pushed for the remainder of his second fuel stint gaining a couple places back and pitting to change tires and drivers.
James Coulibaly was up next and hopped in the car and exited the pits in p19. Coulibaly ran a consistent first fuel stint staying out of trouble and continuing to gain positions back in the race. Coulibaly ran into what looked like was going to be trouble on track as a decent sized accident happened as he was coming around one of the high speed corners. With great anticipation the #15 LunatiK Lamborghini got through the wreck without a scratch and barely any pace lost. Coulibaly came back into the pit lane to refuel for his second stint. A clean pit stop let Coulibaly come out of the pits in P15 working his way back up the field. With just under 7 hours to go in the race Coulibaly kept putting in good solid laps. On his second pit stop the tire situation put the LunatiK team in a position to triple stint the tires to hopefully gain more positions back. The team agreed and Coulibaly went out for a third time just taking fuel and gaining positions back to the top 10. Another uneventful but rewarding stint came to an end as Coulibaly returned into the pits with just about 6 hours left of racing.
McKenzie was up next to get into the car and showed great pace on fresh tires and being back in the top 10. Continuing to keep the car clean and put in good laps were the only focus for these stints being in the middle of the race. Multiple cars in the field started to drop off after getting into some accidents or running into penalty issues. With only a 40x limit in penalties the team thought that was going to come into play during the end of the race so minimizing the amount of penalties incurred while also keeping pace was crucially important. McKenzie executed that plan moving up a couple places to p8 and pitting for his first fuel stint. His second stint was very chaotic with a bunch of lap traffic he had to manage. With a couple close calls and questionable sends he was free and clear. He came back in after his second fuel stint to take tires and swap out drivers back to Bush. With 4 hours left in the race Bush was going to take the next two hours and McKenzie was going to be the anchor be ringing home to car. Bush had great pace and was able to make up positions to P4 where the team eventually finished the race. McKenzie took over in the last two hours in P4 and was looking to just finish the race with a podium a couple laps away and was looking less likely to happen as the race went on. In the end the LunatiK team took home 4th place after 10 hours of racing. Not the result the team was looking for the end the season but one they will take.
This concludes the end of the 2021 iRacing special event season and one that the LunatiK drivers can walk away from proud and happy at their first effort as a team. Next stop is Daytona 24 hours in January which the LunatiK roster looks to start off strong as the trio of drivers from this race won their split with another team last season. Defending their title under the LunatiK banner with new faces will be the priority for the road team. Thanks to all the support through the season, especially Martin Sports for the continued support this year. Also a huge shoutout to Indy Autosport for helping up break into the scene as well as Maconi Setup Shop for coming on board as we look to do great things heading into 2022.