The LunatiKs Try and Take on The Walled Track of DetroitPosted by LeagueRoad February 9, 2022 in
Tuesday February 8th, at 9:40pm EST LunatiK drivers Luke Davis and Collin McKenzie started their engines to partake in the Precision Racing League GT3 Amateur Series at Detroit’s Belle Isle. Davis entered the race in 3rd position overall in the championship with McKenzie falling to 8th after the debacle at SPA. The team was also in 3rd place in the team championship heading into this race looking to make a move upwards. On a gorgeous sunny day in Detroit saw track temps in the mid 90°F, which snubbed some of the cars on their pace. With qualifying starting both drivers aimed their sites into the top 5. Davis was able to put in a 1:28.183 which saw him in P4, and McKenzie a 1:28.503 which put him in p6 heading into the race. Championship leader Jonathan Wager got the pole again with a time of 1:27.755.
#72 Davis in P4 leads the remainder of the field including the #15 McKenzie into turn 3.
The cars lined up on the grid and started their pace lap around the final few corners of the track. The pace car dove into the pits and start control fell onto championship leader Wager. A small hesitation before going on full throttle let him and P2 escape and create a little bit of a gap. The first couple of turns throughout the top 10 were extremely clean with most cars filing in single file to start the race and warm up the tires. Heading into the front straight saw the #62 of Nick McLaughlin who started in P7 behind McKenzie try and make a move heading into turn 4. McKenzie fought off the attack and got back into line where they remained following the pack in front. Davis held onto his 4th position following 3rd with 5th right on his tale as well.
#15 McKenzie and #62 McLaughlin go side by side into turn 4 on the first lap.
After the first couple of laps McKenzie started to fall off from the group including Davis in front losing draft which started letting them pull away. McKenzie and McLaughlin battled for a number of laps with McLaughlin closing each lap. McKenzie let McLaughlin by on the front straight to see if he had more pace to bring them back closer to the group in front. The two separated themselves from the pack behind and were running their own contest. Davis meanwhile was pushing P3 but still had P5 hot on his rear end as P1 and P2 started to pull away.
#72 Davis on the back straight with P5 following close behind.
McKenzie and McLaughlin were within a couple tenth of each other when McLaughlin lost some time on the exit of turn 11. This saw McKenzie able to get a good run off of exit but heading into turn 12 saw McKenzie make a crucial mistake. McKenzie misjudged the braking zone believing McLaughlin was still on his inside heading into turn 12 which saw him run wide and his left front of the car went straight into the wall damaging multiple suspension components. McKenzie immediately dove into the pits to get the status of his damage. With over 13 minutes of repairs his race would be all but over about halfway in.
#15 McKenzie and #62 McLaughlin head into turn 11.
Davis on the other hand was right on the rear bumper of P3 but could not shake P5 from his. In a strategic move, Davis decided to pit with about 17 minutes left in the race to try and gain an advantage to increase the gap to P5 when they decided to pit. Davis came out of the pits and was on a tear putting down lap after lap. With about 8 minutes left in the race both P3 and current P4 went into the pits with Davis coming around the final last corners. P4 beat P3 in their pitstops and were exiting pit lane right behind each other. Whatever gap 3rd had heading into the pits was lost with a slow stop. Both came onto the racing surface just as Davis was making the corner into turn 3 which saw him side by side with P4. Davis was unfortunately on the outside line as P4 and him went side by side the remainder of the straight and into turn 4. Davis could not get the move on the outside accomplished and fell back a spot into P5. He tried his best but would have to settle with 5th for the race as he crossed the line with P4 not making any mistakes for the remainder of the race.
#72 Davis and #86 Ninh go side by side for 4th position after pit stops.
McKenzie was able to finish half of the race and score what little points he could to try and help the team championship coming home in 21st place. Davis with 5th scored some solid points for himself and the team in the championship. Unfortunately for Davis the overall winner of the race Devan Horvath got enough points to knock Davis down to 4th place overall in the championship. McKenzie still holds onto 8th overall after scoring 11 points. With Horvath getting the win and McKenzie only scoring 11 points this knocks LunatiK down to 4th in the team championship. Both drivers look to improve next week as we head to the island continent of Austrailia to take on the Mount Panorama Circuit on Tuesday February 15th, at 9:40pm est.