GTWC Monza Promise & Dissapointment

NLS1 Race cancelled due to snow….
April 23, 2021

GTWC Monza Promise & Disappointment

The opening race of the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Series kicked off at the traditional start of the championship for the past 10years, The Temple of Speed, Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.

GTWC Europe Championship debutant David Pittard would make history with the championship by, alongside his on track duties, would also represent BMW in the world's first ESport championship using Assetto Corsa Competizioni which would directly affect the outcome of a real world championship! SRO are known for their groundbreaking approach to motorsport competition and this year, the results of the onsite ESports races which will take place at each race will add points to the real world manufactures championship.

In the real event, David would team up with BMW Factory drivers Marco Wittman and Sheldon Van Der Linde in the #34 BMW M6 GT3 car run by Walkenhorst Motorsport in a striking new Multi Bank livery. After a tricky Thursday test day, and a lot of hard work by the engineers and mechanics on Friday, the #34 car hit the ground running on Saturday to finish up P10 in Free Practive and P2 in Pre-Qualifying to show the promising pace of the BMW, at a normally tough track for the M6. On Saturday evening the Sim Race took place, where 24 nominated drivers from the PRO and SILVER categories would represent their manufacture in a 60min virtual race at Monza using the ACC program. The top 20 were covered by just over 1second, replicating the competitiveness of the real world championship, with David qualifying in P20. As with all "real life driver sim events", T1 at Monza would always be chaos, and David survived most of the action over the first lap to come out P16. With a focus on the race, David would make up a further 6positions to finish up P10.

“The event was stressful, but fun and it was a privilage to be a part of it! I would be lieing if I said I didn't want to be more competitive, however given my expereince with ACC, it was ok. I hope that I can put some more time into the game in the break between Monza and Paul Ricard and be a bit more competitive for BMW next time.”

Back in the real world, the #34 car would line up P10 on the grid ready for the start of the 3hour race, with David setting the fastest lap in Qualifying for his car. David would start the race, making up 2 positions, and for the first 5laps ran with the front 8 in dry conditions, however on the 6th lap rain began to fall and on lap7 1/2 the track was soaked and the other half dry! For 5more laps the cars would skate around before a Full Corse Yellow (FCY) prompted everyone to pit for wet tyres. Amoungst the pit window confusion, the #34 car would drop down the order, but a spirited number of restarts in the 2nd 1/2 of the 1st hour saw David overtake 5 cars to run has high as 8th before pitting in 9th place. Unfortunatly this would be as high as the car would run due to a mistimed pitstop with a FCY, and a puncture meant the car dropped off the lead lap and would ultimatly come home in P26.

“Overall I think we showed great pace in all conditions, however a number of issues in the race stopped us from scoring good championship points. We made big progress with the car from Thursday and the car was strong in all conditions during qualifying and the race at a track where the M6 hasn't been that strong in the past. Its a shame not to have started the season off with points, but I think we showed great potential with the package and I'm determined to put together a good result at Paul Ricard next time out.”

David's next race will be at the Nordschleife for NLS3, and the next GTWC race will take place on 29th May, at Paul Ricard for the 6hr race. Check out David’s race VLOG below:

 
 
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