Ramada Motorsport finished fifth of the GTE class in Round 4 of the Virtual Endurance Championship (Division 2) on rFactor 2. The team raced the 4 Hours of Imola, with the Porsche 911 RSR handed to Leandro Mendes and Rui Reis. For this round of the championship, team owner and driver, Pedro Ramada, was experiencing a new role in the team, that of team manager.
“I am proud to be creating my team from the ground with new drivers and this was the right moment to see them racing on their own”.
Leandro Mendes was in charge of driving both in Qualifying and the first two-hour stint, as stated by the championship rules. Finishing 9th in the GTE class, Leandro Mendes was strong in the first part of his stint, progressively gaining positions in the race. However, as the race developed, he started struggling with the setup, which was strangely perofrming differently as the track was getting more and more rubber. As a result of some loss performance in the car stability, Leandro Mendes did cut the track four times.
For the second half of the race, Rui Reis took the wheel and, just like Leandro did, he opted for medium tyres in the Porsche, playing a fuel and tyre management strategy that would allow the team to double stint.
Continuing to perform on track, taking advantage of a race strategy, Ramada Motorsport was strong and aiming for a top two. But Rui Reis was unfortunate, cutting the track and, as the rules state, cut track number five means a drivethrough. As a consequence, what could have been a top two result, was in the end fifth of the GTE class. Even so, an excellent operation for the team, allowing Ramada Motorsport to sit 2nd in the GTE championship standings, 20 points behind World of Sim Racing Júnior, and four ponts ahead of GHM Motorsport.
“Well, it´s a bit of a bitter sweet taste, since on the one hand these two guys had the first big test together and they did perform pretty good”, said team owner, Pedro Ramada. “On the other hand though, for some reason the car was not behaving as we think it should and we did test thoroughly for this race, previewing almost everything. Sometimes it was not possible to drive the car in perfect conditions, the LMHC guys continue being a problem in the championship and we could not avoid the number of cut tracks which result in a drivethrough. In the end, that was our enemy for a podium finish, more specifically a top two. So, not that happy with the result, but proud of my drivers.”
The next round of the Virtual Endurance Championship on rFactor 2 is scheduled to be the 8 Hours of São Paulo, on February 5th.