“If there aren’t 2 without 3, certainly 3 don’t imply 4” Following in the success of the previews events, the Evolution club Endurance series at RD moved to the Wisconsin (USA near the lakes), this time to Road America (Elkhart Lake). Again the organizers went into record-breaking grounds as the event participation reached new levels with a full 25 racers grid at race day. The circuit in itself was carved out of the large farmland areas of Wisconsin in 1955 and since then had several improvements but kept its original layout. The track isn’t particularly narrow but sure it’s wide either and can be considered a mixed (but fast) track. The long fast areas demand little downforce for a good lap time, but three tight turns (5, 6 and 8) couple with a parabolic need to be watched-out and demand the opposite regarding the setup. From a 25 strong field, 13 were GTP cars and 12 GTS, the performance difference between them on this track was about 8 seconds on a near 2 minutes lap. As usual the qualifying session was done with the super-pole system as the starting order on these long events is of lesser importance. The top GTP contenders of the grid all managed times in minute 57s range with the pole going to Bruno Said (DB9R) with a low 57. Regarding the GTS class, here Henrik Horvath’s managed to impose his Corvette (GTS C6) to the BMW fleet. To notice also from the grid a GTP participant, Rogerio Jusus (DB9R) starting well deep biehind most of the GTS cars (80 laps latter it would finish in the podium). This time the organizers went for a formation lap before the actual race start at the entrance of lap 2. On this formation lap we had our first DNF of the event with the unfortunate Mtommi (Storm) leaving with technical problems without completing a single lap. The race got underway and the racers attacked the reaming 79 laps without any major problems. The early pacesetters of the GTP class were Marcin Skrzypczak (C6R), Gregory Degreef (DB9R) and Bruno Said. In the GTS class Henrik started very early imposing his pace that would take him to the same type of victory than in the previews Paul Ricard event (start to finish) followed not far by Andreas Löffler (M3) and Michael Herrmann (M3). Perhaps the main news of the first few laps was the very early retirement of past events GTP winner, João Andias (C6R, 4th at the time). Following a slight mistake, João went straight forward at turn 8 to get terminal engine/suspension damage forcing an early lap 4 DNF and proving any small distraction can be terminal at this kind of events. It was clear from the first ¼ of the race quite a few important things regarding race strategy. Not only Bruno (3rd at the time) wasn’t pushing his car 100%, but also he was in a 2 pit strategy unlike the two front runners at the time (Marcin and Gregory) who were in a 3 pit strategy. Nevertheless, about this time, Marcin put in the event fastest lap with a 1.59.581 followed closely by Gregory. After the fist pit-stops were done with for everyone (about 1/3 of the race), apart from the different pit strategies implying position changes (typical of this events), the direct position fights were kind of restrained to the secondary positions in both classes, mainly in the GTS class where the things were very close above 3rd position. Like in the previews events, the time between the 1/2 and the ¾ distance proved to be the most attritional. Not only we had a couple of unfortunate DNF related with technical problems (the unlucky Michael 3rd in the GTS class among them) as also we lost 4 contenders in the GTP class due to engine failure (most of them front runners at the time). For the last ¼ of the distance, the classification was more or less done and only a few position gains would happen in the last pit-stops of the GTS class. Bruno was clearly saving his DB9R and Henrik had the things well under control in the GTS class. As for the podium positions in the GTP class, Jason Pitts (C6R) was about to be rewarded for his driving consistence with his best result to date in this kind of events a 2nd and Rogerio Jesus was finishing an always climbing in GC effort from 23rd to 3rd. The 2nd place in the GTS class was more or less defined since quite some time in favor of Andreas and Tobias Kluge (C6) emerged as 3rd in the GTS class. Road America 500 km event classification. GTP Bruno Said (DB9R) 80laps (RT 165.03.084, about 2hrs and 3/4) Jason Pitts (C6R) 79 laps Rogerio Jesus (DB9R) 78 laps Abdul Ahmed (DB9R) 77 laps Michel Hunter (Apollo) 76 laps GTS Henrik Horvath (C6) 75 laps (class FL 2.07.915) Andreas Löffler (M3) 75 laps Tobias Kluge (C6) 74 laps Ivo Simons (C6) 73 laps David Zafiu (M3) 73 laps Yuri Braham (C8) 73 laps Kevin Hopkins (M3) 73 laps DNF by race distance Gregory Degreef (DB9R) 57 laps (Engine) Marcel vd Aa (M3) 55 laps (Technical) Bob Miley (C6) 53 laps (Abandonment) Martijn van Bommel (DB9R) 51 laps (Engine) Thierry Marchand (S7R) 49 laps (Engine) Glenn Petersen (C6) 43 laps (Engine) Michael Herrmann (M3) 41 laps (Technical) Marcin Skrzypczak (C6R) 31 laps (Technical) (event FL 1.59.581) Thomas Timpone (Appolo) 26 laps (Technical) Ben Buitendijk (M3) 12 laps (Technical) Fredie Besems (R8) 9 laps (Abandonment) João Andias (C6R) 3 laps (Accident) Mtommi Tam (Storm) 0 laps (Technical) So, what do the final numbers tell us this time; once more we were near the 50% finishers mark, in fact this event had the largest % of finishers of all 4 to date by a small margin. We were back into the Paul Ricard numbers for engine failures (a little bit less than 20%). We had an about 25% of technical failures (a little bit above the 20% average of the past events) but we need to have into account that in this numbers we have not only game problems but also client side problems (connection lost, power cut and so on…) . There was only a single accident, “from yours truly” race reporter and we still have a couple of abandonments (racers who leave the server for non-race/tech reasons). With this latest success, organizers have in mind (with planning well underway), the next endurance event in this club series aimed to the beginning of September. After doing 2 of the most classic endurance racetracks (Spa and Nordschleife), visiting 2 charismatic racetracks (Paul Ricard and Road America) the series will turn their attention to no other than Le Mans as it is largely viewed that the field is ready for another grueling and challenging contest after the Summer break.