Daytona showed its magic last night, Tomas Enge SIM Racing team scored solid points
- Tomáš Enge SIM Racing did not make it to the podium in Daytona, but consolidated 2nd place in the team standings
- Lukáš Přáda started the race with a medical disability and his performance showed it
The Mercedes-Benz Virtual GP 2023 continued with the second round in Daytona, USA. The Daytona International Speedway circuit has been a classic on the calendar of this prestigious Czech-Slovak simracing series since it switched to the iRacing simulator. The only night race on the calendar, taking place on the iconic combination of oval and circuit, is always a challenge. This year’s event was no exception. The Tomáš Enge SIM Racing team entered the race with a slight handicap. Lukáš Přada suffered minor health complications and although he tried his best, it was evident in his performance. Even qualifying did not go as he wanted, as he set the 5th fastest time. On the other hand, his colleague Adam Pilo, after a good tactical performance of the whole team, climbed to 3rd place and could be satisfied. Qualifying was clearly dominated by the Entropiq drivers and indicated that they would be a tough nut to crack in the race.
The rider pair of the Tomas Enge SIM Racing team took points for 4th and 5th place, holding on to 2nd place in the standings.
This was confirmed the next day. They managed to start the 55-minute night race in first place and then they were gradually pulling away from their rivals. At the finish they had more than a six-second lead and at the very end they took the bonus point for the fastest lap. Adam Pilo kept the 3rd position after the start, but he had his compatriot Martin Nejedlik from Lenovo Legion team constantly glued to the exhaust of his Mercedes. He therefore attempted an undercut and drove to the mandatory pit stop among the first. But he made a mistake, crossed the reserved space and had to reverse. Even a small loss had quite big consequences in the balanced peloton, and the Slovak rider dropped to 5th position. Even Lukáš Přáda did not avoid mistakes. Firstly, in a duel with Martin Nejedlík, he collided slightly with his car and was punished by the sports commissioner by giving back the position he had gained, and during the second attack he got a skid on the side of the road and only with all his skill was he able to stop it. However, the loss grew to 4.5 seconds and could not be eliminated by the finish. The final attempt of the Tomáš Enge SIM Racing team to set the fastest lap of the race also failed. Not surprisingly, the drivers were not exactly glowing with happiness at the finish line.
Daytona International Speedway je již klasikou v seriálu Mercedes-Benz Virtual GP, noční závod pod umělým osvětlením má svou neopakovatelnou atmosféru.
Lukáš Přáda: “It started with qualifying when I failed to set a good lap. I had a good time with the car, but the race didn’t turn out the way we imagined. There were a couple of unfortunate accidents that knocked us down a bit, but next time I’ll practice even more and try to work on the set-up of the car to make it faster.”
Adam Pilo: However, despite the circumstances, these are decent points. It doesn’t always work out perfectly and this time the luck just wasn’t on our side, but I believe that the tables will turn and next time we will fight for the win.”
Current standings: drivers – 1. Martin Kadlecik (Entropiq) 70, 2. Martin Sirotek (Entropiq) 46, 3. Lukáš Přáda (Tomáš Enge SIM Racing) 44, 4. Adam Pilo (Tomáš Enge SIM Racing) 34, 5. Tomáš Hora (Big Shock!) 26, 6. Martin Nejedlík (Lenovo Legion) 25, Teams – 1. Entropiq 116, 2. Tomáš Enge SIM Racing 78, 3. Big Shock! 50, 4. JD simracing 37, 5. Lenovo Legion 35, 6. Alchemistr 22.