Well what a weekend that was. #KOB2016 is done and dusted and now I have mixed emotions. On one hand it went great and #NRG97 performed much better than previously, on the other hand a minor part failure was enough to end our race and any hopes of a podium finish.
Friday night saw us take on the night stage prologue, which we took quite easily. Far too many times we have pushed to get a good time on the prologue and suffered in the main race. We landed a 5.05 lap which set us in 18th, a mid pack start would do us well.
Saturday commenced with us racing moose offroad off the line and we got infront before the second corner. We got in front and started to work on a lead. Unfortunately due to previous issues, we decided to play the safe game and pit stop regularly to prevent any major issues… This ended up losing us a lot of time as we needn’t have stopped. The car was going well at the end of Saturday, however a sticky throttle prevented us getting past Paul Ackets in our last lap. Once we sorted the throttle and had a rebuild of brakes to clear them out and check the wheel bearings and we were set for Sunday.
Sunday started well. Our one pit strategy seemed a good plan and we had some really close racing with moose and Ryan Dunn. We started the day in 3rd and fought our way past moose only for Ryan to catch us in the woops. It took him nearly a lap to get past though and he had a lot of time to make up. We really wanted 2nd and we’re determined to keep our place. We pushed hard and had to refuel on the 3rd lap at which point we knew we had lost some time and had to make the last 3 laps count. We attacked the course on the 4th lap and everything was smooth and handling well until… The bracket on the oil cooler cracked and left the cooler bouncing around. This pulled the braided hose apart and ended with a seized turbo and no oil in the engine. Game over. We got it switched off quick enough to save the engine but the turbo needs replacing and most of all I am completely gutted that we didn’t finish the laps. It was looking so promising but it’s racing and it obviously wasn’t our day.
So for next year we need more fuel, a better oil cooler and a longer wheelbase (those woops were not fun with an 86″!)
Now its time to start getting ready for #DTTE next month.
Thanks to everyone that came, helped and supported us through this.
Noah Gibbard; NRG Racing