Unlike its real-world equivalent, the second split of iRacing’s Nurburgring 24 Hour race last weekend didn’t have the drama of a hailstorm or a last-lap pass to decide the outcome. Instead, dominant performances in the day-long event determined the four class winners, including KRT’s CSpec entry.
A total of 56 cars took the green flag just after 1330 GMT on Saturday morning. KRT’s #80 car started midway through the 13-car CSpec field in seventh place with Karl Modig behind the wheel for the start.
In the first hour of the race, Karl moved up two positions, passing the #87 iRJA Flat Six Racing car and the #101 B2O Endurance entry. At the first pit stop, Corey Davis got in the car and emerged in a close race with Nick Thissen in the #82 Gathering of Tweakers car.
Attrition hit hard throughout the field during that stint. In the CSpec class, just six cars were running after two hours of racing. Several of the class leaders dropped out, which left KRT in second place, 40 seconds behind the SRN Motorsports #41 car.
Karl got back in the car during the second pit stop and set his sights on the race-leading SRN car — a familiar foe that KRT has previously battled with in the ISRA Grand Touring Championship and NEO Endurance Series. In this battle, Karl came away with the lead on the final lap of his stint, aided by an SRN spin during that run.
Incredibly, after the three-hour mark, KRT never relinquished the race lead again. However, the final 21 hours of racing were far from easy. SRN mounted a nearly mistake-free charge from the second position, forcing Karl and Corey to continue pushing to preserve the lead.
Traffic around the nearly 26-km combined circuit also presented a challenge. Damaged Audis were running similar speeds to the CSpecs, and the closing rate on the handful of still-running Mazdas required alert driving by all parties.
As the race crossed the 12-hour mark, KRT’s lead over SRN was up to three minutes, and Karl and Corey faced perhaps their greatest challenge of the race. While their two-driver effort gave a tried-and-true Sebring winning lineup, it also allowed little rest for either of them.
They switched from double stints to singles, took regular breaks from manning the crew chief position, and broke out the energy drinks to stay focused in the wee hours of the morning. All were lessons learned from last year’s 24 Hours of Spa, when their lead vanished after a late crash.
There was no such misfortune this race, at least for KRT. Sadly, the same wasn’t true for SRN, which was the innocent victim of contact with an Audi in the final four hours. With SRN out of the race, KRT’s lead grew from four minutes to four laps over the iRJA Ruf.
As the final laps ticked off, Karl and Corey maintained a safe, consistent pace to get the car to the finish. Well, most of the time they did. With the win safe in the final hour since they’d completed more laps than second place could run, Karl turned up the tempo, running times within two seconds of his fastest lap of the race — an 8:46.167 set on lap 4.
After 24 hours, 161 laps completed — 4177.5 km around the Gesamtstrecke circuit — and 143 laps led, KRT’s CSpec crossed the finish line in ninth place overall and first in class with a margin of five laps and more than 46 minutes over the second-place iRJA Ruf.
In iRacing’s toughest endurance challenge yet, KRT’s duo of Karl and Corey mounted perhaps their most complete effort to date. They never crashed, had any contact with other cars, or had more than 45 seconds of repair time at a pit stop.
The other class winners mounted similarly strong runs. The overall race winners in the #197 Team RSO Audi led 157 out of 167 laps and finished more than a lap ahead of runner-up Vendaval SimRacing. In the Kia class, the #16 TF Motorsport team finished six laps ahead of the second-place Optima. And after surviving heavy attrition among the MX-5s, the iRacing Japan Mazda team won by three laps in their class.
After wins in the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Nurburgring 24 Hours, Karl and Corey next set their sights on the 6 Hours of the Glen, which is coming up on June 25. After the crew turns a few wrenches and polishes up the CSpec, it will be ready to go for an attack at the Glen.