Entering last weekend’s 6 Hours of the Glen, KRT’s endurance team of Karl Modig and Corey Davis had gone 36 straight hours of racing in wins at Sebring and the Nurburgring without any car contact and only minor damage. However, their invincibility ran out at Watkins Glen, giving them an early setback that made their final result all the more surprising.
Karl and Corey made their top-split debut in an iRacing World Tour event, gridding eighth out of 15 cars in the Ruf CSpec class. As the field paced around the 5.43-km circuit and prepared to take the green flag, the over-eager Team Buschfink Racing CSpec collided with the SRN Motorsports car, sending it spinning into Karl’s path.
When the first lap finally started, Karl was at the back of the field with a damaged car. While the car still steered straight and handled fine, it was down about 5 km/h in straight-line speed, which was a costly handicap on Watkins Glen’s long, fast straightaways. Nevertheless, a solid first stint and survival in heavy traffic meant Karl moved back up to sixth place in class by the first pit stop.
Corey then got in the car and soon passed the polesitter and pre-race favorite, Thrustmaster Mivano Racing, which suffered damage in a crash at the one-hour mark. He then set his sights on the pair of SimRC.de cars, getting ahead of them during the second round of pit stops and pulling out a small advantage during his next stint.
Karl then climbed back in for a double stint of his own, and he put KRT’s #80 CSpec firmly in third place as the gap back to the SimRC cars grew to more than 30 seconds. However, with those cars on a pit strategy that could potentially get them to the finish on one less stop, the podium position was far from safe.
As the race crossed the halfway point, a spin in the esses by the #797 SimRC CSpec dropped them nearly a minute behind while Karl’s pace was strong enough to gap the #798 car by more than a minute. With a pit-proof advantage in hand, the end of the race became a matter of running a solid pace while managing traffic and avoiding incidents.
As Corey got back in the car for the final two stints, a close call in traffic was nearly a race-ending accident. On lap 152, the Thrustmaster Mivano CSpec spun exiting the bus stop, and with faster Daytona Prototype traffic coming through at the same time, it required a fast reaction and alert driving by all cars to avoid the incident.
From there, Corey breathed a sigh of relief and brought the car to the finish. After six hours of racing with heavy front-end damage, KRT’s CSpec finished in 29th place overall and third in class to continue a streak of podium finishes in World Tour races. The result also brought a season-best 212 championship points.
Unlike the Sebring and Nurburgring races, in which KRT pulled out to a big early lead and never looked back, the Watkins Glen race required a race-long fight to get near the front. It also represented a bit of long-awaited revenge at the circuit after losing a podium position due to a late crash in last year’s NEO Endurance Series 8 Hours of the Glen.
The next World Tour event provides another chance to reverse a bad result. In last year’s 24 Hours of Spa, KRT’s McLaren crashed out from the race lead in the final hours. The team will look for a more positive outcome in this year’s Spa race on August 6 and 7.