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Welker laps at head of pack for win in USA GT: Imola

Image by Tristan Bayless
The start! Tolga dives inside of Tristan.

Incekaraoglu controls top spot most laps

Image by Kent Welker
Somehow Tommy Gunn managed to escape injury in this inferno as his Vette burst into flames.
USA GT: Imola
ROUND 1
20 May 2007
NEXT
Image by Dan Ortega
Only 4 min. to go then KABLAMO : (

20 May 2007 — Kent Welker held the lead for 22 laps in a run to first place in the USA GT: Imola in the opening round of the Extreme GT series.

Driving the Ferrari 575, Welker started the race in the first position and was caught by Steve Blankenship for first on the first lap. Welker passed Blankenship and into first place on lap 1, and controlled it the remaining 50 laps to the finish.

Tolga Incekaraoglu raced at the front of the field most of all drivers, leading 29 of 51 laps on a run to second place.

Incekaraoglu spent nearly equal parts of 46 laps total leading Kent Welker after catching and passing him on lap 23, coming from as many as three places back. Incekaraoglu got around Welker and into first place on lap 22, and held it the remaining 29 laps to the finish.

Extreme GT series moves on to Round 2 in two weeks at Magny-Cours. The series has 16 drivers competing for points in the championship.

Tristan Bayless captured third place.

RESULTS Click driver name for individual report
1 Kent Welker GTNDC 51 1:29:18.759
2 Tolga Incekaraoglu Scuderia Internazionale 51 1:29:43.703
3 Tristan Bayless 51 1:30:31.756
4 Richard Hylands Feint Motion MotorSports 51 1:30:46.418
5 Dennis Morissette CanAm Racing 50 1:30:40.228
6 Michael Kim 50 1:30:50.061
7 Michael Chriss Eagle Race Team 50 1:31:00.289
8 Steve Blankenship 49 DNF
9 Ryan Ansoon Scuderia Internazionale 48 1:29:53.573
10 Barrett Erickson 48 1:30:08.474
11 Aubrey Windle Scuderia Internazionale 48 1:30:59.682
12 Dan Ortega SoCal Motorsports 46 DNF
13 Tommy Gunn SoCal Motorsports 39 DNF
14 Brandon Warren Eagle Race Team 30 DNF
15 Fernando Cruz 24 DNF
16 Noel Hernandez XMN Racing 9 DNF
Image by Kent Welker
A clean start with Kent leading Tristan and Tolga and the rest of the field.
Image by Steve Blankenship
Cruel fate... Last lap, just a few corners to go. Another one bites the dust!
POSTRACE

INT
–27 L
FIN
15
Q
10
REP
 
CLASS
GT
CAR
Lamborghini R-GT
Posted by Fernando Cruz at 05:42 AM on Sun May 20 EEST

I was wrecked twice on first lap...
Anyway i dont think im ready for the GTs Cars...

INT
–12 L
FIN
13
Q
9
REP
 
CLASS
GT
CAR
Corvette C5-R
Posted by Tommy Gunn at 06:35 AM on Sun May 20 EEST

Well the turn out could have been better but the racing could not have been. It was great.

Congrats to Kent, Tolga and Tristan. Watching you guys pass me is a thrill. I wonder what it would be like to go that fast!! LOL

I put the spurs to it but in the end my trusted ol Vette just could not take it. I am going to have to watch the the replay but I think it was a spectacular blow job (as Kent put it). Thanks for the great Saturday night.

INT
–1:27.658
FIN
4
Q
3
REP
 
CLASS
GT
CAR
Ferrari 575
Posted by Richard Hylands at 06:39 AM on Sun May 20 EEST

A %$#@ing disaster...

I got a good set up from Kent but again I proved to myself that I just can't get the damn GT cars to do what I want. I am missing something in my driving and have to improve.

INT
–1:12.997
FIN
3
Q
2
REP
 
CLASS
GT
CAR
Ferrari 550
Posted by Tristan Bayless at 07:03 AM on Sun May 20 EEST

Not a bad race for me; The 550 is a bit of a maniac with soft shocks, and I did not spend enough time in practice beforehand dialing them in.

Tolga got a great start and got by me through Tamburello. My rears were overheating when I was pushing into the 1:43's, so I had to find a slower compromise before the pit stop for tires and fuel. After everyone swapped around (I lead a lap, wooo), I was back into 3rd place following a half-spin by Richard at the corner before Acqua Minerale, at the top of the hill.

Smooth sailing after that, just had to gradually increase the front brake bias every few laps until the finish. A smooth race overall. Thank you to everyone who watched their mirrors for the lead-lappers. Well done kent and Tolga (you rascals ;-) )

INT
–2 L
FIN
8
Q
5
REP
 
CLASS
GT
CAR
Lamborghini R-GT
Posted by Steve Blankenship at 07:28 AM on Sun May 20 EEST

Ouch; that was painful. Three measly corners from the checkered flag and the Lambo's motor blows. At least it could have had the kindness to go early so I could have gone off and had a beer! Guess I didn't drop the max revs enough; had the cooling ducts wide open.

Still had fun, despite the painful outcome. Some excellent extended dicing both stints, mainly with Michael. I'd gain a bit of ground, then make an error and give it away again - back and forth like that all race. We swapped places a few times, and he ended up getting around me for 6th a few laps from the end. In fact I set my fast lap on lap 48 trying to get back by - so a good race to the end. Or almost, anyway... ;-)

Made some small setup changes pre race in the hope of making the car more bozo-proof since I wanted to avoid making mistakes. Unfortunately overdid it a bit and made it understeer too much. That meant I had to overdrive it to get it rotated, and that ended up frying the back tires late in the runs which made it oversteer again! Had gone med/hard, but I kinda wish I'd tried soft/med and left the setup alone since it seemed to work better like that. So it goes...

Speaking of tires, looking at the pitstop times I'm wondering if anyone went the full distance without changing tires - did you guys doing 2:55-ish stop laps get tires?

INT
–5 L
FIN
12
Q
REP
 
CLASS
GT
CAR
Corvette C5-R
Posted by Dan Ortega at 07:37 AM on Sun May 20 EEST

Congrats to Kent, Tolga and Tristan - well done! : )

One hour and 26 minutes wasted!!!

She blew with only a few laps left, bad day for me! :(

Disco in X-GT while running 3rd for a perfect pair.

Tommy, sorry to see you had the same ending!

I'll lower the RPM's another click next time.

The old Vette handles great, just need to fix the boom factor.

Dan

INT
–3 L
FIN
11
Q
14
REP
 
CLASS
GT
CAR
Viper GTS-R
Posted by Aubrey Windle at 06:04 PM on Sun May 20 EEST

I punted a Lambo in the early laps. I lifted early for the Piratella corner, but I guess I didn't slow down as much as I thought because he was in my lap all of a sudden. I thought maybe there was some warping involved, but I'm very sorry anyway. My lack of preparation for the race and experience in this sim, possibly combined with a poor car choice (nobody else seemed to want to drive the Viper) resulted in a poor finish. Got a lucky break at the end with all those engines blowing right in front of me. At least I seem to have fixed my framerate issues with GTR2. Should get better results in the future. :)

INT
–3 L
FIN
10
Q
13
REP
 
CLASS
GT
CAR
Corvette C5-R
Posted by Barrett Erickson at 06:29 PM on Sun May 20 EEST

Well that was a learning experience that has me re-thinking my entire approach to S5 at R2P.

The plan was to find a car in each class that was fun to drive with the default setup, then tweak that to get a stock setup that fits me, then only adjust as needed to solve specific problems at specific tracks. Since i didn't expect to be a front runner, i decided i wouldn't worry too much about whether or not the car was.

Figured i could have a lot more fun running a lot more races with this approach and become a better driver in the process.

Sounds good on paper, as they say.

In practice, i managed to turn a very forgiving and fun to drive Vette (especially with the incredible sound mod i found at no-grip) into a tempermental vindictive and rebellious beast with multiple personality disorder.

Entirely my fault of course, i continued to prod it for more pace thru the chicanes and less understeer at Piratella long after it began to protest that it was getting bored with it all.

But i pushed and pushed and pushed and it quietly took all the grief i gave it, knowing full well that it would teach me my lesson come race time.

And it did. I quickly discovered that even the slightest deviation from the line or pace i'd taught it in practice would result in understeer here, oversteer there, and instability everywhere. And then it started stepping out on me in the bumpy bits, where it had always been faithful before. It felt like i was driving a car with all it's weight hanging off its bumpers.

Eventually, all this bickering led to my breakdown. As i tried to come out of my pit, i found myself driving in my mirrors for several laps and causing problems for others. i'm sorry for this. i just wasn't myself at that point and the nature of the side to side line at Imola combined with my fear of further Vette revenge only made things worse.

When i finally pulled it together again i realized that the only way to get thru this was to do everything exactly the way the Vette wanted it. I did slip up a few times by suggesting minor changes, but it slapped my face every time.

Now I'm not sure i have the character to make this kind of relationship last, or even if i want it to. But at least i can say it taught me something.

Congrats to Kent on the win, Tolga and Tristan for the podium.

INT
–3 L
FIN
10
Q
13
REP
 
CLASS
GT
CAR
Corvette C5-R
Posted by Barrett Erickson at 06:30 PM on Sun May 20 EEST

@Steve...

I ran the full distance on med/med. Tires were the least of my worries.

INT
–3 L
FIN
9
Q
11
REP
 
CLASS
GT
CAR
Ferrari 550
Posted by Ryan Ansoon at 08:55 PM on Sun May 20 EEST

Good Race. Congrats to the podium, you 3 were very fast.
The start was ok, close driving and some bumping but I think we all survived. The field spread out and it was all endurance from there. I'm happy with top 10 considering how fast the leaders were and how sloppy my car/driving was. I could drive 1:48's consistent but I could not push the car comfortably past that, just out of control.

Well this is what I get for using my own setup!! I spent an hour or so tweaking it and it is still crap. In practice mode I did 1:45 s consistently, but in race mode the times were 2 seconds slower. I will probably go back to the F575 which worked great last season. It is better on the tires and even when the tires are shot it still handles well and won't screw you. Also I could setup that car fairly well and felt comfortable most of last season.

So see you next time!!


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