Williams Esports: A Sebring Stunner

Going back to 2019, we see the last instance where Williams Esports claimed victory at the Sebring 12h (GTE Class). In this weekend’s race, we witnessed not just a new livery update, but a major update from iRacing eagerly awaited by sim racing fans: rain and dynamic weather.

A total of eight teams from Williams competed in the race, split between Pro & Academy groups:

The race commenced with an immediate challenge as the sky opened up right at the starting flag and continued for the initial hour. It was a testing situation for all partaking drivers, who had to deftly navigate around their competitors in the limited visibility and control their cars as they slid on the pack-concentrated track.

For the first 90 minutes, the race proceeded at a calm and sustaining pace, with all drivers keeping a comfortable distance from one another and mainly focusing on keeping their cars in place. This while the weather cleared and the track conditions constantly evolved with new lines forming, a damp apex, and puddles appearing across diverse sections of the circuit.

About two hours into the race, Williams was leading all three classes in dry conditions. However, knowing that rain would be on again soon to challenge our abilities, we had to optimize the time on track. That we indeed did! While the GT3’s were retaining their leading position, our Chillblast GTP was steadily increasing its time advantage, establishing a sizeable lead with the BenQ hot on the heels of P3. Simultaneously, the Chillblast LMP2, steered by Carl Jansson and Kenneth Gulbrandsen, found themselves in a vantage point for a win.

After the completion of four hours, the GT3’s began facing difficulties. The first Academy car encountered an accident at turn 1 due to an unseen puddle, causing a spin-off. In the meantime, technical problems greatly affected other participants.

In no time, rain returned at the half-way mark, pouring down heavily. Despite the conditions, both Alx Spetz of BenQ LMDH vying for P3 and Carl Jansson of Chillblast LMP2 displayed their command in the wet weather.

The racing excitement truly began to mount across all classes, with the earlier disconnected BenQ GT3 gradually recovering to P6. Their comeback showcased remarkable overtaking skills and adept handling of the treacherous track.

By the 8th hour, our BenQ LMDH was in a close contest for a podium spot against Coanda. Our team came into a defensive mode from this point, laying out strategies with the recurring rain forecast for the final 20 minutes. Meanwhile, our Scandinavian duo, Carl and Kenneth, driving the Chillblast LMP2, managed an astonishing feat by lapping the entire LMP2 field with four hours still remaining.

Unfortunately, later on, our 2nd Academy car met with an accident that ended up causing an early retirement despite having had a solid run.

We had Will Tregurtha, a driver for the 2nd Academy car, join our live broadcast for a chat about his experience with the team during the race. Click here to watch.

As the checkered flag got nearer, the race threw up new challenges for the drivers, keeping us on our toes after an engaging day.

In a further turn of events, the Chillblast GT3 experienced more technical issues causing Dani Lafuente and Sota Muto to lose control and hit the wall at the first turn just a couple of hours before the finish line. The accident resulted in substantial damage, pushing them back to P9 after they had managed to fight their way up to P6 over the course of the 12 hours.

For the rest of the team, the race till the end became a matter of strategy to ensure fuel sufficiency. However, our engineers and drivers collaborated well to calculate the race accurately, allowing us to conclude the 12h as the GTP and LMP2 winners of 2024. Besides, Parker White made a commendable effort in the end to bring the BenQ GT3 up to P4!

We extend our gratitude to the entire team and our fans for their support.

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