A new team, a new car and an infamous corner

A new team, a new car and an infamous corner
written by Shaun Bennett

I’ve watched my teammate Jacob Anderson navigate the start, keeping the nose clean with little
drama. The laps count down and soon it is time for the pit stop. 30 seconds of intense choreography
to get four tyres changed, fuel on board and then there is the unpredictable driver swap.
I’m starting to feel nervous, sweaty palms inside my gloves, the adrenaline is building. It’s the final
lap of Jacob’s stint; he has driven great, a flawless stint. There’s no damage on the car and soon it is
my turn. As the car trundles down the pit lane, I’m pumped, heart rate rising with anticipation. Let’s
do this.
Drivers swap; it worked! I’m in control of the McLaren 720s GT3 for the first time in race conditions.
This is the time to show the new team they’ve made a good choice, time to show them what I can
do. Pit stop complete, pull out from the pit box, hit the pit limiter and enjoy the long pit lane.
It’s all gone to plan so far.
The McLaren is feeling good, tyres are up to temperature, the balance seems okay. It’s the first time
I’ve driven it with a full tank. Outlap complete, braking for the first corner, hit the apex, eyes towards
the infamous Eau Rouge and Raidillion complex. I’ve been flat out over Raidillion before, it’s not too
tricky. Just be smooth, confident in the line and you’ll be fine. Through Eau Rouge, just about to hit
the limiter in 5th up through Raid……
The back-end twitches, I correct, over correct. Not good. I’m now looking at the concrete wall with
only one outcome. I smash the wall, completely wrecking the front left corner. Luckily the car
restarts. I’m frantic and at this point screaming and shouting in disappointment.
Jacob attempts to keep me calm, helps me navigate the stricken McLaren back to the pits without
impeding other drivers. We finally manage to get the car back to pits, repair the damage and it is
time to do it all over again.
Thankfully there is little drama after my rocky start and the pace is acceptable. As the laps count
down I settle into a comfortable rhythm and we bring the car home, stone dead last. But we finish –
top McLaren.
My new team MSB Sim Racing is a Danish team who’ve been racing together for 1.5 years. A
prestigious endurance sim racing team, they’ve participated in the #GTR24H 24h LAN event in Viborg
and they have a class win in the 12 hours of Sebring. This young team knows what the top step of
the podium feels like, knows how good the champagne tastes and expectations are high.
After the first race I am disappointed with my performance, but the team is there to get me back on
track quickly and forget about the incident. It’s clear to see that team boss Dennis Martlev is
dedicated to the team along with Jesper Wium Hansen, and it’s no surprise they’ve had class wins in
24 hour events in other simulators.
I’ve made the right decision to drive for this team.

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