The Oxigen 3 hours of Sebring returned to Derby HO Racing Club, moving to a February fixture and seeing the GT4 cars return. This time the racing took place on Carrera track, and featured two qualifying sprint races to set the grid for the main event in the afternoon.
Things got off to a flying start for defending champions Exiles, with first driver John Underwood comfortably winning his qualifying sprint by a margin of ten laps. The next six places were only covered by a distance of three laps however, suggesting we were in for some close racing throughout the rest of the day.
Not so lucky were Quronstars, returning with the Vantage V8 in the hands of Martin Thorpe and Steve White. The Vantage was one of the quickest cars but a wire failure a matter of laps into the first race saw them fall down the order while repairing the fault.
The second qualifying sprint saw a much higher number of laps completed, of which several of the top cars would have challenged Underwood’s tally, had they have been in the same heat. Quornstars would recover in Sprint 2 to achieve an aggregate second place on the grid for the main 3 hours, while Wayne Lander, driving his new McLaren, took victory the second sprint for his team Carfunmostly. Lander and team mate Angus Smith would start third for the endurance, behind Quornstars and top qualifiers Exiles.
It would be these three teams that would take charge at the head of the field for the three hours. Exiles AMG proved to be the most consistent and reliable car. Carfunmostly were just as strong on lane one, but struggled on occasions when moving to lane two for overtaking. Quornstars had some of the best single lap pace but displayed a little more inconsistency, though certainly, with Steve White driving the Vantage was the quickest car on the circuit.
Exiles held the lead into the closing stages but also suffered a working wire failure with a matter of minutes to go. They’d amassed a lead of around thirty laps, loosing all but ten by the time they were back on the track. The Carfunmostly McLaren was being driven by the rookie Smith at this point, with Exiles able to extend to a twenty lap margin by the chequered flag. Smith had his own hands full defending from Quornstars, closing in third place. Despite the best efforts of White, he’d finish four laps shy of the McLaren, a performance enough to earn Smith the Bet Rookie award for his team’s second place finish.t
DiSCA will return to DHORC in November for the 6 hours of Fuji WEC.