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Pro-Am Secures P2 in Thrilling EnduroKA Race

Ben Johansson

5 Jul 2024

Pro-Am Racing returned to action last weekend at Donington Park for a gripping five-hour EnduroKA race, securing a commendable second-place finish.

The driver lineup for this round included Will Hillyard, Louis Harvey, and Ollie Furnell, also known as Basic Ollie from YouTube’s iRacing scene.

The day began with a challenging qualifying session, where all three drivers contended with a busy track and changeable weather conditions. Louis Harvey ultimately set the team's fastest lap, managing a late rain shower to qualify in P6 on the grid.

Harvey took the responsibility of the race start and skillfully navigated a dramatic turn one incident involving three cars, one ending up in the gravel on its roof, emerging unscathed in second place. The Safety Car was immediately deployed to neutralize the race. EnduroKA rules prohibit completing one of the mandatory three pit stops on the first lap, so the team continued behind the Safety Car until the second lap before diving into the pit lane for the first driver change, with Ollie Furnell stepping into the car.

Due to many teams not pitting or misunderstanding the no-pit-stops rule on the first lap, Furnell emerged down in P27 with significant traffic to negotiate on the restart. Crucially, competitors Milnair made two pit stops during the Safety Car period, effectively putting them a lap ahead of the 12 car, as they would only need to stop one more time while Pro-Am Racing needed two more stops. Despite it being only his second-ever race, Furnell's race experience on the sim translated directly to real life. He demonstrated front-running lap times and recovered 15 places during his stint.

Another incident on track brought out the second Safety Car of the day. After some quick thinking from the team regarding the position of the Safety Car, they made their pit stop and re-emerged on track in P6, effectively back on the lead lap with Milnair. However, there was a red light at the end of the pit lane which caused the car to be stationary for over 1 minute 30 seconds, putting a lot of lapped traffic between them and the leaders. Even with this setback, Will Hillyard took the wheel and immediately began clearing a mix of lapped traffic and overtaking cars for position. With expertly judged moves, including overtaking five cars on one straight, Hillyard brought the car up to P2 on the road while narrowing the gap to the race leader.

The team kept Hillyard out as long as possible, hoping for another Safety Car to make the final stop. Eventually, they had to pit for fuel under green flag conditions. Louis Harvey was sent out for the final stint of the race with Milnair in his sights. Despite Harvey putting in a stellar performance, reducing the gap from 44 to 8 seconds, a late safety car favored the leader, bunching the cars between him and Harvey. Once the safety car exited, the leader was able to pull away increasing the gap to around 15s, leaving Harvey to navigate through back markers. Despite his efforts, time ran out to catch the 46 car, which took a deserved race win, with the 12 car securing a respectable P2 finish, just 9.3 seconds behind the leader and as the only other car on the lead lap.

This impressive result adds another piece of silverware to Pro-Am Racing's 2024 collection. Next up for the team is the 24-hour race at Anglesey on July 13th-14th.

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