RLR MSport Shine in Barcelona!
Digital Motorsport Ambassadors & European Endurance Racing Team
The opening round of the European Le Mans and Michelin Le Mans Series this weekend couldn't have gone much better for Digital Motorsport Ambassadors RLR MSport with a win and a 2nd place finish in the 4 hours of Barcelona!
RLR MSport are the first professional racing team to transport a bespoke, state-of-the-art simulator to each round of the ELMS championship (supplied by Digital Motorsport) and are using it to great effect to enhance their driver development capabilities.
After limited practice which was part of a strategic decision to preserve tyres, Malthe Jakobson qualified the LMP3 Ligier in 2nd for Saturday's race. The race itself was full of drama which culminated in the leading United Autosports car making a pitstop error which RLR Msport were ready to pounce on and capitalise to take the lead with 2 laps to go!
Sunday's main event was the 4 hours of barcelona. A slow start at the front of the field caused some of the LMP3 cars to go wide on the start finish straight, shaking up the order. The field was led by the no2 United Autosports Ligier of reigning champion Rob Wheldon, with Laurents Hörr in the no4 DKR Engineering Duqueine in second, the no15 RLR MSport Ligier of Michael Benham in third and the no19 Cool Racing Ligier of Nicolas Maulini up from 11th to 5th just behind the no3 United Autosports Ligier.
At the midway point RLR MSport were given a drive through penalty for speeding in the pitlane which dropped them back to the midfield. They clawed their way back up to second position and on the final lap were just 2.2 seconds off the lead and closing fast.
Alex Kapadia said: “Digital Motorsports has supplied RLR MSport with a first-class simulator that proved to be a very effective tool in our at-circuit race preparations. It gave Mike (Benham), Malthe (Jakobsen) and I an opportunity to get our eye in before the real-world free practice sessions began, and then experiment with a variety of atypical racing lines. For example, Malthe (Jakobsen) has a very unique style and gets speed from the Ligier in ways other drivers couldn’t, and the sim was useful for testing his techniques without any consequences.
“However, more time will be spent on modelling the Ligier JSP320 before the ELMS 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring, because, while the sim undoubtedly contributed to our success in Barcelona, we’re confident it can play a larger role and are looking forward to see how applicable simulated setups are to the real-world race car and whether they translate to faster lap times in reality.”