Bermudian contingent seal podium finish in New Orleans
Predominantly local outfit 96 Bermuda Triangle Racing Team overcame several setbacks on the way to clinching multiple honours competing in the SimCraft 24-hour race in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the weekend.
Bermuda’s Scott Barnes, David Selley, David Barbosa and Mark Tucker along with American Alex Mayer won the Masters class and finished second overall at the Nola Motorsports Park, which hosted the third annual event for the first time.
“We are definitely happy. This is what we came to do, to win the race, and we won our class and came second overall,” Barnes told The Royal Gazette. “This was a team effort from all our drivers, our pit crew and people that came to help in the pits.
“This was by far the coolest win that I have been a part of in my racing career just because it was such a team win. Everyone had their job and executed it. It felt good to be a part of a team win, so we are definitely leaving here happy for sure.”
The event was held from March 11 to 13 and involved 32 international drivers competing in the two classes — Professional and Masters — that battled the clock and each other over 1,440 gruelling minutes.
Success did not come without its share of setbacks for Barnes and his colleagues, several of which nearly forced them out of the race.
“This was by far the hardest race I have ever done,” Barnes said. “We had everything but the kitchen sink thrown at us this time around.”
The team was forced to pit three times in the latter stages of the 24-hour race to repair a broken chassis and pipe on their Margay kart, which cost them the lead.
“With three hours to go leading the race overall we had some bad luck come our way,” Barnes added. “However, they managed to overcome these setbacks and achieve their goal as their strategy and fuel management ultimately paid off.
“We went back out and worked our way back into the top three,” Barnes said.
“We came in for the last fuel stop with an hour to go and came back out in fourth and then the strategy played out the way we had planned. The top two had to pit and we got up to second overall and first in our class. We pretty much led our class the whole race.”
Barnes reckons he and his colleagues might have won the overall title had it not been for their misfortune.
“We definitely had a lot of bad luck in the last three hours,” he said. “If we didn’t have that bad luck we had the race won overall hands down.
“But those are the factors in a 24-hour race, just survival, and unfortunately all the luck didn’t go our way. But I am definitely happy with first in our class and second overall.”
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