Flyingkiwi's Motegi 8 hour experience

Discussion in 'GT4 Race Reports' started by flyingkiwi, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. flyingkiwi


    The Lineup: 109 points
    Opera Performance S2000 (288hp, 930kg)
    Nismo GT-R LM Road-Going Version (321 hp, 1580kg)
    Spoon Intergra Type R (231hp, 1080kg)
    Opera Performance 350Z (368hp, 1340kg)
    Spoon Civic Type R (228hp, 820kg)
    DMC Delorean (279hp, Sports ROM, NA Stage 2, S1 tyres):sly:

    Hour 1
    Battle into 2nd at the end of lap 1. The Opera Performance runs and hides to the tune of 7.8seconds by the end of the first lap. The 350Z also slices its way through the field and is right behind me. The rest are already battling for the minor placings.

    Do a 2:19.1 on lap 2 and close the gap to 5.6s. 2:18.3 on lap 3 and the gap is 3.1s. The 350Z is strangely dropping back. Take the Opera Performance on lap 4 and pull away. I get the gap out to almost 14s, but the Opera starts closing the gap and by lap 10 I am ahead by 12.1s. The 350Z had been gaining on the Opera and almost got up to his tail, but has dropped away again to be about 20s behind me.

    The is the first to pit, from last place, on lap 12, a lap or two away from being lapped. The Civic is next to pit, from 5th, on lap 13.

    My tyres start to go off on lap 14 and all of a sudden I am doing 2:19s instead of 2:16/2:17s. The Opera closes up really quickly and passes me on lap 17. I decide to swallow my pride and pit for new S1s and a splash of fuel. I rejoin in 3rd as the 350Z also passes me. I rejoin 25s behind the Opera and set about trying to make up for those last three laps on worn tyres. I post a 2:15.336 and pass the 350Z on lap 23 for 2nd. The 350Z pits at the end of that lap. At which time I am 21s behind the Opera. When will he pit??? The hour ends on lap 26, and I am still 19s adrift of the Opera. The 350Z remains in 3rd. The Nismo and the Civic are 1 lap down. The Intergra is 2 laps down.

    Hour 2

    Waited and waited for the Opera to pit, and he doesn't!!! My tyres gave up the ghost and I pitted on lap 33 and rejoin about 44s behind. The Opera finally pits the next lap but at the same time I lose it on the tight right-hander before the Dunlop bridge and end up in the sand-trap!! Idiot! End the lap 19s behind. The Opera, on cold tyres, takes a whole lap to lap the Nismo, and a slice a massive 8s out of his lead on lap 36. Now only 7s behind. What if I didn't have that off on lap 34. Dammit. :grumpy:

    Close to within 3.6s on lap 37. I regain the lead by passing him just before the Dunlop Bridge on the next lap! I'm flying and I want to extend this lead to at least 20 seconds before I pit again. But it won't be easy, especially when the Opera's tyres finally start to warm up. I push really hard and drive well and post a few laps in the low 2:15s (fastest lap 2:15.076) before pitting at the end of lap 49 with a lead of 23s, my tank almost dry.

    Incredibly, I rejoin side-by-side with the Opera into turn 1!!!:scared: I win the corner and slowly edge my lead up to 2.2s at the end of the 2nd hour. What a race!

    Hour 3

    Gradually extend my lead to about 14s at one point. The gap is reduced to 8.8s before I pit at the end of lap 66. I guess I'm about 0.8s to 1s a lap quicker than the Opera when we are both at peak performance. The Opera pits at the end of lap 68, and while he warms his tyres up, I stretch my lead out to 39s by the end of the 3rd hour. The 350Z is now a lap down.

    Hour 4

    The lead is 35s as I pull into the pits on lap 84 for stop no.5. I rejoin with a 10s lead and we have a see-saw battle between two very evenly matched cars for the next 18 laps. I am now lapping in 2:16s and 2:17s with the odd lap in 2:18s. Not pushing as hard as I was earlier. The lead is cut to 6s at a couple of stages before the Opera gets stuck momentarily behind lapped traffic. In the end the Opera pits first, on lap 102, and I carry on very gingerly for a final lap on very worn tyres and pit on lap 103. I realise now that the Delorean can handle 18 laps max on S1s. I end my outlap with an 18s lead as the 4th hour comes to an end.

    Hour 5

    Pit from a 42s lead on lap 120. Rejoin with an 18s lead which is 17s by the end of the hour. Which happens to be almost the exact same gap that I started the hour with, :)having done one stop to the Opera's none. The 350Z is now two laps down.

    Hour 6

    Back on it again after celebrating my birthday last night. :tup:The Opera pits on lap 136, and I do so on lap 139, two more laps after I should have, but what the hell? I wanted to practice my driving skills on worn front tyres. I resume with a 40s lead which I extend to 49s after turning on the car stereo and cruising the rest of hour.:sly: The Opera had a lot of trouble lapping the 350Z this hour and thus lost a lot of extra time.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2010
  2. Smallhorses

    Smallhorses Staff Emeritus

    Excellent start, and sounds like you've got your work cut out keeping up with the Operas as it looks like you'll be making a few more pitstops than them.
    If I recall correctly the Opera S2000 goes around 27 laps between stops...
  3. flyingkiwi


    Hilariously, after 6 hours, I tripped over the PS2 cord and disconnected the power.:grumpy:

    Thankfully it wasn't 23 hours into a 24 hour race.:crazy:
  4. flyingkiwi


    Motegi 8 hour endurance, take 2:)

    The Lineup:125pts
    NISMO Fairlady Z S-tune concept by GT 2002 (292hp, 1320kg)
    Opera Performance S2000 2004 (288hp, 930kg)
    Honda Mugen S2000 2000 (259hp, 1240kg)
    Spoon Civic Type R 2000 (228hp, 820kg)
    Opera Performance 350Z 2004 (368hp, 1340kg)
    Nissan Fairlady Z TT 2 Seater 1989 (Oil Change, 279hp, 1510kg)

    The oldest and heaviest car in the field. Any chance? Let's see!

    Hour 1
    I pass the 350Z and the Civic together on lap 1 and am 3s behind the lead Fairlady at the end of the lap after posting a 2:28.6. The Opera S2000 and the Mugen are in 2nd and 3rd respectfully.

    Pass the Mugen on lap 2 and do a 2:22 and am now 1.9s behind the NISMO. The field is still tightly bunched, except for the Civic Type R.

    Pass the Opera on lap 3 and hound the rear bumper bar on the NISMO for the rest of the lap. Actually pass him but outbraked myself and he got the lead back. Finish on a 2:21.7. 1st to 5th is covered by about 3s.:dopey:

    Pass the NISMO at the hairpin on lap 4 and pull away to a 1.8s by the end of the lap after posting a 2:19.7.

    Put another 3s on the field after posting a 2:18.9 on lap 5.

    And another 4s on lap 6 after posting a 2:17.0. 2nd to 5th is still very tightly bunched, making me think that the NISMO Fairlady is holding them up. Team tactics?:sly:

    The Opera finally gets past the NISMO on lap 8. But I am already 15s down the road. He gradually eats away at that until he is 13s down at the end of lap 12.

    The 350Z finally gets passed the NISMO for 3rd on lap 13 and immediately does laps in the low 2:17s and high 2:16s.

    The Civic is the first to pit on lap 13, and he consequently goes a lap down. It was then that my tyres go off and foolishly I stay out another lap.:crazy:
    I have two offs. :tdown:

    The Opera is thus right behind me as I pit at the end of lap 16 for new S1s, and a splash of fuel. Half the tank was gone, but I added a little more just in case. The 350Z (who passed the NISMO some time back and pulled away) passes me for 2nd. I rejoin just in between the NISMO and the Mugen, which has hung on surprisingly well.

    I regain 3rd from the NISMO Fairlady on my outlap and am now 25s behind the Opera, who in turn is leading by 6s from the very fast-lapping 350Z (he sets the fastest lap of the race so far on lap 18: 2:16.393. Alas, the 350Z pits on lap 22, 7s behind the Opera, and gives me back 2nd as I do what will remain the fastest lap of the race: 2:16.007.

    The Mugen S2000 pits from 5th at the end of lap 24, 45s down on the leading Opera, after putting up a brave fight to the NISMO.

    After rattling off a series of 2:16s I am 19s behind the Opera as the hour comes to an end. And that is all for tonight, folks. Mahalo.

    Hour 2

    The NISMO Fairlady pits from 4th on lap 27, and holds his position about 3s in front of the Mugen S2000. But not for long. The feisty Mugen zooms past and gets 4th! :tup: They are now about 1:45s behind the lead Opera.

    The Civic pits and goes another lap down.

    I pit on lap 31 and resume 44s behind the Opera and just ahead of the 350Z, which hassles me for a couple of laps while I warm up my tyres.

    The Opera pits on lap 34 and after a lengthy stop (due to having to top up his entire fuel tank) resumes only 11s in front. The 350Z is still only 2s behind me and together we close the gap rapidly to the leader.

    By lap 37 I am on his tail and take the lead at turn 3. The 350Z also lines up to have a go and passes the Opera for 2nd on lap 38!:dopey: What a great, competitive race this is!:)

    The Civic pits again and, again, goes down a lap.:tdown:

    The 350Z keeps me honest (at about 7-8s) before pitting on lap 43. He resumes behind the Opera, which trails me by about 25s. The 350Z really needed to resume ahead of the Opera to have any chance of challenging for 2nd later on.

    I pit on lap 46 and resume just in front of the Opera. Crucial.:dopey:

    The Mugen S2000 pits from 4th on lap 48 and resumes in 5th, about 2 mins down on me.

    The Opera fails to put any real pressure on me and I end the hour 3.8s ahead. The 350Z is about 30s behind me in 3rd.

    Hour 3

    The NISMO Fairlady pits on lap 54 and resumes in 5th behind the Mugen, a lap down.

    Lapping the Mugen was another story all together. :grumpy:Laps 53 and 54 were a disaster for me. I try unsuccessfully to lap the Mugen many times and the Opera catches up. On lap 54 I outbrake myself trying to lap the Mugen at the hairpin and the Opera passes me and also zooms past the Mugen for good measure.:ouch:

    The next few laps were thoroughly underwhelming for me. Outbraked myself a few times trying to close the gap to the Opera and finally pit on lap 61, 8s down.

    My previous stint was so bad that I resume in 3rd, about 4s down on the 350Z, and 33s down on the Opera.

    The 350Z pits on lap 64 and hands me back 2nd. But I cannot make up any time on the Opera and am stuck in the high 2:17s.:indiff:

    The Opera pits on lap 68 for another lengthy stop and rejoins just in front of me. I get him at turn 4 and pull away. The Civic also stops one lap later (going 5 laps down) and the Opera has such trouble lapping him that he is 23s down after another four laps!:dopey:

    I pit from a 25s lead on lap 77 and in turn rejoin just in front of the Opera but he passes me after turn 3. I get him back just before the end of the lap but he zooms past me on the start/finish line to complete the hour. I'm not going to block him. I wanna race!:)

    Hour 4

    The NISMO Fairlady pits on lap 79 and this time rejoins ahead of the Mugen, who was held up behind the Civic. The battle for 4th is set to resume.

    Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the battle for the lead! :)It's very hard to get close enough under braking to the Opera to make a pass since he gets away from me on the straights. I outbrake myself once trying to do so, and lose 3 seconds. I get it back when the Opera gets stuck behind that moving chicane of a Civic. We battle for a couple more laps before I finally take him on lap 87 before the Dunlop Bridge.

    The Opera hangs onto my tail before I pit on lap 92. I rejoin 23s behind.

    The Opera extends his lead to 33s before pitting on lap 102. Once again he rejoins just in front of me. I pass him at turn 4 and by the end of the hour I am 9s ahead.

    The Mugen S2000 is now 2 laps down.

    Hour 5

    Build the lead to 17s and pit on lap 108. Resume in 2nd, about 6s behind. I stalk the Opera for a few laps before taking the lead on lap 114 as the Opera gets blocked trying to lap the Civic and then the NISMO.

    In fact, the Opera doesn't manage to get pass the NISMO for the rest of my stint and, in an unexpected bonus, I boost my lead to 15s before pitting on lap 123.

    The 350Z has been really flying lately, and incredibly he takes 2nd position away from me as I exit the pits!:crazy: Now we are both going to close up on the Opera who is still stuck behind the NISMO, 8s ahead. The 350Z has a chance to take the lead!

    Alas, the NISMO is proving to be a real bitch to lap as he proceeds to hold up the 350Z (who pits on lap 128) and then me.

    I finally get pass him and at the end of the hour the Opera has stretched its lead to 14.7s.:nervous:

    Hour 6

    The Opera pits on lap 136 and I pit a lap later. My shorter fuel stop combined with a slow outlap from the Opera means I emerge 2s behind and I take the lead on lap 139 as the Opera is still on cold tyres. I must stretch this lead as much as possible. My goal is to stretch it out to 25+s before my next pitstop so I can emerge still in the lead. Meanwhile, the 350Z is only 16s behind me in 3rd and is the fastest car on the track.:eek:

    By lap 142, the 350Z is on the tail of the Opera. But, as we see so often in motorsport, it is one thing to catch someone, but quite another thing to pass them. The Opera withstands the pressure brilliantly until the 350Z pits on lap 149.

    I am 22s down the road by this point, doing consistent 2:17s, with a fastest lap this stint of a 2:16.8. I can't get near the 2:16.007 I did early in the race, probably due to a loss of horsepower once the benefits of the pre-race oil change went away.

    My last couple of laps before pitting on lap 152 are poor and I emerge 5s down on the Opera.:tdown:

    And that is the gap at the end of the hour.

    This one is going down to the wire!:scared:

    Hour 7

    Right. We are at the business end of this race.

    According to my calculations, that Opera must stop 2 more times before the end of the race. I expect we will complete either 209 or 210 laps. The Opera is scheduled to stop on laps 170 and 204.

    I, on the other hand, will stop on laps 167, 182, and 199. So, I have one more stop to make.

    So, it was a godsend at the start of this hour that the Civic totally blocked the leading Opera for half a lap, allowing me to cut my 6s to zilch and perform a very late braking move to pass the Opera for the lead on lap 158!:sly:

    I extend the lead to 4s before pitting on lap 166, one lap before schedule as I didn't want to lose that lead on worn tyres. I pushed real hard that stint; lapping in the 2:16s. I also lap the NISMO and the Mugen. They are now 3 laps down, still battling for 4th (the Mugen is currently winning that battle by about 20s). God only knows how many laps the Civic is down:yuck:

    I rejoin 16s down, with that pesky 350Z 5s behind me, and closing!:nervous:

    But the 350Z gets held up lapping the NISMO. That could be crucial for his chances.

    He follows the Opera into the pits on lap 170. The Opera rejoins 15s behind me. They both have one more stop to make. Can the 350Z steal 2nd???

    I should have this race if I don't make any big mistakes.

    I extend the lead to 43s before pitting on lap 180. I emerge 19s in front of the Opera, with the 350Z about 28s behind me in 3rd.

    Top 3 cars separated by under 30s after 7 hours! Couldn't have asked for a closer one!:):tup:

    Hour 8

    Bring it on home!

    The 350Z pits for the final time on lap 192. What might have been had he not been held up behind the Opera in the 6th hour and by lapped traffic (although it has also helped him close the gap to the Opera).

    I pit for the final time on lap 194, with just under 30 minutes of the race remaining.

    And, you guessed it, I rejoin right behind the Opera!:yuck: I hope he pits on lap 204!:nervous:

    Meanwhile, I am hungry for one final battle with the Opera. Once again he gets stuck behind the Civic on lap 199 and I pass both of them on the outside heading into the tight left-hander at the back of the circuit.:dopey::cheers:

    The Opera doesn't give up and hounds me for the next 5 laps as I start to tire and am not at my best. He finally stops on lap 204 to release all the pressure off me. But! Hold on! One more twist in this race? The Opera resumes just 10s ahead of the 3rd-placed 350Z. Can he hold on for the next 3 laps to seal 2nd place?

    In the end he justs holds on. I cruise the final lap and finish an estimated 35s ahead of the Opera and 350Z, who finish nose-to-tail!:tup:

    The NISMO wins the battle over the Mugen, by about 30s. They are both 3 laps down at the finish.

    What a race!:gtpflag:
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2010
  5. DK

    DK Premium

    Ooh, sickener.
  6. flyingkiwi


    Final Results:

    Nissan Fairlady Z TT 2 Seater 1989 207 laps
    Opera Performance S2000 2004 +35s
    Opera Performance 350Z 2004 +35.5s
    NISMO Fairlady Z S-tune concept by GT 2002 +3 laps
    Honda Mugen S2000 2000 +3 laps
    Spoon Civic Type R 2000 +15 laps (estimate)

  7. GTsail

    GTsail Premium

    United States
    Nicely done Flyingkiwi:tup:

    Those Opera's really gave you a run for the money!

    Great write-up!

    Did you get tired of seeing the Spoon Civic? Its surprising how many times it seems to pit.

  8. flyingkiwi


    I seemed to lap the Civic at least twice every hour.

    Three things that won me the race:
    1. The fact that the 4th and 5th placed cars (NISMO Fairlady and Mugen Spoon) were also no slouches made it difficult for the Operas to lap them without losing a heap of time.

    2. It took the Opera S2000 around 10 laps to warm up this tyres and he was on average 3s a lap slower during that time.

    3. My pitshops were a lot quicker, since I only had to fill up half the tank.

    Still, 35s after 207 laps is very tight.
  9. Smallhorses

    Smallhorses Staff Emeritus

    Great result and a nice report! Well done! Enjoy the Champagne! :cheers:
  10. DK

    DK Premium

    Just don't drive after drinking it. :sly: :lol:
  11. flyingkiwi


    Done enough driving for today for now, me thinks.:)

    Anyway, watching a replay of the first 25 laps, and this is the fastest laps recorded by each car for future reference:

    Nissan Fairlady Z TT 2 Seater 1989 2:16.007

    Opera Performance 350Z 2004 2:16.393
    Opera Performance S2000 2004 2:16.899
    NISMO Fairlady Z S-tune concept by GT 2002 2:19.084
    Honda Mugen S2000 2000 2:19.432
    Spoon Civic Type R 2000 2:26.428
  12. PF


    Nice work amigo, even if you do come from the wrong side of the ditch. Thanks for the lap times as well.