Tolman eSports by HCR is looking to bounce back from a troubled start to its iRacing VRS Endurance Series programme in the 3 Hours of Road America (Sunday 31 May).
The Happy Cat Racing-run team showed leading pace and potential in the season-opening 3 Hours of Road Atlanta on Sunday 17 May, as the #4 and #5 McLaren MP4-12C GT3s both made the top split to be pitched against the likes of Williams eSports and Mivano Simracing in qualifying.
A 46-strong field rolled off the starting grid to begin 180 minutes of racing in the Georgia countryside, and Scott McCracken in the #5 Tolman eSports McLaren was one of the biggest movers in the opening exchanges.
James Brown in the sister #4 car, on the other hand, was an unfortunate victim of a typically frenetic start, as the British sim racer sustained what would turn out to be terminal damage in an unavoidable collision with wayward rivals on lap one.
McCracken initially upheld Tolman eSports by HCR’s honour by moving up 12 places from 34th to 22nd during the first 15 tours of the undulating Road Atlanta circuit, but rear-end grip was at a premium as the Mercury peaked at 40 degrees Celsius, and heavy rear-end contact with the tyre wall necessitated a lengthy 25-minute repair stop.
Tolman eSports returned to the fray and treated the remaining two hours as an extended test session, McCracken and teammate Chris Bell refining their car’s setup to match their qualifying times and move up to 30th at the chequered flag.
Optimising the McLarens’ race pace was always the priority for the McLaren Customer Racing team, which goes into Round 2 of its iRacing campaign at Road American with confidence that it can make an impact on the top end of a VRS Endurance Series field that is both large in numbers and talent.
Chris Bell (#5 Tolman eSports by HCR McLaren MP4-12C GT3): “The guys showed tenacity and a will to get the job done at Road Atlanta. James (Brown) and Adam (State) were very unfortunate and I’m disappointed for them, that they were unable to finish their first race with Tolman eSports. The #5 car showed some good pace, which was a reflection of the hard work we’ve put in, and while it wasn’t the result we had hoped for, we can confidently say we have gained knowledge and experience with the new car, and I’m confident we will be closer to the sharp end of the grid this time out at Road America. I’d like to say thanks to Tolman Motorsport for their input and assistance.”