Apex Racing UK Drivers Dean Prescott & Jesper Pedersen, was both racing in Split 6. Dean was in the Riley Prototype and Pedersen in the new McLaren MP4-12C. Both had a long but exciting race with some ups and downs.
Pedersen started 17th out of 20 drivers in the McLaren, after problems in qualifying. He was not supposed to do the race, but an hour before the Daytona 2.4, he got the oportunity to race. So he had to jump on the last qualifying session, and get a time. After the session Pedersen saw that he was using a Suzuka setup based on a high downforce trim, which is long from optimal around a half oval track. He did correct the mistake to the race, so he now could somehow be competitive again.
After the bad qualifying Pedersen had to prove his point in the race, even it was a Enduance race it fast turned into a sprint for the young Dane. Just after the start of the race Pedersen moved his, way through the field in a fast manner. In the up trough the field he had a nice battle with the fellow Dane Nicki Thiim, who is a professional Racing Driver in the Porsche SuperCup and scored several wins in the past season. Thiim and Pedersen pushed he together the next 10 laps, closing the gap to top 5 very fast.
When both Thiim and Pedersen had closed the gap together, it was back to hard racing. After some nice battles Pedersen was leading the little group of people trying to pull in the gap to the leader until the first pit stop.
After the first pitstop Pedersen was down to 3rd after a long stop where he overshot his pitbox. It was now back to pushing hard and close the small gap to 2nd and a big gap of 21 seconds to the leader. With the new tires he could close the gap to 2nd place after a few laps. The lap after he managed to get past and pull a gap, so it was now Pedersen VS. The Leader.
When the seconds and last pitstops round came up, Pedersen had closed the gap down to just 7 seconds. After putting in a very strong stint where he several times beat his own qualifying time with 0,4 a lap. But once again Pedersen had a slow stop, where he overshot his pit box but also filled the car up with fuel. So when he got back on track he had 15 seconds to the leader and had 30 kg’s to much fuel onboard. It seemed like a impossible mission to close the gap to the leader.
But Pedersen kept pushing and still managed to put fast laptimes in with the extra fuel. With 30 minuttes left the gap was now 5 seconds to the leader and closing fast. For the first time could Pedersen see the Leader of the race. The lap after Pedersen made a mistake into Turn 1, and almost spun the car, but he just managed to save the car without damage. The gap was now up to 8 secounds.
After almost have spun the car Pedersen had to get back into the rythm fast if he even got a chance to catch the Leader. But this got even harder when a Riley Prototype tried to outbrake Pedersen into the chicane, this forced Pedersen McLaren to cut over the grass in the chikane. Otherwise the race would have ended.
The gap was even larger now, but Pedersen was again closing the gap now, even faster than before. On the seconds to last lap the gap was 3.3 secounds. Both the Leader and the young Dane was on maximum attack for the win. The leader made a small mistake into the busstop chicane and got a slow down penalty, this meant when he crossed the line for the last lap, Pedersen was only 0.5 seconds behind him.
On the infield Pedersen managed to get right on the bumper of the Leader, but stayed behind until the oval so he could draft pass. Exactly this happened and Pedersen could take the lead for the first time, into the busstop chicane. But the other driver got a good run out of the busstop and was close behind. This meant it was now a drag race to the finish line. This drag race was won by Pedersen, but only just.
After the victorie Pedersen said: “This was an amazing race, that finish was unbelievable. After almost 3 hours of racing then the race finish with just a small margin.. Great fun!”
Here you can watch the last two laps for Pedersen’s view: