Next Race: Chevrolet Grand Prix

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Pressing for success in the second half of the season

The Chevrolet Grand Prix at Mosport this coming weekend represents the start of the second half of my 2024 IMSA programme and I’ve used the (short) break since Watkins Glen to reflect on the season to date.

I’m obviously not new to the IMSA paddock and although I’ve competed as a ‘third’ driver for Corvette previously, it honestly feels like I’ve been racing with them for far longer, so the transition to working ‘full time’ with the team has felt seamless.

There are a few new faces in the Pratt Miller Motorsport team but most of the guys were here when I raced for them previously.  It’s such a good group and probably one of the main reasons I signed up to the programme.

It’s also been good to get reacquainted with a Corvette race car.  My recollections from before is that it’s a race car that gives the driver great feedback and the first half of the season reaffirmed this.  The Z06 GT3.R is good in every type of corner and every phase of a corner…just like the C8R was in GTLM.  It brakes well, accelerates well and turns well…there are no inherent weaknesses and it gives me a good understanding of what’s going on at any one time.

Inside the cockpit it’s all laid out nicely which takes some of the stress out of an increasingly technical sport.  There are plenty of dedicated switches and buttons for altering parameters and crucially there’s good scope for us to add further functionality.  This will allow us to change and/or fine tune specific settings or potentially add things in the future.

All that being said it’s been a frustrating first half of the season from a results perspective.  We’ve been more or less on the pace with our competitors but small details have gone against us and we’ve struggled to execute our plans 100%.  Finishing 5th, 10th, 5th then 10th again left us a way off the Championship pace but a 3rd place podium last time out at Watkins Glen is hopefully the start of a run of better results.

Personally speaking I was enjoying Sebring until the AC cut out and the challenge of the bumpy street circuit in Detroit was great even though our race then only lasted one lap!

The aim for the second half of the season is obviously to win a race but that starts with executing a race as we need to.  As I mentioned, the pace in the car has been good, particularly in qualifying.  We need to get on top of some reliability issues so we can a) score the points that the hard work we’re all putting in deserves and b) continue to help develop the car with the wider Corvette race programme in mind.

That starts this weekend with the Chevrolet Grand Prix at Mosport.  This is probably the race I’m looking forward to the most.  It’s an old-school circuit with no real ‘run-offs’ and a high speed, high commitment circuit that rewards calculated risks.  If you under-drive the car here you can haemorrhage lap time.

We also go to VIR towards the end of August which I’m also excited about.  I’ve not raced there since 2018 with BMW in GTLM and it’s another old-school circuit in terms of no ‘run-offs’ but also features nice sequences of flowing corners.

There’s plenty to be optimistic about and if we can pull everything together I’m confident there are good results to come in the final five races of this season.

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About Alexander Sims

The 36-year-old Corvette Racing driver has been involved in motorsport since he was 10 years old, initially racing karts before moving on to single seater, GT and Endurance racing and most recently four seasons in the all-electric FIA Formula E World Championship. With wins across the board including Spa 24 hours, Nurburgring 24 hours, Petit Le Mans and the Diriyah E Prix Sims continues to showcase his skill and race raft on the global stage.

Alongside his racing activities, Alexander is a passionate advocate for sustainable technology and electric mobility on the road, having owned and driven EVs since 2012, and aims to incorporate sustainable choices in his daily lifestyle wherever possible.

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