Friday night seen the TORA Formula E gaggle of teams and drivers head to the Rio Coast for round three of the exciting electric powered championship. VPR drivers AnonCaliga, Select Veepz and Nutter aiming to add further points to the team collection took to the qualifying session which seen Select Veepz setting the top qualifying time for the Virtual Pirtek Racing team trio with a best lap time of 0:47.609 placing him second on the starting grid in lobby A for the main event. Team driver Nutter pushed in a qualification lap time of 0:47.997 placing his VPR car 5th on the lobby A starting grid and finally team driver/owner AnonCaliga placed 15th on the lobby A starting grid after setting a qualification lap time of 0:48.816.
The main race event in lobby A recorded delays whilst one driver on the grid complained about steering wheel issues and also asked for a delayed start time to allow his team mate to appear on grid. Finally once the race did get under way it was soon halted again for restarts due to collisions at the top end of the field and once again for issues with one driver in the pack having steering wheel issues. A final restart and within minutes several drivers made contact allowing lower placed drivers in the lobby, AnonCaliga being one, to take advantage of positions being lost by other drivers and to make up valuable positions. A fierce battle raged throughout the later part of the race between VPR driver Select Veepz in second position and the pack pole sitter. Select Veepz chased down the lead race driver for most of the race matching lap time after lap time until the mandatory pit stops came into play from lap ten onwards. Meanwhile VPR driver three FAA xXNutterXx struggled with balance issues and the occasional avoiding manoeuvre due to accidents by other cars ahead of him who ploughed into tyre and wall barriers which caused several corners of the track to become blocked and heard lobby drivers calling for a pace car to help rectify the issue. Team driver AnonCaliga meanwhile took a mid race pitstop and managed to pass several drivers to then move his team car up into seventh position after having a fun chase, pass, chase battle with the Benedict Racing team owner.
A defining moment of the race came quite late with several laps remaining Select Veepz leading the race and AnonCaliga in fifth position until the second place lobby driver from another team rammed AnonCaliga’s car to pass which was the second time within the race the same driver involved had resorted to this course of action in hope of catching Select Veepz, however this time AnonCaliga was pushed into a barrier which caused severe front suspension damage and causing him to fall down to fifteenth position after a pitting for repairs, the driver who caused the damage to AnonCaliga’s VPR car later claimed, wrongly, that he was being ‘Brake Checked’ by AnonCaliga.
Finally the flag came down on the TORA Formula E round three race at Rio Coast and celebrations began immediately at Virtual Pirtek Racing as Select Veepz placed first and claimed the teams first ever top step podium win with Nutter placing thirteenth and AnonCaliga limping across the line in fifteenth place. The Virtual Pirtek Racing media team spoke to VPR team owner/driver AnonCaliga the following day to ask him about the previous nights events.
A VPR maiden win and in an electric car of all things, how do you feel?
“Indeed, we’ve had numerous 2nd place finishes, several 3rd place finishes on various race organising websites since the CTech Motorsport team was established in 2012 but never a top podium place finish and finally that monkey is off our back at last. It doesn't matter if its electric powered, petrol or even steam powered, even though steam powered isn’t possible on FM6, a win is a win and that was an outright, clear cut, raced to the line win by Veepz. We’re all stupendously happy and proud for Veepz right now and the fact that this is a first ever win for CTech Motorsport but more so for our officially sponsored Virtual Pirtek Racing team.”
How do you feel now looking back on last night’s race antics that caused you to drop back down the field after such a progressive climb through the field to fifth place at one point?
“You know I was fuming last night, it was all bitter sweet, in one hand the team had Veepz secure a well deserved win but on the other hand we had me working my way quietly through the field, with a killer tune may I add by our new team tuner/driver Nutter, only to be purposely smashed into on two occasions by the same driver from another team who simply wanted to catch Veepz but couldn't match Veepz pace and so resorted to illegal tactics in attempt to catching Veepz, had it not been the fact that the team was so happy at Veepz taking the win then I’ve no doubt we would have taken the matter further with race stewards at TORA regarding the driver who cost me a 5th place finishing position. The entire lobby participants told the driver to stop crying after the race, it was terrible, it was like listening to a little child crying over a lost toy and it has now transpired that the driver involved is clearly a very, very bad loser, everyone has now seen this, he became quite verbal on Twitter afterwards claiming one VPR team driver had ‘Brake Tested’ him and another VPR driver had ‘Crashed Into’ him to aid Veepz race win, which is absolute nonsense as there is NO way we would be risking our then 5th place possible race finishing position, the guy is nuts, obsessed and obviously his claims are very inaccurate, unfounded and childish and further proof that he is pretty poor at taking a loss, although he did place 2nd in the race I believe so I don't understand what his issue is really.”
You mentioned VPR’s new team tuner/driver, any feedback?
“FAA xXNutterXx is indeed the new Virtual Pirtek Racing tuner, latest addition to the VPR family and driver line up. Look, he has told me himself he struggled in that race with balance issues, now we haven’t looked into that in detail but it is what it is. I’ve personally witnessed Nutter and Veepz match each other in pace, race side by side in private team practice and test sessions, Nutter kills it during team test sessions, he creates superb tuning setups for the team and does well in the qualifying sessions but at the minute it just hasn’t all came together for him in the main events so far and thats not through lack of trying but I've absolutely no doubt it will all click together for him soon and once that ice is broken there will be no stopping him. The guy is a credit to the team, all the drivers love him, you guys at back of house love him and he doesn’t shy away from putting the time in and he’s always asking if we need adjustments to the tuning and checking if the drivers are happy with the performance of his latest creations, I cant, we cant find fault with the guy and look forward to the very near future when he’s battling up front with Veepz for podiums, ha just as long as they don’t take each other out.”
Finally on the Formula E topic, overall what do you think about the team progress so far?
“I mentioned above about how it will all come together real soon for Nutter, but I just wish it would for me also ha. I’ve suffered, as you know, with pains in my wrist since fracturing it several months ago and it's stopping me getting back onto the wheel setup, not an excuse of course but I know I can shave 2 maybe 3 seconds off my best times if I could just manage the wheel setup again, I’ve tried the wheel recently and it was agony trying to turn and pull gears, I doubt I’ll be back on the wheel setup again anytime soon.
Veepz, what can I say really, the guy is laid back, quiet, chilled, relaxed, in fact if he was any more laid back he’d be horizontal. Veepz will always be the last to log on for team testing, last to be ready for on track time, we’ll always find ourselves laughing and joking about waiting those extra few minutes for him during team test sessions for him to ready up but when he gets on the virtual black stuff he dedicates himself for the entire session and nails it consistently every lap. If it wasn’t for Veepz relaxed approach to everything then I think he wouldn’t be the fun character he is, we’re all proud of him and his funny ways and I guarantee he will be a threat to any Formula E contender for the remaining of the series.
Nutter, like I said is our latest edition to the team and actually a last minute decision by me as we weren’t accepting any further team drivers at the point when the media team guys heard from him one day. I still reckon he’s building up to something big and simply waiting his time, he’s a sheep in wolf clothing who at some point is going to make a stealth attack and surprise us all in a big way, that I’m totally certain of. The team tunes he’s knocking out ahead of each race event are super fast and every one of them so far have been flawless, course he could create even faster tunes but that would take away from car stability on some occasions and I personally prefer a slower but dialled in setup than a blistering fast, unstable car that just won’t hook into corners. I will say this, Nutter has the unique skill and technique of tuning on Forza mastered and thats without any doubt, it was Nutter's tuning that partially aided Veepz taking the round 3 win last night. Lots of people can and have claimed they can tune on Forza but only a small amount of people truly, truly can, Nutter is one of that minority and a highly valuable and respected addition to team VPR.”
Now a final question regarding Virtual Pirtek Racing taking part in the season finale of the TORA TCC series, what was the thinking and reasoning behind this decision?
“Yea thats a tricky one to be honest. VPR was originally registered to take part in this series as an independent since round 1 but due to TORA banning the number 5 Honda Civic which we had invested a large amount of time into through tuning and creating the season livery for we then couldn't find the time to ready the number 2 Honda Civic in time for the series start and then with VPR commitments on another race organising site to participate in another form of racing things simply got confused and it wasn’t possible to continue the idea of participating in the full TORA TCC season. As for why we have come back to this TORA TCC series for the final round of the season was more for the reason of fact gathering so we could see how the WTCC civic performed in this sort of touring car series as this is the first time Forza Motorsport have included WTCC and BTCC cars into the game and going by the amazing progress throughout the TCC season by team CQR in the Honda Civic it seems the japanese pocket rocket is a great car choice for the series. VPR as you know were and are committed to growing further and as we signed Veepz and Nutter during the TCC season I also felt entering the final rounds of the TCC series would be an experience for them and a break from the Formula E format. Hey its like this, we aren’t going into the final races of the TORA TCC hell bent on taking wins or points from anyone, thats not our plan or intention but that said we don’t intend to move over and let everyone past either and if points do become a playing factor then of course we’ll pocket them like any other serious competing team and drivers would do.”
The next round of TORA Formula E will be Round 4 held at Brands Hatch Indy circuit on 26th Feb, meanwhile the season finale of the TORA TCC championship will be held at Brands Hatch GP circuit tomorrow night (Tuesday 2nd) from 8pm GMT.
Today we are announcing the promotion of team driver Nutter to official team master tuner. Nutter will continue in his team driving role completing the Virtual Pirtek Racing driver trio but also take on the responsibility of developing and creating tuning files for the team, VPR are immensely grateful to Nutter for taking on this role as it will now free up some back of house staff to work on other team projects. Nutter was reportedly only to happy to volunteer for the position after he created a very impressive tune for the team cars more recently. VPR team boss said,
"The fact that Nutter was eager to put himself into this role demonstrates very clearly to me his commitment to team VPR, and that will always stand well with me especially as official team tuner isn't a role to be taken likely because team tuner takes on a huge amount of pressure knowing he/she is responsible for the team cars either performing in harmony with the driver for an optimum result or not performing at all, that said, Nutter has already proven his capability of creating some exciting set-ups and the additional VPR team role as Master Tuner is a position that will fit him like a glove."
Team driver and Master Tuner Nutter is already reported to be working on the team next tuning setup for round three of the TORA Formula E championship which gets going on January 29th from Rio.
VPR brought home a nice points tally from the TORA Formula E race at Lime Rock last night. AnonCaliga qualified 7th and took a reasonable 7th place finishing position in Lobby B after struggling most of the race with a setup which just wasn't performing as it had during practice, Anon also fell victim to the well known Forza lobby chat problem which left Anon without any way to communicate with other drivers and unable to hear other lobby drivers.
VPR team driver FAA xXNutterXx qualified 4th for his lobby but during the race suffered unfortunate early damage to his car and after an unscheduled pitstop to repair the car Nutter then found himself 3 laps down. Nutter's final finishing position in Lobby A was 12th which still gave him a points position to contribute to the overall VPR team points tally. The night however belonged to VPR team driver Select Veepz who qualified 3rd in his lobby then drove a faultless race from start to finish in Lobby A and even after suffering from pre race nerves he still put his Virtual Pirtek Racing Formula E car and himself on the podium by taking a very well deserved 2nd position. VPR team boss and driver AnonCaliga had this to say to the VPR media team early this morning:
"So, so proud of the team right now from back of house staff to the drivers and its Nutter and Veepz that I'm particularly proud of right now, two amazing, solid virtual drivers who both done all that was asked of them and brought home points, so yeah we're very proud of our guys right now and thankful we have these two very talented virtual drivers on the team."
Round 3 of the TORA Formula E Championship will be held on January 29th on the Rio Coast Loop with a reverse configuration. After last nights race Virtual Pirtek Racing currently occupy 4th overall in the TORA team standings and we hope we can extend that lead further when we arrive at the Rio round.
With round two of the TORA Formula E series from Lime Rock Circuit only a few hours away, the first team practice by all three VPR drivers proved revealing for the VPR staff. Drivers, Select Veepz and FAA xXNutterXx both set blistering fast lap times and personal fastest lap times during the teams private practice/test session.
Virtual Pirtek Racing team boss and owner/driver struggled during most of the practice session to break into competitive lap times and by the end of the team session AnonCaliga's best lap time was recorded at a lonely 52.433 at the Lime Rock Circuit. We spoke to AnonCaliga before VPR Media Staff wrote this piece to ask him what his final thoughts and predications were before we head to Lime Rock for the actual TORA round two race of the Formula E series.
AnonCaliga said that after breaking his wrist several months ago he had to revert back to using the Xbox One controller instead of his usual setup which includes his ThrustMaster steering wheel and at present he feels he is still not used to the controller and due to this is losing at least 2 - 3 seconds per lap.
"I'm most definitely losing a chunk of time per lap compared to my normal lap times using my steering wheel setup prior my wrist injury several months ago" AnonCaliga said.
We asked team boss/owner and team driver what he thought of the times set by his two team mates after the full team practice/test session,
"You know I'm real proud of Veepz and Nutter and with how they both adapted to the team and the formula E car especially as they've only been with the team for around a month. I truly struggled to even get close to either of them during the team test session at the weekend and as for the times they both set, I really couldn't be more chuffed with them, I just hope they can both replicate their best lap times from the team practice session when we go into the actual TORA race where it really matters. Without doubt I really feel that the VPR team made the perfect selection picking Veepz and Nutter from the few dozen applicants for team drivers, we couldn't have asked for a better couple of virtual drivers to put in our team." AnonCaliga told VPR Media Staff.
The VPR Media Staff Team also asked Anon if he would be applying team driver orders or if team orders were already in place. "Nope, theres nothing in place like such. You know better than to ask that, course we will have team orders if or when such a situation arises, this early on in the series I don't think its at all even worth considering team orders at present, besides it will be me without doubt being told to protect both our other drivers or allow them past and so on [laughter]. Seriously though its far too early to consider such a scenario but if, or better still, when that time comes then like all teams challenging for maximum team points we, as a team, will discuss the option further because we would be stupid if we didn't consider team orders and so on to help a particular team driver or to max team scoring points from this series." team boss, owner/driver AnonCaliga told us.
We finally asked AnonCaliga what his hopes were for the teams first race in the TORA Formula E Championship round two, "We missed the opening round of this TORA series due to other commitments on another race organising website that we no longer take part in so although this is round two for all other competitors at TORA its the VPR team first round and all I can really ask or hope for is that the team, as a whole, do their best and bag some points. predictions? I can definitely predict that our two points scoring drivers will be Veepz and Nutter, without doubt it will be both of them who score the team points seeing as the TORA rules stipulate that only the first two highest point scoring drivers from a team will be counted." he said.
So with the actual race only a matter of hours away we wish our drivers all the best of luck and hope they all do well and score those team points. We hope to report some good news to our followers after the TORA Formula E race from Lime Rock.
Today we finally unveil our TORA Formula E team entry livery. Three Virtual Pirtek Racing Formula E cars featuring official sponsorship from Pirtek UK will take part in the TORA Formula E championship from round two onwards. Round two of the championship will be held on the 15th January with the back drop of Lime Rock Circuit being the location.