The second half of the Retro GT season started at Sonoma last weekend. A track that has vastly different characteristics to what we had faced so far. Gone were the long banked turns of Watkins Glen, and the flat airfield that is home to Silverstone. Instead, we were faced with two and a half miles of technically challenging turns set in a mountainous terrain.
For the first time this season, all six CTech and VPR cars were in attendance. With every driver eager to perform well for a variety of reasons. In VPR, both A55ASSIN and StaticSh33p were looking for redemption, after unfortunate incidents last time out at Suzuka. Contrarily, Mutley was eager to build on his best finish yet.
CTech series debutants Pluto and StealthDavo were looking to start with a bang, with AnonCaliga hoping to show them what they’d been missing and continue his upward trajectory of results.
Qualifying came and went, with all drivers putting in a good show. Leading the VPR charge, Mutley smashed even his own expectations, to put his Bluebird 5th on the grid for A lobby. A55ASSIN would have déjà vu, just missing out on A lobby qualification. Starting on pole in B lobby for the second round running. StaticSh33p would once again join A55ASSIN in B lobby, not quite repeating the front row lockout from Suzuka, but only just. 3rd on the grid for the Scot would leave him directly behind his teammate for lights out.
Over in the CTech Motorsport camp, Pluto started his campaign impressively. 4th on the grid in C lobby would see him out qualify the ever present AnonCaliga by 5 places, with the Team Principle lining up 9th. StealthDavo wasn’t too behind either, it would be 15th on the grid for him.
The first race of the evening provided mixed fortunes for the VPR and CTech crew. Mutley unfortunately showed that qualifying had been an overperformance, and dropped several places to finish P10. A55ASSIN proved that he did indeed deserve to be in A lobby, by wining from Pole in B lobby. StaticSh33p had a second lag incident in as many weeks, dropping him into 14th place, and the relegation zone. CTech by all accounts had a quieter first race. AnonCaliga finished where he started in P9, whilst Pluto and StealthDavo dropped one place each to finish 5th and 16th respectively.
Race two provided largely better results for both teams. A partially reversed grid in A lobby put Mutley on pole! The VPR driver would hold on to the lead for half of the race, before the faster drivers from race one came knocking. Just four cars managed to pass, leaving Mutley to finish race two, in his original qualifying position of 5th. Also in A lobby, A55ASSIN got stuck in making up for lost time, climbing up to finish in 11th place. StaticSh33p would, for the second round in a row, showed impressive pace, despite first race issues, and comfortably take the victory in C lobby.
Also in C lobby, were the trio of CTech Motorsport Lancia’s. Once more, their races seemed to be far calmer than their VPR counterparts. AnonCaliga would this time be joined by Pluto, in finishing where they started. 9th and 5th for that pair. StealthDavo would once again move just one position, this time up the grid, as he crossed the line in 15th, like Mutley, in the position that he initially qualified in.
Next week’s penultimate round of the series takes us to Belgium, and the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, which is just as hard to type, as it is to say. Let’s hope it’s a little easier to race on!
Article By: J Hastings
Round three of DOR’s Retro GT series took us to the world renowned Suzuka Circuit.
Yes, Suzuka is owned by Honda, and our beloved Bluebird is a Nissan, but it’s still a Japanese car racing at the only Japanese circuit we have available on Forza Motorsport 7. And it raced there rather well for the VPR team…
Each of the three VPR drivers qualified in their highest position so far in the series. Mutley, A55ASSIN and StaticSh33p placed 8th, 17th and 18th overall respectively. This meant that for the second week running, Mutley would start in A lobby. Though this time, a far more secure position ensured he would stay there for both races of the evening. A55ASSIN and StaticSh33p were both very unfortunate to miss out on joining their teammate, but still held a very strong position for the team by locking out the front row in B lobby.
Devastation would soon hit the B lobby pair. Whilst both on course for promotion to A lobby for the second race, each had race ending incidents. The gods of the internet would strike down on the VPR drivers, as StaticSh33p lagged out of the race, and A55ASSIN’s car received terminal damage in a lag induced collision.
What looked like a double promotion, therefore turned into a double relegation. In the second race, A55ASSIN lead the pair to a comfortable 1-2 finish in C lobby. When clearly they had the pace to be racing two lobbies higher.
Speaking of A lobby, Mutley had a frantic battle with a number of different drivers throughout the course of the first race, moving up and down positions on a regular basis. It was a positive performance come the chequered flag, as he crossed the line in 7th place, moving up to net one place from his starting position.
Due to A lobby having a reversed top 10 grid for race 2, Mutley found himself in a very strong 4th place grid slot. A quiet race as the tail of the breakaway lead group, Mutley was in prime position to move onto the podium when misfortune hit one of the drivers in front. A late push was not enough to get any further up the field, but still a remarkably impressive first overall podium of the series!
Not to be forgotten, or outdone, was our Team Principal, AnonCaliga. Once again the lone CTech Lancia. He too put in a number of personal best performances. First, by qualifying in C lobby, and then by earning his stay in C lobby with a 12th placed finish in the first race. With a previous best of 6th in D lobby, a net gain of 10 places is a fantastic improvement.
Next week, round 4 sees us tackle the twists and turns of Sonoma. As we pass the half way point in the series, the dropped round scores will be taken into effect, once the chequered flag drops in the second race of the evening. This should provide an interesting shake up in the standings, as we head into the back stretch of this great championship.
Article By: J Hastings
Suzuka Retro GT Round 3 - Onboard highlights with VPR Mutley.
Suzuka Retro GT Round 3 - Full replay of race 1 & 2 with commentary & video courtesy of YMTV.
What do you mean it’s February already?
Virtual Pirtek Racing have kicked off the 2019 season by entering the Delta Online Racing (DOR) Retro GT series. Six drivers across two teams driving under the VPR name will be contesting against nearly 100 other drivers, from a plethora of other eSports organisations.
In the first team; Virtual Pirtek Racing, we have Mutley, A55ASSIN, and StaticSh33p driving the 1984 Nissan Bluebird Super Silhouette. The oldest car the team have ever entered into competition, except for one…
The 1980 Lancia Corse Beta Montecarlo Turbo will be entered by the second team; CTech Motorsport with VPR. Piloting the legendary Lancia, are AnonCaliga, Pluto18 and StealthDavo.
For the season opener at Watkins Glen, it would be A55ASSIN to light up the timing sheets and qualify in B lobby, where he would stay for the duration of the evening, raking up plenty of points for the team by finishing 10th in the first race, and 6th in the second.
Qualifying in C lobby were Mutley and StaticSh33p. Mutley started in pole position, having only missed out on B lobby by nine thousandths of a second. He would go on to record a lights to flag victory, earning promotion to B lobby for the second race, where he would meet up with A55ASSIN for a fantastically exciting race two. After a long battle involving both VPR drivers and a number of other cars, Mutley would follow A55ASSIN home for 7th place. StaticSh33p’s evening was hardly less enthralling. Staring 12th on the grid, he impressed to move up three places, finishing 9th in race one. But he was not done there. More great racing followed in race two, with StaticSh33p moving up another four places, to finish 5th.
AnonCaliga was the sole Lancia under the VPR banner. After qualifying 2nd for E lobby, he knew that all he had to do was remain in the top three in order to move up to D lobby in race two. And that he did! Scoring VPR’s second podium of the day in the first race. Despite moving up to face tougher opposition, AnonCaliga impressed again in the second race, working his way up the field to finish 7th.
The home of British motorsport, Silverstone, hosted the second meeting in the series. And by all accounts was a much quitter affair. Though by no means less impressive. Mutley qualified incredibly well, sneaking into A lobby, where he would start 16th and last. Despite a great, late battle for 13th place, Mutley would just miss out on A lobby safety, dropping to B lobby for race two. A quiet race ensued, crossing the line to finish 2nd after the 12 laps were done.
StaticSh33p would emulate A55ASSIN from Watkins, and hold station in B lobby for both races, recording two 6th place finishes.
AnonCaliga was once again the lone VPR Lancia. A solid qualifying from the Team Principle secured him a D lobby start, where he would stay for the evening, finishing 6th and 7th in the two races.
So, two rounds into the series, Virtual Pirtek Racing sit 8th in the overall team standings, whilst CTech Motorsport with VPR are 25th. Mutley leads the way in the drivers standings, sitting in 14th overall. StaticSh33p and AnonCaliga currently hold 20th and 46th position respectively. The other three drivers have each missed at least one of the two rounds, so will be looking to catch up with their teammates once the drop round takes effect at the end of the season.
The third round of the season marks the half-way point this weekend. The series travels to Japan, as Suzuka plays host, and VPR look to continue their current upward trend.
Article By: J Hastings