British GT eSports Series Kicks Off.
Arguably the biggest series of the year commenced last weekend, as 112 GT3s and 54 GT4 cars descended on Watkins Glen for the opening round. Nine of those in attendance, were BMW M6 GTLMs, run by Virtual Pirtek Racing.
With so many drivers in attendance, TORA had to host a whopping 9 lobbies to fit everyone in. And as each lobby was split between 13 GT3s and 6 GT4s, getting a good qualifying was imperative.
Leading the VPR charge on his BGT debut, was VPR Delete. Topping the team’s time sheets with a 1.47.034. Placing him into lobby 3, to start 11th on the grid. Close behind was Mutley, just 0.041 slower than Delete over a single lap, but with three cars between the VPR pair, it would be lobby 4, and 2nd on the grid for him. Lobby 5 had far more of a VPR presence. Yamihere682 (making his team debut) started on pole. He was accompanied by A55ASSIN in 5th, and VPR Torque 7th. Torque is back with his first race for the team this year, after a short break. VPR had a front row lock-out in lobby 6, Shep leading Pluto18 off the line. AnonCaliga would be the lone VPR car in lobby 8, starting 4th. StealthDavo was also only VPR car in his lobby (9) and would start at the back after missing qualifying.
With so many cars in so many lobbies, forgive me if the following description of the racing is brief, as I shall attempt to cover as much as I can in this short article.
Delete transformed an impressive qualifying performance, into two solid race results. He moved up one position in each race, to finish 10th and 9th respectively. Mutley had a far more mixed affair. Mistakes proved costly in the first race, dropping him to finish 5th. But good fortune in the second, handed him a lobby victory!
In lobby 5, Yami was unable to convert pole into a win, but did still manage two podiums, finishing 2nd and 3rd in the two races! A55ASSIN stumbled slightly in the first race, dropping to finish 7th. But recovered well in race two, moving back up to his qualifying position of 5th. Last but not least in lobby 5, Torque was definitely far from last! Improving vastly on his qualifying pace, he carved through the field to finish 4th in the first race, and climbed higher still to win the second!
Shep and Pluto converted their 1-2 on the grid, to a 1-2 in the first race! And Shep was at it again by also winning race two! Pluto had a disappointing second race, dropping down to finish 6th.
AnonCaliga also had a disappointing pair of races, when compared to his qualifying. A few incidents cost him positions throughout, so fell to 6th in the first race, and then to 11th In the second.
StealthDavo made places after starting from the back, making his was up to finish 9th in the first race. In the second, he went one better, crossing the line to finish 5th.
Certainly an eventful event wherever you look. Let’s hope things calm down a little for the VPR boys next time out. But keep those impressive results coming! See you again in two weeks, as BGT heads to Barcelona!
TORA GT-300 Race Series.
Whilst I’m here, let’s also catch up with the team’s progress in the GT300 series. Two more rounds have taken place, and this is how the guys got on:
In both rounds, the trio of VPR cars all kept up their 100% attendance record in B lobby. At Laguna Seca; Shep qualified 2nd, finished 3rd in race one, and 7th in race two after a spin. Mutley qualified 3rd, finished 2nd in race one, and won the second race! Delete qualified 7th, moved up to 4th in race one, and followed Mutley home to make it a VPR 1-2 in race two.
In round 4 at Lime Rock; Mutley qualified on pole, marking VPR’s highest grid slot so far. But could only convert that into a pair of 2nd place finishes. Shep started mid pack, in 6th, and finished there in R1. In R2, he dropped right to the back of the field, before recovering to P8. Delete only just snuck into B lobby by qualifying 11th of the 12 cars. But well and truly made up for it in the races. Up to 7th in race won, and a perfect strategy in R2 earned him his first lobby win since joining VPR!
With 4 of the 6 rounds complete, VPR sit 3rd in the team’s championship standings. Mutley is 9th in the drivers championship standings, with Shep 14th. Delete is a bit lower down in 29th, but his dropped round is yet to be applied.
Article By: Jamie Cutting | Team Manager
TASCAR Daytona 300
On Saturday evening last week, four of our VPR drivers spent 90 minutes driving around in circles...
But controversial oversimplifications aside, VPR’s foray into this season of TASCAR inevitably included a few oval races. The first of which was last weekend’s Round 2 at Daytona.
Qualifying was always bound be to be close on track where you’re on the throttle 100% of the time, but even considering that, the margins were tiny. Pole position on the night was 44.990 seconds. Mutley was quickest of the VPR cars on a 45.054, but that margin of just over half a tenth meant that VPR would not be represented in the top lobby, as Mutley lined up 3rd in lobby 2.
VPR’s resident oval enthusiast, A55ASSIN, was second quickest of the VPR cars in qualifying. Another half a tenth of a second back from Mutley, was again enough of a gap for there to be a whole lobby of difference, plus some. His 45.105 was enough to line him up in P6 in lobby 3.
Lobby 4 featured two VPR cars, with AnonCaliga putting in a 45.234, good enough for P6. Whilst StealthDavo lined up 9th on a 45.250.
Lobbies 2 and 3 were remarkably straightforward races. Both Mutley and A55ASSIN ran lights to flag races with no cautions intervening.
Mutely ran a well-managed race, running in a breakaway lead pack for almost the entirety of the 120 racing laps. A late gamble for an extra pitstop did not pay off in a last gasp attempt at taking the lobby victory, but was taken with nothing to lose either, so P2 was the result at the line. A55ASSIN managed to make far more progress. Making strategic moves at key points in the race, he made up 4 places, to also finish in 2nd place.
AnonCaliga and StealthDavo had a far more eventful time in lobby 4. Far more frequent position swapping meant for a far less predictable result. An extra spanner was thrown in the works when a caution came out as well. StealthDavo played safe with strategy, and ran a clean and consistent race, enabling him to move up to P8 for the finish.
AnonCaliga arguably had more outright pace on the night, but in the nature of real NASCAR, his strategy was ruined when the caution came out at completely the wrong time for him. A solid showing under greens still helped him cross the line in 10th, but will be left wondering what could have been. Another solid points hall for the VPR team has kept the team in 2nd position after two rounds.
Since the last team update, VPR have also entered a team into the EU TORA GT300 series. Mutley, VPR Shep (formerly StaticSh33P) and VPR’s newest recruit; VPR Delete have been driving the Nissan Silvia S15 at Indianapolis and Suzuka so far.
Both rounds have seen all VPR cars qualify in lobby 2. Each round features 2 races, with the second race being a full reversed grid.
Mutley has recorded finishes of 4th, 2nd, 8th and 4th. Shep finished 10th and 13th in round 1. With 3rd and 6th placed finishes in round 2.
Delete finished with a fantastic pair of 5th placed finishes on his debut with the team, but was unable to make the second round.
As it stands, VPR sit 4th of 11 teams entered.
Article By: Jamie Cutting | Team Manager