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.