Virtual Pirtek Racing took to the grid on Friday night at the famous street circuit of Long Beach in California to qualify for round five of the TORA Formula E championship. VPR team principal AnonCaliga missed out on qualifying and so no time was set by him for the session. Select Veepz set a qualifying time of 0:54.745 placing him in 2nd position on the grid for the race and Nutter qualified in 3rd position with a time of 0:54.866.
The main event seen AnonCaliga start from 14th position at the very back of the grid due to not taking part in qualifying and having not set any qualifying time. Just a few laps after the race had got underway the safety car was called for whilst several cars that had collided with the tyre wall and each other were cleared from blocking turn one. The resulting safety car for the incident meant that the pack had to bunch up which cancelled out any distance Veepz and Nutter had put between themselves and the cars behind. After several laps behind the safety car the race once again got underway but as the safety car peeled off AnonCaliga was caught out and the pack pulled half way down the main straight toward turn one before Anon had got back onto the power cycle of his Pirtek sponsored formula E car. Meanwhile Veepz and Nutter at the front end of the pack in second and third position made easy work of staying with each other and the leading car.
Only a few laps went by before the safety car was called for again which naturally backed the pack up again cancelling out any distance built by each driver on the street circuit. Finally, once the race got underway again Veepz set fast lap after fast lap and was ever so slightly faster than the lead car throughout the entire race but couldn’t find a safe way by. Nutter meanwhile did battle with a Benedict Racing team car that managed to slip by him just before the last safety car came on track. The chase with the Benedict car lasted a few laps before Nutter gained momentum from out braking the Benedict car, that made great efforts to stay ahead, but Nutter slipped by just at a bend and passed the fourth placed Benedict Racing car before entering the back straight.
Soon it was time to pit for the mandatory stop stipulated by the TORA Formula E rules. Veepz re-joined the track in thirteenth position while Nutter re-joined fifteenth which brought backmarkers into the equation for both VPR drivers and most of the field who pitted mid race. Once the backmarkers had completed their stops both Veepz and Nutter had regained their original positions at the front of the field. AnonCaliga meanwhile had a reasonably quiet race which would see him later cross the finish line taking tenth position and 91 points. Veepz and Nutter both continued to race hard with great pace and other than a little unfounded grumbling from another team member aimed at Nutter the remainder of the race went by pretty quietly. The race concluded with Nutter bringing home third position and 98 points while Veepz took second position and bagged 99 points to add to the team tally.
After round five at Long Beach Virtual Pirtek Racing now occupy second place overall in the TORA Formula E team standings. Round six of this series will be held on May 6th with Watkins Glen being the backdrop for the event.