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