On Sunday May 15th the Virtual Pirtek Racing trio along with their BMW M4 Coupe’s took to the twisty turns and few long straights of Circuit of the Americas for what would be the season finale of the exciting TORA Base Performance Simulators Production GT series.
The final round of the series had gone down to the wire with either VPR or MVG able to take the overall teams championship. Qualifying got underway and team proprietor and driver AnonCaliga placed a quali time of 2:18.854 placing him 17th on the grid in lobby A. VPR’s Nutter was next up with a quali time of 2:14.781 placing him 5th on the grid in lobby A and topping off the internal team quali times was Veepz who placed 4th in lobby A with a qualifying time of 2:14.114. Circuit of the Americas was notably not a preferred circuit that favoured the VPR BMW M4 Coupe’s but the VPR team and drivers were well aware of this going into race one which meant that if the two top drivers could just stay ahead of the MVG drivers then VPR would be set to take the championship.
Race one got underway and apart from the expected bumps and bangs from the usual suspects the race itself was pretty much non entertaining until later on in the race whilst leading Veepz lagged out of the race sending a devastating blow to the VPR crew as the maths hadn’t taken into consideration that Veepz’s old lag issues would come back to haunt him, as AnonCaliga wasn’t in a position toward mid to back of the field to prop up the team points all hopes for the teams championship now lay with Nutter who was still well ahead of the two top scoring MVG drivers. By end of race one AnonCaliga crossed the line back where he had started in 17th place taking 109 points for the team, Veepz failing to complete race one being ranked on the live timing as a DNF did still manage a 107 point score for the team for the majority of race distance that he had put in before the inevitable lag issue raised its head. Meanwhile it was VPR’s Nutter that scored the majority points for the team in race one finishing 6th, one place back from his starting position, scoring the VPR team a much needed 120 points for the championship tally.
After a little break for refreshments the Lobby A grid took to their virtual cars for the final time in the TORA PGT series for what would be the deciding race, would Virtual Pirtek Racing claim their first ever championship win as a team or would MVG snatch the title rendering VPR runners up? After the mandatory parade lap the cars made their way from the final turn at COTA on the start finish straight for the rolling start.
With Veepz recovered from his race one lag out he managed to return in the nick of time for race two but due to his previous race lag out Veepz would have to start back of the Lobby A grid as per the TORA race regulations. Nutter was the only VPR driver far enough toward the front of the pack to make any difference to the team standings whilst AnonCaliga was toward the back section of the pack three places ahead of Veepz. Due to the unpredictable lag out unfortunately suffered by Veepz in race one making him start race two and the back of the field the VPR team were immediately at a disadvantage and taking the championship win was now looking more impossible than probable. The call came across the driver’s headsets ‘Go, Go, Go!’ and race two, the final deciding race of the season had begun with a pack of GT cars hurling their way toward the upward climb of the start/finish straight and onto the slowest, first tight left hand bend of the COTA circuit. After the chaos of turn one and by the the time Twitch viewers, including the drivers had regained their normal breathing pattern Veepz had taken four cars ahead of him and was on a mission to get back up to the front of the pack in his natural habitat where he rightly belonged alongside team mate Nutter.
Nutter, close to the number three position car gave chase and pressuring a car in front to make a minor mistake allowing Nutter to gain a position while Veepz continued to make progress through the mid field. AnonCaliga meanwhile notably stating that this particular track is his ‘worst and most disliked track’ had to nurse damaged steering and transmission damage after an overzealous charge by one driver attempting to pass Caliga caused a three car shunt sending Caliga into the pits early for repairs and ending his own charge for the remainder of the race, now it was done to both Nutter and Veepz to bring the championship home to the VPR virtual garage.
The final lap approached and CTech Motorsport Twitch viewers including sponsors who tuned in for the final race all sat on the edge of their seats waiting to see if the VPR team had done enough to secure the championship win. First across the finish line was Nutter who took 4th and nailing 122 points to the team collection of season points, Veepz who made an amazing push from the very back of the field up through the pack crossed the finish line in 7th raising the question that had there been a few additional laps in the final race could he have taken a podium finish? Veepz brought home 119 points in the final race of the season and AnonCaliga who simply wanted the race to end brought up the rear in 18th place with 108 points for team VPR.
First indications immediately after the race showed that Virtual Pirtek Racing, despite the race one lag out suffered by Veepz, had indeed taken the teams standings championship for the series but having no official tweet of confirmation or congratulations from series organiser TORA or series sponsor Base Performance Simulators to cement the win left the team unsure if they had done enough to take the overall season title. It was due to the VPR back of house media team and team driver Nutter that finally confirmed that Virtual Pirtek Racing had indeed won the first ever season of TORA’s Base Performance Simulators Production GT and lifted the team standings title which is the first full series championship to ever be won by VPR since changing from an independent to a team in the later part of 2015.
Although no prizes were supplied by TORA on behalf of the series sponsors for the winners of the series or the overall championship winning team at the end of the season it does however allow bragging rights for those who won single races throughout the season and overall championship team winners, VPR.
The final points total scored by VPR over the PGT season was 2764. In the individual drivers championship out of a total 59 drivers registered in the series and calculating the mandatory dropped round score, AnonCaliga took 15th overall with 1041 points for the season, Select Veepz took 7th overall in the individual drivers standings with 1157 total season points but it was VPR’s Nutter that took the win in the internal team rankings with 1177 total season points awarding him 5th overall in the TORA Base Performance Simulators Production GT drivers championship.
The championship win couldn’t have come at a better time for Virtual Pirtek Racing as they had just agreed and announced another real world sponsorship deal with respected and globally known brand Autoglym just before the final round of the PGT series. On behalf of the VPR Media Team we welcome Autoglym and thank them for their interest into our virtual race team. As a final word, Stephen and Paul from the little known and notoriously quiet, back of house, VPR Media Team responsible for these write ups, team liveries and general running of most social media operations would like to say a huge congratulations to Virtual Pirtek Racing team drivers AnonCaliga, Select Veepz and Nutter on their first team championship win and look forward to many more championship wins together in the future, very well done lads and thank you!