Simtech Racing kicked off the new VRS season on Saturday (20th Mar 2021) at Watkins Glen with everyone looking forward to the 3Hr team event, with 3 teams taking to the track for Simtech Racing, GT3 #1, GT3 #2 and you guessed it GT3 #3 (a lot of thought went in to our team naming as you can clearly see), this report’s focus is on GT3 #1 (due to the fact I was one of the drivers in said team), but I have to mention that GT3 #2 finished a very respectful 11th Joseph Keaveney and Dean Catherwood bringing the car home and in the same split GT3 #3 finishing an excellent 16th Mark Forte making his 2nd appearance for the team with debutants Callum West and Peter Jones taking the seat at the Glen, so hats off to both teams for excellent results, however could GT3 #1 make it a hatrick of good results?
Qualifying driver was myself, and to be honest qual could have gone better, my laps were about half a second off my practice pace so we ended up in 15th on a grid of 55 cars.
The start of the race was predictable, with most teams attempting to take it easy for the first few laps, however we did have our share of jet pilots that believed the finish line was 100yds after every corner, they soon wrecked their race (or worse, wrecked someone else race), patience is the key so we just tried to hold position the best we could till the cars began to string out a little.
Surprisingly the cars stayed close for much of the race, so holding position became quite important (but not as important as staying out of trouble), which Simtech GT3 1 managed to do across all stints.
At the first pitstop we found ourselves in first position, however this was a false position as we had just managed our fuel a little better, and our true position was in the region of 11th / 12th, but we were still unscathed and ready for Muzzy to take over the running.
Muzzy set off straight into traffic, and showed his composure to stay out of trouble whilst holding position with some close nip and tuck racing, a little too close racing with a back marker where we believe the back marker was over enthusiastic or a little inexperienced made for a harder battle than it should have been (maybe the back marker never noticed the blue flag), however Muzzy soon dispatched said back marker and still totally unscathed with a nice inside overtake, whilst watching Muzzy’s stint just a few corners later I saw our battling back marker fight hard with another car on the lead lap, however this ended in a face full of tyre wall, hopefully said back marker has gained a lot of experience from this race and although he made it hard for Muzzy, he kept the racing clean.
Muzzy handed the car over to Bram, who set about business in the final stint, we were in about 20th position but with a lot of cars out of pit stop sync this was once again in the region of 11th / 12th after Muzzy’s stint.
Finally as the laps rolled on and cars pitted our eventual on track position came down to 11th, and with Bram putting in the laps he was able to take over 10th position and settle into tracking 9th (albeit with laps running out).
With 2 laps to go Bram managed to get the inside line on 9th position going into the Bus Stop, and although 9th turned in too sharply nudging the Simtech Ferrari it was the 9th position who spun (but luckily managed to keep their car out of the tyre wall), so with Bram bringing the car home in 9th Watkins Glen was over with a hatrick of great results.
Next week is Sebring, however Simtech have quite a few drivers racing the Sebring 12Hr so at present we do not know how many teams will be running the Sebring VRS.