Brad du Plessis and Eugene McLaren emerged victors of Round 2 of the SA simGT Challenge.
After a successful qualifying session du Plessis, of Team DNF, dominated race 1 flag to flag to take his first victory of the season.
While rounding the first turn of the race Stefan Kotze’s Mercedes Benz SLS made contact with the rear of Mike Frost’s Audi R8 initiating a chain reaction of incidence which included Carl Mullers’s Dodge Viper and finally Bjorn Buchner’s Porsche 911. McLaren fell victim as well as he ran wide off the track in avoidance of all the carnage ahead of him. All cars involved managed to re-join the race although somewhat behind the two leading Team DNF Ferraris and Venom Racing’s third placed man Bjorn Hehmann. Tony Liddell and Luis Lopes profited from the early action to slot into 4th and 5th place respectively. McLaren in 6th position after re-joining the track set his sights on catching to pass Lopes and Liddell further up the road, McLaren passing Lopes at the tight chicane, but Lopes fought back claiming track position, out braking McLaren into the esses. McLaren then came back at Lopes to retake 5th position after Lopes ran wide on the exit of the last turn before the main straight, this allowed Buchner to slip by down the main straight for 6th position.
Frost in last position on lap 4 caught up to Muller and Kotze to challenge the for 8th and 9th position. Muller made life easy for Frost running his Dodge Viper wide allowing Frost through. Kotze having caught up to a defensive driving Lopes in 7th position, allowed Frost to out brake him into turn 1 very close behind Lopes. Frost then undid all his hard work running wide before the fast right hander allowing Kotze back though to re-take 7th position. Kotze out braked and passed Lopes at the last corner of the track, the move slowing both Lopes and Kotze, allowing Frost a better exit to pull alongside both Lopes’s McLaren and Kotze’s Mercedes-Benz. During a three way fight for the same piece of tar, Lopes braked far too late up the middle of the 2 other cars resulting in an off track excursion leaving Frost and Kotze to continue fighting. It was Frost who came out on top after putting a move on Kotze exiting the tight esses corners. Liddell spun his Porsche on the exit of the esses allowing his BT Racing teammate Buchner passed as well as Venom Racing’s McLaren. Chris Browne who had until lap 8 been running in 2nd position spun his Ferrari on the exit of the now infamous esses complex. Hehmann took advantage of Browne’s mishap to take 2nd position. The 2 BT Racing Porsche’s running line a stern in 5th and 6th position. Browne was able to reclaim 2nd position after a slip up by Hehmann resulting in him spinning at the tight hairpin. Towards the end of the race McLaren caught up to his Venom Racing teammate but was unable to complete a successful pass.
du Plessis finishing relatively unchallenged for the victory.
The reverse grid rule for race 2 meant that Buchner would start his Porsche in pole position, ahead of 2 Venom Racing Lamborghini’s of McLaren and Hehmann. A false start by McLaren had slowing down one the main straight to allow Buchner back passed in fear of a penalty. There was nothing in it between the top 7 cars, fighting tooth and nail for position. The spectators wondering how long the high tempo could go on for. Hehman while in 3rd positon spun making contact with du Plessis, who were both passed by a quick thinking Frost for 4th position.
By lap 8 the pace was fast and frantic between the top 7 cars. Lap 9 of 16 Buchner still in the lead with a hard charging McLaren and Browne just split seconds behind him.McLaren with a better drive down the main straight passed Buchner for the lead. Behind Buchner there was an all mighty battle between Browne, Frost and du Plessis. After a attempted move by Frost on Browne, du Plessis somehow passed Frost around the outside of turn 1 in what could be described as the move of the season.Buchner under heavy pressure from Browne went wide at turn 1 allowing Browne passed but shutting the door for du Plessis. Unfortunately after squabbling for position du Plessis made contact with Buchner twice relegating them both to the back of the field.
It went all Eugene McLarens way, all the action behind allowing him to claim his first victory of the season.