Essa rules Laguna Seca

In another dominate drive Zaahir Essa claimed his second victory of the 2014 SA simGT Challenge, this time at the Laguna Seca circuit in the U.S.A. The race was 41 laps in length and all drivers had to do at least 1 mandatory pitstop.

Essa, driving a Dodge Viper started well from pole position to stay ahead of the Team DNF Ferraris of Brad du Plessis and Chris Browne. Forecasted rain materialised when dark clouds soon rolled over the circuit on lap 2. It rained for only a brief period and not long enough to force the drivers to pit for wet tyres.

During the start both the Venom Racing Lamborghinis of Eugene McLaren and Björn Hehmann manged to pass BT Racing’s Tony Liddell for th and 6th position, however errors by McLaren and Hehmann allowed Liddell to end Lap 5 ahead of both them. The changing order of positions continued between the 3 cars as Liddell went wide at Turn 10 spinning into the pit entry wall forcing him to make an unscheduled pit-stop after damage to the Porsche’s
right front suspension. The error dropped him down to last position.

Team mates Hehmann and McLaren continued their battle well into Lap 14. Hehmann under pressure went wide at Rainy Straight allowing McLaren passed. Hehmann was again able to regain 5th position when McLaren in turn spun at Turn 11. Liddell fought back up the field, overtaking Carl Muller and Kevin Pheiffer in the process.

Björn Buchner was the first of the scheduled pit stoppers, pitting on lap 18, momentarily allowing Hehamnn and McLaren though for 4th and 5th position. Liddell had another two big moments on Lap 20, firstly riding the curb on turn 10 was enough to unsettle the Porsche into a high speed spin and secondly a low speed spin at turn 11. Liddell was able to rejoin the race with luckily no damage sustained but unfortunately once again dropped to last place.

Browne was the first of the front runners to pit looking to earn a possible undercut on team mate du plessis in 2nd position,unfortunately for him it was not to be as du Plessis was able to comfortable join ahead of Browne after he pitted on Lap 29.

Other than a brief time in second place during the pit stop Phase; Zaahir Essa led flag to flag to win his 2nd race of the season,

Chris Browne will start the next round at Sebring leading the championship by 4 points ahead of team mate Brad du Plessis.

Race Video:

Result:

Race1

About Jason Holden-Jones (358 Articles)
Jason, fueled by his passion for Sim Racing, Motorsport and Entrepreneurship, is working to, not only establish Sim Racing as a major eSport in South Africa, but also to establish sim racing as a grass-roots gateway to 'real world' Motorsport. Jason is the founder and owner of Sim Race South Africa - www.simracesa.co.za. Contact Jason by email: jason@simracesa.co.za

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