Jonathan Bentz (Squadro GhostworX) took victory of Race 1 of Round 3 of the 2014 SA simGT Series at Monza.
Denis Mitchell (SH Racing) started his BMW Z4 GT3 on pole position only to be out dragged into Rettifillo (turn 1 chicane) by Basheer Jadwat (Squadro GhostworX).
After opening up a gap to Mitchell, Jadwat went wide and spun at the high-speed Variante Ascari (turn 8) to fall back to 4th behind Chris Browne (GhostworX 3.0).
Lap 3 saw Bentz pushing very hard to keep in contact with Mitchell to an extend he went on at Rettifillo , passing Mitchell in the process. Bentz immediately slowed to give the position back and to make sure he did not gain any advantage. Jadwat began his fight back after his opening lap incident by out-braking Browne into Rettifillo for 3rd. Then came another spin for Jadwat, this time the #83 BMW was all out of shape at Curva del Vialone (turn 7)but ended up exactly at the same place the previous spin ended.
An exciting battle was had between Juan Liebenberg (Team Ryoku) and Markus Steyn (Rebel GhostworX). For most of the race the two were locked together until Liebenberg, with better drive out of Rettifillo, earned the inside line into Variente del Roggia for 4th position. Steyn unfortunately had to retire siting a fuel shortage.
With just 1 lap remaining the race had one more final twist when race leader Mitchell suddenly dove into the pits for the same reason Steyn had for retiring. The #42 BMW had to do a splash and dash to finish the race and Bentz was close enough to capitlise on Mitchell’s misfortune to claim his first win of the season. Browne and Liebenberg finished in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
“What a crazy race this was…! So, i had 12 laps worth for a 13 lap race…either i push hard and pit loosing time, or i try conserve fuel and maybe not pit but drive slower…so i decided on the later. Once Bash made my mind up for me bu spinning out i decided time to short shift when i can, brake a little earlier and coast a bit…but then Jonathan starts catching and the pressure was on…so was trying to do a slow lap then a faster lap then a slow lap..slowly keeping an eye on the fuel…till the last lap came, and i realized i had not done enough and rather than chance running out i pitted for a slash and dash and picked up a 6th place instead.” says Mitchell
Round 3 Race 1: Monza 04 November 2014
More pics from Race 1: