Jonathan Bentz (Squadro GhostworX) won the inaugural round of the 2015.1 SA simSS1 Series, held at Silverstone on 12 February 2015.
The intense qualifying session saw Basheer Jadwat (Squadro GhostworX) claim pole position to share the front row with Trigon Revlimit Racing’s Jason Absmeier.
During the opening lap a comedy of errors dramatically shuffled the order. After starting from 5th position, Chris Browne (Shadow GhostworX) found himself in the lead and ahead of the hotly contested battle between teammate Markus Steyn and Absmeier for 2nd position. Steyn was left vulnerable after a poor entry onto the International Pits Straight to see Absmeier pass him through Abbey (turn 1).
Clean air running for Absmeier enabled him to display impressive pace to slash Browne’s lead. By lap 9 Absmeier was in attacking distance, however the two drivers would make contact at Club Corner resulting in Absmeier conducting a voluntary pit-lane drive through for the incident, this allowed Steyn to inherit the lead.
On lap 10 Browne was the first to perform a scheduled pit-stop to rejoin in 6th. Lap 14 saw race leader Steyn and Bentz pit together, however it was Bentz who rejoined first to move up to 3rd position behind then race leader Peter van Vuuren (Trigon Revlimit Racing) and Absmeier who were to both still conduct their mandatory pit-stops. Steyn’s long pit-stop forced him to re-join in 5th positon.
Once van Vuuren and Absmeier dived into the pits, it was Bentz who proved to be the big winner of the pit-stop stage to nett the race lead .
With 10 laps remaining the two Trigon Revlimit Racing cars were trailing the Shadow GhostworX cars. van Vuuren decided to let teammate Absmeier passed to go after Steyn (3rd) and Browne (2nd). After pitting for a second time, Browne was able to out-brake van Vuuren into Brooklands for 4th position.
After a number of opening lap incidents, Jonathan Bentz performed a supreme comeback to claim the first ever victory of the SA simSS1 Series.
Team Race Reports:
Round 1 results: