Ichor Racing’s Lance Garassino displayed an impressive performance to take a flag to flag victory of the 2016 SA simGT Series opening round at Donington.
Starting at the front of the 22-car strong grid, Garassino was not able to pull away from GhostworX Racing’s Basheer Jadwat and AGBS’s Boyd Bryson , the three scampering away together after a spin from Revlimit Racing’s Jason Absmeier and consequent contact with Trigon Racing’s Peter van Vuuren separated the rest of the field from the front three.
After the Absmeier spin, H-J eSports’ Jason Holden-Jones inherited fifth position, but soon fell into the clutches of the #35 GhostworX Audi R8 driven by Markus Steyn, the Audi proved
particularly strong around the tight and twisty natured Donington circuit, and a mistake at the Old Hairpin was all that Steyn needed to line up #97 Mercedes-Benz for a pass at McLean’s. Steyn was enjoying a good run after starting from ninth to move up to fifth. Ichor Racing’s Brent Lindsay-Rae also joined the action to take advantage of the newly passed and compromised Holden-Jones to first mount a challenge at The Esses and to finally execute the move two corners later at Goddards.
The half way point saw no change at the front, the two Audi R8s comfortably leading the two AGBS Nissan GTRs.
During the opening stages of the GT-AM Class race, Synergy Racing’s Ian Watkins was comfortably leading, after starting from pole position, until a spinning Lamborghini Huracan collected his Audi R8 at Coppice gifting the class lead to RC Fanatix’s Shiraz Dada. Dada lead until the half way mark when he went straight on at The Esses , gifting the class lead back to Watkins. The final laps of the race saw a tight battle between Valerius Racing’s Chris Chetty, Dada, and HRD’s Kevin Lourens for second position.
With just five laps remaining, the hard fought battle for the overall sixth position between Lindsay-Rae and van Vuuren finally ended when Lindsay-Rae lost momentum after running wide at Redgate, van Vuuren slipped passed on the run to the Old Hairpin. Shortly afterwards, Holden-Jones, who was also in contention for fifth, spun to set him back to 10th behind Revlimit Racing’s Philip Lategan.
Garassino finished the 18 lap race 10 seconds ahead of Jadwat. Ian Watkins finished 11th overall to win the GT-AM class, 32 seconds ahead of Chetty.
Ichor Racing now lead the Team’s Championship by two points ahead of GhostworX Racing.
The next round of the championship will take place at Silverstone on 29 February 2016.
With 24 drivers already sign-up for the championship, all newly interested sim racers, who would like to enter the championship, are welcome to email Jason: firstname.lastname@example.org
Drivers’ Championship standings after Round 1:
Teams’ Championship standings after Round 1: