It was a straight forward 2016 SA simHTC Round 2 at Vallelunga for Ichor Racing RSA’s Lance Garassino. Garassino started both 16 lap sprint races from pole position to take two dominant victories.
The start to race one saw fifth place starter AGBS’s Gert James passed by Revlimit Racing’s Jason Absmeier, and after a strong qualifying session, SH Racing’s Chad Cook was left pointing in the wrong direction at Cimini 2. After Ichor Racing’s Brent Lindsay-Rae fell back from third to fifth position, the battle for Absmeier’s fourth position escalated. On lap 5, Lindsay-Rae enjoyed good drive out of the final corner to run alongside Absmeier but out-braked himself for the tricky Cimini 1 corner to rejoin the track in seventh just ahead of HTC-AM leader Team JVC’s Victer de Kock. Then a strategic move from Revlimit Racing saw Absmeier switch positions with Jonathan Mogotsi for fourth position.
From lap 6, H-J Esports’ Jason Holden-Jones and HRT’s Mark Henebury came into play to challenge Absmeier for fifth position, this after Lindsay-Rae fell back after an incident at Tornantino. The battle proved frantic but respectful at the same time, the move from Holden-Jones on Absmeier finally coming on lap 8 at Turn 11. An unscheduled pit-stop for Absmeier saw him drop down to 16th position leaving Henebury and Lindsay-Rae to challenge Holden-Jones once again. The exciting battle continued to the end of the race to see Lindsay-Rae ultimately secure fifth position, followed by Henebury and Holden-Jones.
The two AGBS Alfa Romeos of Boyd Bryson and Gert James completed the podium. In the HTC-AM class Team JVC’s Clifford Needell won ahead of teammate de Kock and RC Fanatix’s Shiraz Dada.
It was a race of comeback drives in race two. Quick men Mogotsi, Bryson, Needell and Lindsay-Rae found themselves towards the back of the field after various issues on the pace and opening laps. The four drivers leaving Garassino and James to fight it out for the race win.
After qualifying in an impressive seventh position during his debut round, Ichor Racing RSA’s Roelof Tolman found himself up to third position, on lap 2, and ahead of HTC-AM class leader Victer de Kock. Cook was better positioned in fifth position on lap 3, however under attack from Holden-Jones and Henebury. Lap 4 saw M2 Racing’s reserve driver Gerrit Crafford, on debut, defend from a recovering Bryson and pass HRT’s Chris Heyneke at Cimini 2.
Mogotsi proved the best of the recovery drivers and up to eighth by lap 6 to join the de Kock, Cook, Holden-Jones and Henebury battle for fourth position. The battle climaxed when de Kock, Holden-Jones and Cook ran three wide under braking for Turn 11 (Race video time stamp: 53m:51s), Mogotsi surprisingly emerging the leader of all three at the exit of the following corner.
Garassino made it a comfortable double victory for the day ahead of James. Mogotsi went on to further pass Tolman to complete the podium. In HTC-AM, de Kock took victory this time, followed by Crafford and Needell.
After Round 2, Garassino leads the Drivers’ Championship, 14 points ahead of Mogotsi. In the Teams’ Championship, AGBS has emerged leaders just four points ahead of Revlimit Racing.
Race 1 Results:
Race 2 Results:
Drivers’ Championship Standings after Round 2:
Teams’ Championship Standings after Round 2: