Round 5 of the SA simHTC Series proved a keenly contested affair resulting in both HRTs Mark Henebury and Revlimit Racing’s Jason Absmeier securing maiden championship victories at Spa-Francorchamps.
After starting from second position and with a better run out of Eau Rouge, Henebury claimed the race lead from pole setter AGBSs Boyd Bryson, the move coming under-braking for Les Combes. Bryson lost yet another position when Revlimit Racing’s Jonathan Mogotsi found the inside line at Turn 11. Both Ichor Racing’s Chris Browne and M2 Racing’s Amrish Seunarain found themselves up two positions to fourth and fifth, this when Absmeier and AGBSs Gert James briefly went off on entry to Eau Rouge.
Henebury controlled the race to win by 10 seconds ahead nearest challenger Mogotsi. Absmeier enjoyed a strong second half of the race to complete the podium.
An impressive qualifying session for James saw him set the pace for the start of Race 2, the top five included Henebury, Bryson, Absmeier and Mogotsi, all separated by just a second. A change to the order came when Bryson ran wide allowing both the Revlimit Racing Mercedes-Benzs passed into second and third positions. This too prompted an exciting duel between Bryson and Seunarain for fifth position, the cars were glued together, until a braking error by H-J eSports’ Jason Holden-Jones spun Seunarain around at the chicane.
The battle for fifth allowed the top four to break away from the rest of the field. Lap 4 saw a change in the race lead when Henebury pulled an impressive move on James, using the outside line at Les Combes. After James hit the wall at the chicane, Absmeier was released to go after Henebury. Absmeier steadily closed the gap until he ceased an opportunity at La Source, Henebury struggled for drive out of the chicane allowing Absmeier to run alongside him and make the pass under-braking.
Absmeier soaked up the pressure from Henebury to claim his maiden simHTC victory by just 0.4 of a second, Mogotsi completed the podium.
In the HTC-AM class, Seunarain won Race 1 and TDRs Damian Halket won Race 2.
Mogotsi leads the overall Drivers’ Championship by just one point from Ichor Racing’s Lance Garassino, and five points ahead of Bryson. AGBS narrowly leads Revlimit Racing in the Teams’ Championship. Team JVC 2.0s Gerrit Crafford leads the GT-AM Drivers’ Championship ahead of Halket, and Team JVCs Victer de Kock.
Race 1 Result:
Race 2 Result:
Drivers’ Championship Standings after Round 5:
Teams’ Championship Standings after Round 5: