The seventh round of the 2016 SA simGT Series, at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit, was perfectly poised to be a thrilling race. Having taken the championship lead during the last round at the Nürburgring, Revlimit Racing’s Jonathan Mogotsi had it all to do from fourth position on the grid.
Qualifying did not disappoint to produce the surprise result of Trigon Racing locking out the first two positions, Peter Van Vuuren on pole position with teammate Gabriel Rossouw starting from second. The top five were separated by just one second, around the seven kilometre circuit.
The start saw Van Vuuren immediately develop a gap back to the rest of the field. Rossouw did well to keep both a determined Gert James and Jonathan Mogotsi behind him, this until a brave move from James saw him into second using the outside line around Rossouw, into Les Combes. With James up the road to close the five second gap to Van Vuuren, it was Mogotsi’s turn to find a way passed Rossouw. Mogotsi did find a way briefly, however Rossouw responded with a pass back using the out side line at La Source. Later on lap 5, a spin for Rossouw finally released Mogotsi to chase down the front runners.
An early pit-stop for Van Vuuren revealed a clear strategy from Trigon Racing, a light fuel load for the first stint explained the cars rapid pace throughout the opening stages. The pit-stop did not go to plan as a further 20 second delay put pay to any chances of a Van Vuuren victory. With 25 laps remaining, it was all about the James/Mogotsi battle for the win. After Mogotsi cut down James’ lead at 0.5 seconds a lap, the two met on lap 15 when James suddenly ran into technical latency issues. The two drivers did exceedingly well not to make contact, however Mogotsi was into the lead exiting La Source. After the pit-stop phase was completed, and a brutal server disconnect for James, Mogotsi was enjoying a three second lead ahead of AGBSs Boyd Bryson, which developed first to 16 seconds and then 24 seconds after an uncharacteristic spin for Bryson.
The penultimate lap of the race saw Mogotsi barreling down the pit-lane for a ‘splash and dash’, for a second pit-stop, to see him narrowly hold on to take victory, just one second ahead of Bryson. Rossouw completed the podium 20 seconds behind the leader. Van Vuuren finished in fourth position. In the GT-AM class, Revlimit Racing’s Gerrit Crafford secured yet another victory. HRDs Matthew Boy on debut and M2 Racing’s Amrish Seunarain completed the podium.
Mogotsi continues to lead the Drivers’ Championship by just 13 points ahead of Bryson, and 16 points ahead of Garassino. AGBS enjoy a significant lead in the Teams’ Championship to lead Trigon Racing by 27 points.
In the Trigon Tooling Consistency Cup, Bryson proved the most consistent driver with 99.20% consistent lap times. Bryson is the new leader in Consistency Cup Championship by 11 points ahead of James.
Drivers’ Championship Standings after Round 7:
Trigon Tooling Consistency Cup Standings after Round 7:
Teams’ Championship Standings after Round 7: