Crafford wins Mugello Final, James clinches SA simGT Drivers’ Championship

After a frantic finale at Mugello produced some of the closest racing we have seen this season, to see GT-AM class driver Revlimit Racing’s Gerrit Crafford take victory, AGBSs Gert James is the 2016 SA simGT Series Drivers’ Champion.

It was not all straight forward for James however. He was six points a drift of championship leader AGBSs Boyd Bryson, and with Crafford putting on a stunning performance to start from pole position, a result of second may not have been enough to seal the title. James’ intent was clear for all to see, he was the last of the late brakers into the opening corner running Crafford wide before Trigon Racing’s Peter Van Vuuren claimed the race lead by passing both of them, Crafford left to recover from sixth behind Jason Holden-Jones.

Boyd Bryson and Gabriel Rossouw trading paint on Lap 3.

Boyd Bryson (right) and Gabriel Rossouw trading paint on Lap 3.

The laps that followed made for an intense competition, all drivers pushing their cars to the absolute limit, one may have been forgiven for thinking it was a sprint race and not an endurance race it actually was. To add to the excitement, Crafford recovered to fifth and started to press Rossouw as well. Then suddenly Rossouw and Bryson found themselves recovering out of the gravel trap at the tricky Casanova corner, the two made enough contact to pitch Bryson into a spin and collect Rossouw for a second time.

With James’ main title contenders  down and recovering from the back the field, he enjoyed a healthy race lead and surely some relief. Crafford impressively worked down James’ lead to pass him without much resistance at the half-way point.

Crafford secured his maiden SA simGT overall victory, James’ second ensured that he won the championship by six points, and Van Vuuren completed the podium.

It took Gert James 2 victories and 7 more podium finishes to secure 2016 SA simGT Series Drivers' title.

It took Gert James two victories and six more podium finishes to secure 2016 SA simGT Series Drivers’ title.

“This was a hard season, and after the Spa disappointment it was difficult to pick myself up and keep going. From having pole, to a postponed race…losing pole and then disconnecting and literally relegating a race I could theoretically have won the rubbish heap of discarded races. In many ways it may have been a blessing in disguise as it saw me lose ballast and head into the final stages in a position to pick up major points. …. I dedicate this series win to each an every hard working racer out there that is willing to spend that extra 50 laps out on track just to shave off a couple of split seconds a lap.” says James

AGBS successfully defended their Teams’ Championship title from 2015 ahead of Trigon Racing and HRT. Crafford won the GT-AM class Drivers’ Championship. Rossouw won the Trigon Tooling Consistency Cup.

Planning for the 2017 season is well underway, if you would like to join in stay tuned for details soon to be announced. For further information email Jason at: jason@simracesa.co.za

Race Video:

Race Result

round-11-race-1

Drivers’ Championship final standings:

after-round-11-dc

Teams’ Championship final standings:

after-round-11-tc

Trigon Tooling Consistency Cup Final Standings:

after-round-11-consist

About Jason Holden-Jones (490 Articles)
Jason, fueled by his passion for Sim Racing, Motorsport and Entrepreneurship, is working to, not only establish Sim Racing as a major eSport in South Africa, but also to establish sim racing as a grass-roots gateway to 'real world' Motorsport. Jason is the founder and owner of Sim Race South Africa - www.simracesa.co.za. Contact Jason by email: jason@simracesa.co.za

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