BMW fights back to win in Blancpain GT Series


The 2nd round of the season in the iRacing Blancpain GT Series took us to the narrow and heavily undulating challenge of Brands Hatch in the UK, where VRS Coanda Simsport would be hoping for a strong result at a circuit better suited to the BMW and Mercedes.

Qualifying was a mixed bag, with the #1 BMW Z4 GT3 car in the cool and calculated hands of Klaus Kivekäs; the Finnish driver placing the car up into 3rd place on the grid. The AMGs of #18 and #8 would struggle however, lining up all the way down in 22nd and 27th respectively. This was despite both cars being about 2 tenths off 6th place, such was the level of competition in the 48 car field.

Championship leaders CoRe SimRacing Orange would start the 1.5 hour race from pole position after a brilliant lap from Frederik Rasmussen in the McLaren, a car which seemed stronger at Brands than thought possible by many, including Coanda. As the green flag dropped Klaus would immediately slot up into 2nd place, and would spend the opening hour long first stint closely shadowing the MP4-12C, saving fuel when possible.


Further down the starting order, the two AMGs driven by Jeremy Bouteloup in the #18 and David Williams in the #8 car, coming off a strong 4th placed finish at the opener in Monza, would do their best to stay out of trouble, avoiding major incidents which are almost inevitable in the mid-pack at such a circuit, and would pick off positions with at times decisive passes to work their way up to P11 and P15 respectively, by the time the teams started pitting just over the one hour mark.

Taking over for the final stint in the BMW would be Rens Broekman, exiting the pits behind the leading CoRe with Isaac Price now behind the wheel, despite the #1 Coanda machine having saved enough fuel to have leapfrogged into the lead if it weren’t for them opting to take an undisclosed number of new tyres in their pitstop. The fresh rubber gave Rens a clear pace advantage over Isaac, and it didn’t take very long before the BMW would find a way through into the lead, where the car would remain until the checkered flag to take home the victory for last years champions.

Rens Broekman: “I didn’t really plan to make a move right there, I just wanted to pressure Isaac a bit but he left the door open or made a mistake so I just went for it.

2.BMW18The #18 AMG, now in the hands of Mack Bakkum, would also take at least one new tyre in the pitstop, allowing for the iWCGPS driver to continue charging forwards, eventually bringing the car home solidly in the top 10 for a well earned 7th place finish.

Mack Bakkum: “JB moved through the field very well with some nice overtakes, and some aid from other cars. We were hoping to get a lead lap, but it seemed the Radicals car had saved just as much fuel as we did over the stint.
Coming out I noticed I was quite a bit quicker than everyone in front until P4 so I started pushing, which was quite scary on these tyres I must say. Had a lot of fun moving from P11 to P7 in 18 laps. With a few more laps could’ve maybe ended in P5 which shows we atleast have our tyre wear sorted.”

3.Merc8Philip Stamm would be handed the #8 AMG for the final stint in what was the highest placed car in the opening round to then go on to produce a brilliant defensive drive to successfully maintain 15th position to solidify a strong overall result for VRS Coanda Simsport.

David Williams: In the race we did our best to stay out of trouble and pick ourselves through the field gradually, which worked, and I was able to hand the car to Philip in P15, where he was able to hold off Gale Force Sim Racing to secure the position across the line.”

With round 3 at Silverstone just a single week away, and everything still to play for in the championship, you can be sure Coanda will be hoping for another strong result next weekend.


About: Mack Bakkum

Appreciative of the colour pink.

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