GTSprint Round 2 Motegi: Japanese Night
The second race weekend of the season was hosted at the Twin Ring Motegi on its 4.8km road course. The Honda owned track nicely placed into the japanese mountains is known for its IndyCar and MotoGP races. This race was the first night race of the season, adding another challenge to the drivers with limited visibility and low track temperatures.
Qualfying began great for Coanda Simsport, Jörn Jens driving the fastest time of the session. He was followed by 2 further McLaren MP4-12C GT3 driven by Patrick Pichler and Andreas Dirnberger, both from Pure Racing Team. Alexander Voß was the fastest RUF in 4th, the best BMW Z4 GT3 qualified 5th, driven by Sven Glatzel. Our other driver Philip Stamm had some problems in qualifying and only managed to score the 27th fastest time in the 35-driver-field, so he would have some hard time during the race trying to gain some positions.
Race one started unlucky for Jörn as Patrick Pichler, who was second in the championship standings before the race, was able to slip by him into the lead of the race. Ronny Fantini from Clubsport Racing had a great start and was able to jump from 7th into 3rd position on first lap. Philip Stamm was performing well in the beginning of the race, gaining five spots in the first 2 laps. During the race Jens was chasing Pichler hard for the lead but did not find any way around him. He was too hard on the tires during the race which resulted in a spin on last lap, dropping him into 7th spot. The race was won by Patrick Pichler, followed by Sven Glatzel and Ronny Fantini. Philip Stamm was able to get up into 19th spot during the 20 minute sprint race.
The top 10 for the second race were inverted, giving Jörn starting in 4th place and good opportunity to make up ground for lost positions in race one. Christian Frank from Clubsport Racing was starting from pole, followed by Elmar Erlekotte from Hot Pursuit Motorsport and Matthias Kloc. The start of the race was very tumultuous, with Jörn stuck behind slower drivers unable to pass them and championship favourites Pichler, Glatzel and Dirnberger crashing on lap one, ending all of their hopes for a good result early.
After lap one Frank was still leading with Core Motorsport’s Carsten Filmer, Kloc and Alexander Voß chasing him. Jörn finished lap one in 6th, but was able to pass Erlekotte on lap two for the 5th position. Philip Stamm lost one position, running for the first few laps of the race in 20th position.
The first half of the race was highlighted by Jörn chasing the lead pack, trying to get into the lead. By the time the pit stops started, he was able to get by Voß and Kloc, running right behind Frank and Filmer, who was able to overtake the lead on lap 6. Filmer, who had a bad pitstop and lost a few seconds, pitted first, with Frank pitting one and Jens two laps later. Jörn was able to come right infront of Christian Frank out of the pits, but on cold tires he could retake the lead easily. Philip Stamm, who was running a little longer on first stint was right infront of the two, and after a mistake by him Jörn was able to get by Frank before Philip went into the pits for his service. The Clubsport Racing driver could not keep up the pace with Jörn increasing his lead.
The 60-minute-race was won by Jörn with a lead of just 7 seconds, followed by Frank and Carsten Filmer. Philip Stamm, who was 24th after his pit stop, was able to gain a few position back with fresh tires and finished in 18th position.
With another good race result Jörn Jens was able to increase his lead in the championship to 17 points, with Patrick Pichler and Tom Vallenthini still in second and third. Due to drop results Philip Stamm dropped into 26th place, just securing a fixed spot in the first split for next race by only 6 points. Pure Racing Team is still leading the team championship, now 54 points infront of Coanda Simsport and 57 of Hot Pursuit Motorsports – Red. For detailed standings and results visit www.virtualracing.org.
Next race will be at October 13th at the Okayama Circuit, finishing the japanese tour of the series.