After a month the whole paddock went from the Sunshine State to the sunny Lone Star State for Round Two of the NEO Endurance Series at Circuit of the Americas in Austin (TX). During free practice sessions on Friday and Saturday it became clear this would be a tough race for all classes. COTA is a very technical circuit and while the track itself is very wide with a lot of run off areas, the racing line is very narrow.
Coanda Simsport Bounces Back
It was Coanda Simsport who had pole position, but Radicals Online took the lead early lead and dominated the first half of the race. At the halfway mark they switched positions with Coanda Simsport multiple times. Then with one hour to go Radicals Online had contact coming out of the pits, resulting in major damage to their car and their first DNF of the season. Coanda Simsport took over the lead and the checkered flag after 6 hours of sim racing with Friction Racing finishing a relatively easy second place. Twisted Apex Racing managed to finish third after a battle with Fenix Motorsports, who finished fourth. Team Chimera number 24 had troubles in the beginning, but fought their way back in the top five at the checkered flag.
Racing Lions took sixth place, after some minor contact but managed to get the car to the finish a lap clear of KRT Motorsport in seventh while Kroenert Motorsport took eighth position ahead of Apex Racing TV. Radicals Online was still classified because they completed 70% of the distance, so they were credited with tenth place in the P class.
Fenix Motorsports 64 Wins GT Class
The GT class was filled with exciting battles throughout the whole race and nothing was certain until the checkered flag was waved. After six hours of sim racing it was Fenix Motorsports 64 taking the victory after New World Sim Sport blew their engine 20 minutes before the end. The battle for second place was decided at the checkered flag as iRacing Denmark Assault Racing managed to keep Apex Racing UK behind them for second place. Apex Racing UK took the final spot on the podium ahead of Friction Racing car 69.
Two laps down a battle for fifth position raged towards the end. Asbury Motorsports won this battle and finished fifth. Racing Lions GT could gain some positions with solid laps at the end and took sixth position. Torque Freak Racing car 41 came home in seventh. Radical Racing UK and REVS Simracing both had tough races, but still managed to bring their cars home in eighth and ninth position. Like Radicals Online, New World Sim Sport was credited with tenth pace despite their late race dramas.
SuperSport Racing Wins NEO Debut
The GTC class was won by SuperSport Racing after logistical problems prevented them from competing at Sebring in Round One. Throughout the race SuperSport Racing worked their way up to the top after starting eighth. Team Chimera bounced back after a tough Sebring race, and car 87 had a solid race at COTA and finished second. The green RUF of the Dart Frogs took their second podium of the season in third and with it the lead in the GTC championship.
Not far behind Team Chimera and Dart Frogs came SRN Motorsports in fourth while IRDK Endurance fought back from dead last after two hours to finish a fine fifth place. Slipstream Racing finished sixth after a great battle at the end of the race with KRT GT Motorsport, who finished sixth. Their battle can be seen on YouTube from the cockpit of Slipstream Racing.
Before the race it was expected Vergil Racing would dominate this class again, but in the beginning of the race they had troubles and had to fight their way up from dead last midway. Eighth was the best they could possibly do, and they will be out to redeem themselves in Round Three. Apex Racing UK finished ninth after yet another disappointing and unfortunate outing and Gathering of Tweakers 3 finished-up the top ten.
For more information, visit neo-endurance.com and for the replay of the race take a look at the race archive. The standings of the NES are also available on the website.