Although it was the first and only night race of the season, the iRacing.com Blancpain Endurance Series arrived at the fabulous Twin Ring Motegi for Round 9 of Season 3 and it proved to be a race to remember. Throughout the season, we’ve seen the Ford GT GT3 flex its aerodynamic muscles time and time again with stunning results. To be accurate, Ford has claimed victory in seven of the past eight racing rounds this season. So as the series headed toward the famous Grand Prix circuit for Week 9, odds were that Ford would continue its dominating form at a track which seems to suit it well.
Or so it would seem.
For the first time this season, the RUF RT 12R has claimed victory via the skillful driving of Anders Dahl and Stefan Muijselaar of VergilRacing.
Coming into Week 9 of the Blancpain Endurance Series as – for all intents and purposes – unknown drivers in the series, the VergilRacing duo started off the Strength of Field (SoF 3300) race in third with a qualifying time of 1:46.448. Getting an early jump, however, Dahl and Muijselaar moved their RUF to the front and led 81 of the 100 laps around the nearly three-mile circuit which awarded the sim racers with 206 championship points. Additionally, Muijselaar set the fastest lap of the race with a 1:46.328 on Lap 94.
Talk about staying in the zone.
Another Podium for Kappastorm
No stranger to the weekly podium, Sven Deml seems to be on a roll as of late and very little can be done to slow him down. Starting in eighth in the same SoF listed above, Deml worked his way up to the front to finish the online race in second. Although it was a magnificent run, it also wasn’t the cleanest. Recording 26 incident points in the process, Deml came dangerously close to incident cap of 30 which leads to disqualification. Still, the second place finish awarded Deml with 199 championship points which currently puts him in third overall on the leaderboard.
For Audrey Loginov and Vladimir Ozeretskovskiy of Motorbreath Endurance, the second time around was a charm. Although the duo took pole position in the above mentioned SoF race, they ended up finishing in fourth. Knowing that they had more in it, Loginov and Ozeretskovskiy regrouped and came at it a second time. Fortune smiled upon them in the land of the rising sun as they started a lesser SoF (3058) from pole and were able to convert that to a win. Although it was mostly likely not in the manner in which they would’ve wanted, the Motorbreath Endurance team brought home 192 championship points with their win and they both sit in eighth and ninth on the leaderboards.
As Season 3 comes to a close this week, one final battleground remains to determine the championship winner. Phillip Island – the sweeping Australian circuit – seems to be the ideal place for the dust to settle and will be the spot for the season finale which should be a nail-biter.
Right now, Dado Opacak and Kresimir Prasnicki hold the top spot with 1272 points but not far behind them is Deml with 1259, Miika Haapanen with 1217 followed by Reto Hartmann with 1207.
It’s been an amazing season of endurance sim racing thus far but with only a few races remaining this season, the pressure is on for all of the drivers to put in a strong result to finish Season 3 off well.
One thing’s for certain, however: The champion we crown next week will be in an ideal position heading towards the upcoming GT Series.