March 8th, 2016 by Niel Hekkens
The fifth round of the season was held at Autódromo José Carlos Pace. Last year this track proved to be a big challenge for multi-class racing. It proved to be a challenge again this year. The first half of the race was filled with a lot of avoidable contacts, prompting Race control to throw a Full Course Yellow (FCY) to calm the teams and drivers down. This was the first time ever the FCY had to be used in the NEO Endurance Series. Race Control hopes this will not be needed again. Once the race got back to green the sim racing was much better and, in the final hour two amazing battles in GT1 formed up, with a lot of side-by-side racing.
Not just about speed in Prototype
In the prototype class it was once again a huge battle for the top spot. Multiple teams showed the speed needed for a victory. After six hours of racing it was the #24 car of Team Chimera on the top step of the podium. They showed good pace with great traffic management throughout the race. Despite some troubles in the race, Radicals Online managed to finish second while the final step of the prototype podium was occupied by Friction Racing, the third podium finish for this team.
One lap behind the top three came Geko Vortex Simracing in fourth position. VRS Coanda Simsport finished in fifth due to a hardware failure for one of their drivers, dropping them one lap down. After this problem, the defending champions had to minimize the damage. Gathering of Tweakers 1 finished in sixth.
Pure Racing Team (seventh), KRT Motorsport (eighth), Revolution Racing (ninth), and Online-Simracing.de (tenth) finish the top 10 for the prototype class.
VRS Coanda Simsport now leads the prototype class by 11 points over Radicals Online. While both teams have a solid lead to third place Team Chimera the battle for third is not over as Geko Vortex Simracing and Friction Racing are right behind Team Chimera.
Great battles in the GT1 class
Going into this event the Aston Martin had five kilograms of ballast added to balance the car better against the Corvette. This did not stop Thrustmaster Mivano Racing from dominating the GT1 class and taking their third victory of the season. In second position it was Hammer Down Racing, the only Corvette in the top six at Interlagos. Radicals Online GT1 finished third in class after a solid drive.
Excelsior Racing Team had their best finish of the season, finishing fourth in class. Team Chimera, car #54, finished fifth after a very exciting late race battle in the last hour with Falcon-GP, who finished sixth. The contest for seventh was equally exciting, featuring Corvette vs. Aston Martin and SRN Motorsports and Torque Freak Racing who battling for the brand bragging rights. SRN Motorsports eventually won that battle and finished seventh. Blue Flag Racing had their best finish of the season by finishing ninth ahead of IRDK Endurance after a very tough race in which they took multiple hits throughout the race.
The championship battle in GT1 is very close, as Thrustmaster Mivano Racing leads the class by only three points over Radicals Online GT1. Hammer Down Racing is now solid in third in points.
SimRC.de dominates again
In GT2 it was SimRC.de who dominated the class again, taking their third win of the season and extending their lead in the championship. IRDK Assault Racing finished second after two DNFs in the previous rounds as Racing Lions took third place – their best finish in the NEO Endurance Series.
Asbury Motorsport finished fourth, after a good recovery drive. The starting driver of the #84 car, stalled on the grid and therefore had to start from the back of the class. Car #73 of Fenix Motorsports finished in fifth. They did not have the speed at Interlagos. Virus, Torrent Motorsport and Gathering of Tweakers 2 finished sixth, seventh, and eighth in GT2 respectively. KRT Motorsport GT was not classified due to an infringement of article 5.11 of the sporting regulations, exceeding the maximum driving time by one of their drievrs.
In the points standings SimRC.de extended their lead with Fenix Motorsports FGT solid in second. The battle between Torrent Motorsports and IRDK Assault Racing for the third place will be exciting to watch in the final two races of the season. Also multiple teams are still in the race for the top eight of the championship.
Team Chimera won the MSF Challenge in both the prototype and GT1 class. Impressively, the GT1 car with Jamie Wilson and Simon Trendell kept it to just one incident in the entire race! Fenix Motorsports FGT won this competition in the GT2 class. This challenge is sponsored by the Motorsport Safety Foundation. For more information about Motorsport Safety Foundation and their mission, go to their website motorsport-safety.org.
The penultimate round of NEO Endurance Series season two takes place at Monza on March 20 at 15:00 GMT.
This race will be broadcast by RacespotTV on iRacing Live.
See you at Monza!