March 5th, 2016 by Paul Slavonik
As Season 1 of iRacing’s Blancpain Endurance Series winds down, the penultimate round of the series was also the debut performance of the Nürburgring for the category and it certainly lived up to its reputation.
With sim-racers from all over wanting to be the first to take the win at the Nürburgring in the Blancpain Endurance Series, that honor went to Jonas and Johannes Wallmeier as they led all but one of the 89 laps in the first race of the week while driving their McLaren MP4. Despite their race ultimately becoming a lower Strength of Field race (SoF 1931), they hold an honor that few in the iRacing community ever achieve as they become the first to take victory at a new track for their respective series.
The Lords of the ‘Ring
As the round progressed, the powerhouse teams arrived to make the most of the week. After three hours of online racing, the team which came out on top was Pure Racing Team #111. Consisting of Andreas Allmannsberger, Jonas Wallmeier and Maximillian Benecke, the trio split the driving duties equally in their McLaren after starting from pole position in the top SoF race.
With clean air in front of them, the Pure Racing Team drivers began their run which concluded with a resounding victory. With a lead of over 26 seconds, the trio cruised home to take the top step for Round 11 and collected 176 championship points.
In the massive field of 52 cars, the Pure Racing Team drivers were the first of only five cars to finish on the lead lap.
The various branches of TeamGT completed a successful week of sim-racing with three top-five finishes at the ‘Ring. TeamGT-RS driver, Riccardo Schiavon, won his SoF race (2739) while piloting the BMW Z4 after starting from second. With over a 30 second margin to his credit, the Italian ace captured 174 championship points as he bested his sister-teammate in TeamGT-MC, Massimo Carbognani, by just two points.
Carbognani finished second to the Pure Racing Team trio in the top SoF race after starting from third in their McLaren.
Further back in fifth place for the week, Lugi Nespolino of TeamGT showcased the dominance which his teams’ namesake have established. With two of the TeamGT teams in contention for the overall championship, their performance during the final round will be crucial to their success.
The Lone Star State
The final round of the season for iRacing’s Blancpain Endurance Series brings us back to the United States once again. With only 44 points separating the top-four teams in the championship hunt, the Circuit of The Americas located in Austin, TX will be the battle ground as the best in the business fight for every available point on the table.
Odox Motorsport BES currently holds the lead with 1469 points followed closely by TeamGT-RS with 1461 ahead of Geko Vortex SimRacing with 1452. TeamGT brings up the rear with 1425 championship points.
Although the battle may come down to the final lap, drivers will need to be cautious to not throw it all away on the twists and bendy bits of CoTA.
With Season 2 now close at hand, many teams and drivers will be welcoming the newest additions to the iRacing stables in the form of the Mercedes AMG GT3 and the newly revealed Audi R8 LMS GT3. These two vehicles will replace the outgoing Ford GT GT3 to bring the total number of manufacturers in the series to five.
Additionally, Season 2 will also mark the beginning of iRacing’s Blancpain GT Series world championship.
While it’s easy to feel like a kid on Christmas day, drivers in contention for the Season 1 championship will have to keep their eyes on the prize during the final round of the season.