December 1st, 2016 by Paul Slavonik
Round 2 of the Blancpain Endurance Series – the qualifying season for the Blancpain GT Series – saw the top GT3 teams battle for supremacy at Silverstone Circuit. With new drivers vying for entry into the premiere world championship GT3 series, the stakes are high during this short six-race season and the three-hour race at Silverstone was no exception.
With a total of 11 splits over the course of two days, sim racers from around the world put their best foot forward in an effort to claim the top step during Round 2. In the end, the honor belonged to VRS Coanda Simsport #81.
Coanda Strikes Again
Piloting the Audi R8 LMS, drivers David Williams, Mitchell DeJong, and Rocco Barone acquired 316 points while in route to their overall victory. All three of the Coanda drivers had more than one race start during the week of online racing but their main points haul came via the second race on Saturday. In that race, the Coanda trio began their race in third but cut their way through the field to take the lead.
Although the Coanda team was able to grab fourth in the previous round at Monza, their Round 2 victory has propelled them forward in the standings and they currently sit just five points behind the leaders in second. The team they’re trailing also happens to be the team which was their closest competitor at Silverstone.
They were followed very closely by ineX Racing Red drivers Jack Sedgwick and Nathan Schartner. Driving the Ford GT GT3, the ineX Red duo began the online event from fifth but worked their way forward to finish just under .4s behind Coanda in second. Still, the ineX Red drivers grabbed 309 points in the process and maintain their overall lead after their win during Round 1.
Taking the final step of the podium for Round 2 was Ivo Howeller, Maximillian Benecke, and Patrick Pitchler of Pure Racing Team Red. Racing the Audi R8, the trio scored 307 points after a second place finish during the Saturday morning race. This follows up a fifth place overall finish from the opening week at Monza.
Currently sitting in fifth on the leaderboard, Pure Racing Team Red will certainly be looking to maintain their present form as we head into Round 3.
As the series approaches the halfway point, ineX Racing Red currently holds the lead with 630 points. They’re followed very closely by VRS Coanda Simsport #81 (625) with ineX Racing Blue and Pure Racing Team Black tied for third with 617 points. Pure Racing Team Red rounds out the top-five with 613 points.
As Round 3 approaches, the series heads Circuit Zolder in what will be the shortest race of the season. At only 90 minutes, the online race will have more of a sprint feel to it when compared to the normal three-hour races. This shorter format could create more tension on the track and will force drivers to keep the big picture in mind. With the season only consisting of six races, teams and drivers can’t afford to make any mistakes if they hope to gain entry in the Blancpain GT Series.