Redemption for Redford in Montreal
Apex Racing Academy iRacing F3 VRS Super Series R4 Montreal
Montreal, Quebec played host to round four of the Apex Racing Academy F3 VRS Super Series. Racing fragile single seater machines around concrete lined confines provides a tantalising spectator experience and a mildly terrifying challenge to drivers. Monaco, Macau, Long Beach. They are all revered by any driver who has taken on the challenge. Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is no different. Named after a driver who claimed three of his six grand prix victories on street courses, the streets of Montreal continue to play tribute to the legacy of Gilles Villeneuve.
Setting the pace in qualifying, Qio-Tiago Marteau started the opening race on pole position. Aaron Smith blitzed the AM field to start at the front of the class in fifth overall.
Executing a clean launch, Marteau comfortably assumed the lead into the opening trip around the Senna S. A mistake from front row starter, Will Redford, allowed Connor Bell to move through to second place. However, by half race distance, the Canadian driver couldn’t haul in Marteau.
Bell’s fortunes worsened considerably when his Dallara’s fuel tank ran dry thirty seconds from the end. While Marteau cleared off to a dominant win, Paulo Draeta and Steven Westerhof completed the podium.
Backing up his supreme qualifying performance, Aaron Smith progressed to fourth overall and top of the AM class.
By virtue of their race one results, Marteau and Draeta started on the front row of the grid for the thirty-minute feature race. Once again, Marteau made the most of pole position and tore off into the lead. Tip toeing on cold tyres, a spinning Steven Westerhof laid a Dallara shaped roadblock which claimed both Draeta and Smith. In contrast, Connor Bell swiftly set to work on avenging his disappointment and found himself in sixth by lap two.
Back at the front, Marteau’s cakewalk was being spoiled by a resurgent Will Redford. Keen to make amends for his race one error, Redford slipped past Marteau at the wall of champions chicane on lap three. With clean air ahead, Redford fired in a succession of rapid laps and streaked away from Marteau. Saving his best lap for last, Redford bounced back from race one disappointment with a convincing victory over Marteau. In third place, Connor Bell proved his worth with a stunning charge through the pack.
Immediately after the race, a handful of drivers joined the ARTV broadcast team to recount their races:
Will Redford: “I knew I had the pace on Marteau. I’m not sure if he knew that as I hadn’t shown my place straight away. I just pulled away and that was that.”
Simen Brunstad: “This track is very unforgiving. If you make a mistake and try to pass in a gap that doesn’t exist, you’re going to pay for it!”
Aaron Smith: “I feel like I could have done a lot better today. In the feature, Steven and Paulo lost it in front of me which gave me damage and I had to pit.”
On Saturday May 15th, the Apex Racing Academy F3 VRS Super Series returns for round five of the championship at Okayama. Tune in to all the action on Apex Racing TV at 7pm GMT.