Apex Racing Academy GT4 VRS Super Series | Round 3 at Mosport
The VRS Super Series returned to North America for the third round of it’s inaugural season this week, with the Mosport Circuit the venue for another thrilling night’s action in the GT4 class.
Spain’s Isaac Jaen lead the championship after the first two rounds ahead of Philip Johansson with Damien Harris lying third in the Pro category ahead of newly-promoted Adrian Campfield. In the AM Championship, Matthias Beer leads the way ahead of Tobias Berka and Lukas David.
There would be no consolation race here tonight, so instead just the 10-place reverse grid for the Final.
The Heat race began with Jaen at the head of the field, Lucas Biron in second on home soil and Jacob Tofts qualifying off the front row in 3rd, the first time he had not started a heat race in the front two positions. The tricky Turn 2 claimed Derrick, SIbon and Clist, them having their races ruined early on unfortunately.
The order stayed pretty much the same in the top 6 for the first 5 laps, until Jaen went wide in the first sector, giving up the lead to Biron, 2nd to Johansson and very nearly 3rd to Moritz Lohner, wringing the most he could out of the Porsche which was struggling at this race meeting.
Biron was preventing things getting past him just as well as his namesake, the famous NHL goalie Martin, with Johansson straining every sinew to try to take the win but not getting close enough for a move around this fast and flowing circuit. It was a 6-car battle with Tofts and Campfield in attendance, and they were putting pressure on the podium places with their presence alone.
On the final lap, disaster struck for the BMWs. Johansson tried to go round the outside of Biron into the penultimate corner; Jaen went even wider, got it all wrong, completely on the grass with no ability to stop, clouted into Johansson which sent them all into various crashes.
This allowed Moritz Lohner of all people to come through and take the win; such is the knack of a potential champion that they pick up great results without necessarily putting in their best performances. He was there to claim maximum points and 10th on the grid for the Feature race, with Campfield again a very strong 2nd, Johansson got the best of the accident to limp home in 3rd, with Tofts 4th, Harris in 5th and Matthias Beer once again taking the honours in the AM category in 6th.
In the end, Jaen got 10th which ironically meant that he would now start the Feature race from Pole Position, however the stewards frowned upon his maneouvre on the last lap, booting him to the back of the grid for the Feature race with a penalty. Biron came off the worst out of all of them as he was on the outside and the only one I believe to have a heavy impact with the tyre barrier. He had to tow back to the pits and could only be classified in 20th, leaving him a lot to do for Race 2.
And so it was that race 2 started without Jaen at the front, and it was Joshua Jensen who lead away from pole with Denisov, Silcock, Beer and Harris making up the top 5 starters.
Jensen’s lead wouldn’t last long as he went very wide into turn 1 dropping down to 7th place behind the fast-starting Lohner. Harris also ended up don to 15th, and Jacob Tofts’ bad start got worse when he ended up down in 17th place. Mark Heron found turn 2 too hot to handle and ended up down in 18th.
Denisov and Beer broke away at the front with a four-driver pack of Silcock, Lohner, Campfield and Johansson doing the chasing.
Beer took the lead from Denisov just before the aforementioned pack caught them. Silcock would then spin at Turn1 and end up well down the order, losing the rear on the way in, such an easy mistake to make. Lucas Biron meanwhile was up to 7th, albeit 3 seconds behind the leaders.
Lap 6, and Johansson tried to force his way past Denisov, making some contact on his way past – he then defended hard from Lohner going onto the straight, however the German made a great move into the final complex and got through into 4th.
Denisov then spun in the same place as Silcock, giving Lucas Biron two places in one as he eased past polesitter Jensen. With 20 minutes left, we know better than to rule out the charging Canadian.
Johansson and Lohner resumed hostilities on lap 9, the Porsche seemingly finding a bit more pace with no pressure from behind. The straight line speed advantage of the BMW definitely helping Johansson defend that place, but as mentioned on commentary, the Porsche had enjoyed a slight advantage in the first two race meetings.
Johansson then set about Campfield, briefly getting an overlap before making contact which lost him momentum and also 3rd place to Lohner. Biron was consistently one of the fastest men on the track and he had closed to within a second of P2, impressive considering he started 19th.
It was then the last five laps of the race and a great struggle was developing. Campfield couldn’t break the slipstream, Lohner has the cornering speed but nothing in a straight line, Johansson was being thwarted by Lohner’s defence and Biron was trying to find a way through without incident. A fantastic finish in prospect, as Matthias Beer was even being reeled in slightly by the squabbling quartet. In the squabble, Johansson slipped by Lohner and back into 3rd. Two laps to go.
Biron breezed past Lohner; the Porsche just not having the grunt to fight down the long back straight, and once again defended as he went wide onto the straight. Beer, who had kept so cool and tidy during the race went wide into the final sector, but perhaps fearing a repeat of the first race, nobody made a decisive move and Beer came home to take the win in the Feature race – another great night of racing in the VRS Super Series.
Photos by Andy Taylor