ARA GT4 VRS Super Series Season 2 | Round 1 Montreal
A brand-new season of the Apex Racing Academy GT4 VRS Super Series roared into life at Montreal, on Tuesday. All the action aired live on Apex Racing TV and the iRacing Esports network gave a flavour of an exciting season ahead.
Following a brief solo qualifying session, competitors roll out for a twenty-five-minute sprint race, followed by a forty-minute feature race. A partly reversed grid and a pit stop add spice to the feature race proceedings.
Drivers in the Apex Racing Academy GT4 VRS Super Series pick their vehicle from two motor racing powerhouses, Porsche and BMW. Representing Weissach, is the Porsche Cayman 718 GT4. The dinky Cayman boasts a mid-mounted, flat six boxer engine with 425 horsepower and not a turbo in sight.
From Munich, is the BMW M4 GT4. This twin turbo charged brute enjoys over 430 horsepower, giving a straight-line speed advantage over the nimble Porsche. Unlike the Porsche, the M4’s engine is mounted up front, resulting in an alternative balance. Thanks to balance of performance regulations, these machines are evenly matched in lap time but make their speed in different ways.
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal played host to the opening round of the season. A stern test to begin the season. Unforgiving barriers lurk metres from the track edge, ready to punish the slightest mistake. iRacing.com’s automatic track limits enforcement system would also test the drivers resolve with plentiful ‘slow down’ penalties handed out throughout the evening.
Polish ace, Patryk Sokolowski, set the pace in qualifying with a blistering lap of 1 minute and 43.278 seconds. Team Vikings pair, Thomas Wangen and Roger Kristiansen, followed closely behind in second and third place. In the AM class, Pontus Ofverstrom took the class pole position, in tenth overall.
From the off, Patryk Sokolowski stamped his authority on proceedings. Clearing off into the distance in his Porsche. With half a lap to go, disaster struck. Suddenly, Sokolowski’s name no longer sat proud atop the Apex Racing TV timing tower. A technical failure had disconnected the Pole from the race. A cruel twist of fate. Sokolowski would be classified nineteenth. Nevertheless, this setback primed a race two charge from the back of the grid. A tantalising prospect for viewers on Apex Racing TV, considering Sokolowski’s superior pace.
Further back, controversy continued. Team Vikings stablemates, Wangen and Kristiansen, appeared to be parading to second and third place. However, Wangen refused to accept his position as the following car.
A bold move up the inside into a chicane with less than two minutes to go initially looked clean. Kristiansen, however, refused to yield and the Norwegian paired ploughed into each other. Philip Johansson enjoyed a grandstand view of the friendly fire and inherited the race win to boot, following Sokolowskis unfortunate demise.
Kristiansen and Wangen recovered to second and third place, cooling tempers in the Team Vikings camp. Pontus Ofverstrom continued his perfect start to the series, converting his AM class pole position into a class victory.
In the feature race, all eyes were on Sokolowski after his race one setback. Starting at the back of the grid, in nineteenth, the Pole faced a journey through the field with pitfalls at every turn. Unperturbed, Sokolowski calmly picked his way through the field throughout the race and charged to a triumphant win. An early contender for the drive of the season. When the Apex Racing Academy GT4 VRS series arrives at the Charlotte Roval next week, Sokolowski will be the man with the target on his back.
Roger Kristiansen claimed a brace of second place finishes in his Porsche Cayman. The German Austin Powers, Matthias Beer, finished third in his psychedelic liveried BMW M4. Very groovy. Scotsman, Mark Heron, took the AM class spoils, in sixth overall.
On Tuesday the 8th of September, the Apex Racing Academy GT4 VRS Super Series heads to the deep south of the United States and the Charlotte Roval. How will the drivers handle the challenge? Tune in to Apex Racing TV at 20.10 GMT to find out!
Images by @Groove_Media