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Draeta doubles up at Silverstone

Apex Racing Academy iRacing F3 VRS Super Series R6 Silverstone

A thrilling tussle for the Apex Racing Academy F3 VRS Super Series rolled on to the sixth round of the season at Silverstone. Paulo Draeta, Qio-Tiago Marteau, Will Redford and Connor Bell have all enjoyed spells at the front. Yet, no single driver has been able to get a jump on the field.

Silverstone’s wide expanses will make a breakaway from the pitfalls of the slip stream very difficult indeed. Who would come out on top?

Rapid Brazilian, Paulo Draeta, edged out Qio-Tiago Marteau for pole position by a tenth of a second for the opening race. Once again, Aaron Smith continued punching above his AM class weight in fifth overall.

Heats

As soon as Draeta dropped the clutch and got his Dallara rolling, the polesitter immediately swept across to the inside line to defend. Certainly, an aggressive move at such an early stage of the race. From second on the grid, Marteau nestled in behind Draeta. However, Marteau’s charge was abruptly halted by an overly ambitious Connor Bell. Heading downhill into the club chicane, Bell overshot his braking marker and t-boned the defenceless Marteau.

Profiting from Marteau’s unfortunate demise, Draeta controlled a two second advantage over Steven Westerhof to the line. Will Redford followed close behind in third place.

An unfortunate incident snatched an AM class win from Aaron Smith early on. However, Florian Beer was only too happy to pick up the prize in fifth overall and top of the class.

Feature Race

By virtue of their race one results, Draeta and Westerhof started on the front row for the feature race. Unfortunately, Bell and Marteau started deep in the pack after their clash in race one. Curiously, Paulo Draeta deployed the same controversial manoeuvre as race one. A sharp sweep across to the inside ensured the Brazilian couldn’t be passed into turn one. However, this time, Westerhof and Redford had a counterattack waiting.

While Draeta slithered on cold tyres, Westerhof charged into the lead. Draeta fell into the clutches of Redford, but held second place. Throughout the opening laps, Westerhof, Draeta and Redford formed a three-car breakaway. On lap four, Draeta slipped past Westerhof on the run to Copse and reclaimed the lead.

Once into the lead, Draeta defended his advantage well despite the invisible boost of the draft being enjoyed by Westerhof. Eventually, the stalemate broke on lap eight. A slight touch between Westerhof and Redford sent the former wide onto the tarmac run off. Thus, allowing Draeta vital relief to escape the slip stream. Furthermore, a loss of momentum for Westerhof and Redford brought Brian Kroon back into the podium equation.

With Draeta checking out to the win, Redford tried to give chase, but to no avail. However, Redford’s speed did allow the Briton to escape from Brian Kroon in the battle for second place. Kroon’s hold on third place faced an imminent threat from a recovering Steven Westerhof. However, Kroon dug deep to resist the challenge of his countryman to claim the final spot on the podium.

From the back of the grid, Qio-Tiago Marteau bounced back from the agony of race one with a storming charge to fifth by the finish. A tenacious performance which may bear fruit at the end of the season.

Mimicking Marteau’s rebound, Aaron Smith avenged his own race one disappointment to win the AM class in seventh overall.

Post Race

Immediately after the race, a handful of ARA F3 protagonists joined the Apex Racing TV commentary crew to share their thoughts:

Paulo Draeta: “I’m really happy. Thank you to all the drivers. Let’s go for a championship”

Will Redford: “The results were good. This is a new track for me. I didn’t have much practice. So, to bring home the results I did, I was pretty happy with what I managed to do.”

Connor Bell: “A big shout out to my competitors. I apologise for the lap one incident.”

Aaron Smith: “It was mental! I did pretty well to bring it back to twelfth in race one. Then, in the feature, after three corners I was in fifth. The second race went pretty well, I’d say.”

On the fifth of June, the Apex Racing Academy F3 VRS Super Series moves ahead to round seven of the season at Monza. Tune in to all the action on Apex Racing TV at 7pm GMT.

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