Matthias Beer toasts Donington delight!
Apex Racing League GT R6 presented by Colbek – Donington Park
Donington park’s swooping curves presented a new challenge for the Apex Racing League GT paddock on Sunday. Continually asserting himself as the championship benchmark, Alexey Nesov arrives at the halfway point of the season with a sixty-point advantage. Nesov’s nearest challenger, Mattia Fuligni, has been remarkably consistent but ultimately trailing the red-hot pace of the Russian star.
Core Sim Racing Corvette ace, Sven Neumann, stunned the field to nab pole from Nesov by eight-thousandths of a second. Qualifying honours in the AM ranks were contested with equal ferocity. Edging out the BMW of Steve Burke, Kevin Kittelmann sped to twelfth overall and fastest of the AM class.
Donington Park’s opening sector oozes notoriety. Named after the circuit’s founder, Fred Craner, the downhill helter-skelter Craner curves are feared by racers on two and four wheels. As the legend goes: ‘If you haven’t crashed at Craner’s before, you’re about to.’
With a virtually non-existent parade behind the pace car, drivers took the green flag with cold tyres and brakes. Who would be willing to step into the unknown abyss, hoping to be caught by the grip of their Michelin tyres?
Sven Neumann utilised polesitter’s privilege and led into turn one at Redgate. However, Nesov poised ominously behind. As Neumann led the tip-toeing snake of GTE machines down the Craner curves, Nesov pounced earlier than anyone might have expected. Approaching the downhill braking zone at the old hairpin, Nesov laid blind faith in the carbon brakes of his Porsche 911 RSR and lunged to the inside of Neumann
Neumann could do nothing to stop Nesov on full attack and surrendered to the championship leader. Once Nesov hit the front, the real-world GT racer howled away to victory in his Urano eSports Porsche. Although unable to muster a challenge to Nesov, Sven Neumann drove immaculatly race to second place. Colbek Porsche ace, Danny Lee, finished third.
Steve Burke converted a strong qualifying to the AM class win. Thus, scoring strong points towards his class title campaign.
An inversion of the top twenty-seven drivers from the sprint race set the starting order for the forty-minute feature race. ‘The German Austin Powers’ Matthias Beer started on pole position in his Ferrari. Alongside Beer on the front row, was the AM class Porsche of Darragh Adriaenssens.
Straight from the off, Beer meant business. Keen to capitalise on the gift of reverse grid pole, the German star quickly built an unassailable lead and sped to his first victory of the season. However, various sub plots raged throughout the field.
AM class favourite Darragh Adriaenssens’ race ended after two corners along with Dory Ricchiuti. Contact between the Porsche pair dragged both into the wall at Hollywood, ending their chances of a podium charge.
Donington Park may be a driver’s dream on a solo hot lap, but overtaking opportunities aren’t in abundance at the Derbyshire venue. However, no one appeared to have got that message to the cockpit of Alexey Nesov’s Porsche. After only five minutes, the championship leader ascended to thirteenth place from twenty seventh on the grid.
Nesov eventually progressed all the way to second place, by which point Matthias Beer had checked out to a fifteen second advantage. Putting his race one woes behind him, Matty Chambers drove his Evo SR Porsche superbly to a podium finish.
Matthias Beer: “It was quite comfortable driving the Ferrari. Sometimes in a few corners I had a loose rear, but I managed it with set up.”
Kevin Kittelmann: “Wow! For me, it was a stellar race. The start was great. I saw Matthias go and I went too! Matthias proved why he is in the PRO class. He drove away straight away and I had no chance to catch him.”
Alexey Nesov: “I understood that overtaking is difficult in this track, so I ran a low wing to let me get side by side in the braking points. This really helped me in the second race to fight through the field.”
Driver Of The Day
With Donington Park now in the books, the Apex Racing League GT Championship presented by Colbek prepares for a blue riband race. On the 21st of March, the series heads to the home of American Sports Car racing – Sebring International Raceway. Just hours after the chequered flag drops on the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the ARL GT paddock go racing over the bumps of this legendary Floridian circuit. Tune in to Apex Racing TV at 8pm GMT to catch all the live action.