Paluch feels at home in Indiana!
Apex Racing League GT Championship with Colbek – R8 Indianapolis
During recent rounds in the Apex Racing League GT Championship presented by Colbek (ARL GT), the championship race has taken an unexpected turn. Former runaway leader, Alexey Nesov, has been otherwise engaged with other commitments and has opened up the title race once more. Although Mattia Fuligni is yet to win a race in his DRS Wave Italy Porsche, the consistent Italian now finds himself in prime position to overtake Nesov with four rounds to go.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course layout poses a technical challenge to the ARL GT paddock for the eighth round of the season.
Niclas Laubisch held up the honour for Urano eSports in Nesov’s absence with a superb charge to pole position. Emergent championship contender, Mattia Fuligni, narrowly missed out on pole by five hundredths of a second.
Enjoying the mythical homefield advantage, American ace Drew Becker sped to AM class pole position and eighth overall.
Throughout the opening twenty-five-minute sprint, the leading trio of Laubisch, Fuligni and Mathias Beer operated in their own premier league of pace. Polesitter Laubisch remained under pressure from Fuligni throughout the race. Despite boasting the grooviest livery on the grid, ‘The German Austin Powers’ Mathias Beer couldn’t make a move in his Ferrari and settled for third place.
Whilst AM polesitter Drew Becker’s challenge faded, Steve Burke surged ahead to finish sixth overall and top of the AM class.
A shuffle of the pack from a twenty-five-car reverse grid placed the Ferrari of Anton Gallmetzer on pole position. Getting the run on his opponents, Gallmetzer reached turn one with a comfortable lead. Meanwhile, Tom Collins’ dreadful day continued as the Briton was left shaken and stirred by a turn one crash.
Gallmetzer’s spell in the lead lasted only three corners. Contact with the BMW of David Gowrie put paid to both drivers’ chances of victory. Profiting from Gallmetzer and Gowrie’s demise, Andy Thompson swooped into the lead in the lone Ford GT in the field. However, an unforced error thwarted Thompson’s chances as well. All before the end of lap one!
Next to assume the lead, was Core Sim Racing Corvette star, Maik Paluch. While the German star confidently charged to a maiden ARL GT win, championship contenders Laubisch and Fuligni experienced varying fortunes. A tangle with Chris Prescott gave Laubsich a huge mountain to climb early on. Fuligni, on the other hand, reached the fringes of the top ten before one quarter distance. However, a rare mistake from Fuligni dropped the Italian back into the clutches of Laubisch.
While Fuligni and Laubisch languished at the wrong end of the top ten, race one podium finisher Mathias Beer enjoyed a flawless journey to the podium places with fifteen minutes to spare. Once again, the German star was the strongest of the Ferrari drivers in third place.
Colbek Porsche ace, Daniel Lee, continued his impressive feature race form by finishing second. With the absence of Nesov, Lee now finds himself in the hunt for the ARL GT title.
Jentsen Adriaenssens delivered another giant killing performance in eighth overall and comfortably top of the AM class.