Team Wild Animals run free at Silverstone!
Nestled beside the village of Towcester (pronounced like the home bread heating apparatus), sits the home of British motorsport, Silverstone. Home to the British Grand Prix and host to round two of the Apex Racing League GT Team Championship.
Silverstone is no stranger to endurance racing. Since 2013, during the World Endurance Championship’s annual visit, racers have competed for the coveted Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy. Yet, ask any millennial about endurance racing at Silverstone and they will likely reference Top Gear’s slapdash attempt at the Britcar 24 hour in a wheezing BMW 3 series diesel.
During a ten-minute dash in qualifying, it was joy for Porsche. Dmitry Kofanov and Kenny Roosen qualified their Weissach built masterpieces on the front row of the grid. Immediately behind the Porsche pair, were round one winners, Maniti Corvette.
Fittingly, the Wild Animals and Triple A Esports 911 RSRs lined up behind the pace car opposite the Porsche Experience Centre, ready to lead the forty-seven car grid into an eighty-minute marathon.
Throughout the opening stint, Dmitry Kofanov was in imperious form. Stringing a succession of quick laps together, the Russian racer stretched his lead from Kenny Roosen’s Triple A Esports Porsche. Unable to keep the Porsches in sight, Alexander Masia brought the Maniti Racing Corvette C8.R into pit lane. In his haste, Masia entered pit lane above the speed limit and received a forty-second penalty. Dylan Scrivens then assumed control of the Pratt and Miller developed V8 monster and sped back onto the circuit with major ground to recover.
Mirroring Maniti’s strategy, Triple A Esports installed Amaury Bonduel into their 911 RSR. Wild Animals followed suit and swapped Dmitry Kofanov for Artem Grabow. With thirty-five minutes remaining, it would be a showdown between Triple A and Wild Animals.
As a result of Maniti’s demise, Artem Grabow led a Porsche quartet at the top of the field. First of the non-Weissach machines, was the Fuga Sim Sport Corvette.
Fifteen minutes from the finish, Wild Animals appeared to be cruising to a comfortable victory. However, a clumsy clip from a backmarker BMW M8 sent Grabow into a twirl and instantly eroded the lead. Amaury Bonduel and Triple A Porsche were back in the game and all over the enormous diffuser of the Wild Animals machine
Nevertheless, not even a brush with a backmarker could hinder Grabow’s march to the win and the lead in the championship. Triple A Esports, Vulcan Sim Racing and Evo SR followed the Wild Animals Porsche home to complete a 1-2-3-4 for Porsche. Mads Gravsen finished best of the rest in the Fuga Simsport Corvette C8.R.
Former championship leader, Maniti Corvette, rued their pit lane blunder. Dylan Scrivens could only recover to eighth after the costly error.
Immediately after the race, several of the ARL GT contenders gave their thoughts to the Apex Racing TV crew:
Jack Knight: “We had a bad race at Daytona. Coming into this race we didn’t know what was going to happen because we’re in a Ferrari and it’s a Porsche track.”
Emil Winbo: “I prefer the GP tracks more, so not Daytona road course! It helps that we didn’t have a league race yesterday and we were better prepared.”
Daniel Lee: “We have had better days. Qualifying was where we wanted it be and the first twenty minutes were absolutely supreme. Then we got a whack up the backside at Copse. It was then just crawling home.”