Triple A triumph in Japan!
Suzuka International Circuit hosted the season finale of the Apex Racing GT Team Championship. Porsche crews, Triple A Esports and Wild Animals, arrive at the final round locked in battle for the overall crown. Across the four-round series, the Weissach built Porsche 911 RSR-17s have pulverised the competition. Porsche’s GTE machine boasts a four litre, flat six engine, mounted in the middle of the RSR’s wide frame. A very unfamiliar approach for a brand so stubbornly tied to the rear engine concept of the iconic 911. During the RSR-17’s brief tenure in the sport, victories at Le Mans, Sebring and Petit Le Mans silenced any critics of the RSR’s new configuration. This shrieking thoroughbred raises neck hair and smiles in equal measure.
Dylan Scrivens paced the field in qualifying aboard the Maniti Porsche. Triple A Esports’ Belgian star, Kenny Roosen, joined Scrivens on the front row, a third of a second in arrears. Championship contenders, Wild Animals Porsche, started third.
Topping the AM class once more was the Kairos Competition Porsche of Kevin Finn who took over qualifying duties from teammate, EJ O’Donnell.
As Scrivens led the thirty-eight strong field of GTE machines towards turn one, Dmitry Kofanov pounced for second place in the Wild Animals Porsche. Kenny Roosen yielded and settled behind the Russian in the championship leading Triple A Esports Porsche.
Sadly, the on-track tussle between Triple A Esports and Wild Animals ignited, detonated, and fizzled out after just three laps. As Roosen attempted a move on the inside heading to turn one, Kofanov was in no mood to yield. With a little less than a car’s width to use, Roosen touched the grass and heavy contact ensued, relegating both drivers to the role of passenger as they ploughed into the gravel. Ironically, the very same gravel trap which welcomed Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost on lap one of the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix. After repairs, Triple A Esports re-joined in thirty-seventh place and Wild Animals returned inside the top thirty. However, Wild Animals race continue to crumble after several tangles with other cars.
Splitting up a plethora of remaining Porsches, was Maik Wiesekopsieker in the Fuga Corvette. Danny Lee appeared to finally click with the Porsche 911 RSR, following a switch from his trusty BMW M8. Lee sat immediately behind Wiesekopsieker in third.
After a few laps studying his German rival, Lee dived past Wiesekopsieker at the Casio Triangle and pinched second place, shortly before the pit stops. Curiously, once Lee found some clear air, the MSignsUK team brought the Briton in earlier than their rivals. As a result, Dean Powell took over to face a contest amongst traffic.
Next of the leaders in pit lane, was Maniti Porsche. Once again, Dylan Scrivens delivered a sublime stint and handed over the leading car to Alexander Masia. Following the pit lane shuffle, MSignsUK’s early stop gamble failed and dropped the Porsche squad to fifth. Frugality isn’t a term often used to describe a Corvette, but Fuga Simsport’s C8.R ran long on fuel and rewarded its crew with second place by the flag.
Whilst enjoying a seemingly comfortable cruise to a win, Alexander Masia tripped up at the ‘Snake’ section and tumbled into the gravel. Miraculously, Masia managed to gather up the Maniti Porsche and recover to the win. A stark reminder to the rest of the field of how dominant Scrivens’ opening stint had been.
Eventually, both Triple A Esports and Wild Animals limped their Porsche’s home in thirteenth and twentieth respectively. Thus, confirming Triple A Esports as Apex Racing League GT Team Champions.
Following the race, the PRO and AM class champions gave their thoughts to the Apex Racing TV crew:
Kenny Roosen: “I’m a bit disappointed because there was a bit of drama, but we are champions so I’m happy.”
EJ O’Donnell: “I’m glad that race is over! Kevin did an awesome job in the first stint, he’s been faster than me this week. When I got in the car, I started making small mistakes and it got me flustered. We were fortunate that we had a big lead coming into this round.”
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