Fritz on fire at Interlagos!
Apex Racing League GT Trophy R2 Interlagos
Lamborghini and Porsche drivers arrived at round two of the Apex Racing League GT Trophy in bullish mood after dominating at Spa a week ago. However, moving from the wide expanses of Spa to the technical twists of Interlagos may shake up the pack.
Swedish star, Rickard Karlsson, thwarted the Lamborghini charge by taking pole position in his BMW M4 GT3. Fellow Scandinavian, Nick Madsen, joined Karlsson on the front row in his Lamborghini Huracan GT3. Andrew Broome outpaced his AM class rivals and qualified fifteenth overall.
Fifty-six cars gathered behind the iRacing.com Porsche 911 pace car for a brief parade to the green flag. Traffic management in this multi class race would be key to survival and success.
Rickard Karlsson extinguished an attack from Nick Madsen on the rolling start to lead into turn one. After fifteen minutes, the GT3 PRO leaders encountered the first batch of GT4 cars to dispatch with. Once into the traffic, Karlsson led a BMW 1-2-3 with Jonas Bodin and Matthias Beer.
Maximillian Fritz wasn’t going to allow the Bavarian machines escape and promptly rejoined the leading battle. However, controversial contact between Fritz and Bodin, sent the former dropping down the order. While his rivals bickered behind, Rickard Karlsson amassed a useful lead heading to the pit stops.
‘Frugal’ and ‘Lamborghini’ aren’t often used in the same sentence. Certainly, not in road car context. However, Gaeten Anger and Nick Madsen squeezed their Huracan GT3 fuel tanks to run longer into the race before pitting. Anger and Madsen’s tactics worked wonders, and both emerged ahead of Karlsson and Fritz’s Ferrari with twenty minutes to go.
With twelve minutes remaining, Madsen plotted a move for the lead on the front straight. Running in deep on the brakes, Madsen slipped by Anger at turn one. However, Anger retaliated immediately, reclaiming his position into Descida do Lago. While Madsen and Anger traded positions on every corner, Fritz and Karlsson promptly arrived to contest the win.
Once into the lead battle, Maximillian Fritz found an extra gear and pushed ahead. Despite a late charge from Madsen, Fritz resisted to claim victory in his Ferrari 488 GT3. Rickard Karlsson came home third in his BMW, confirming three different manufacturers on the podium.
Andrew Broome dominated GT3 AM. From pole position, the British ace executed a flawless lights to flag victory in his Lamborghini Huracan.
Despite Mergim Aliu, Georgi Raychev and Daniel Markov commanding all the attention throughout the race, none of these drivers would be victorious. In a dramatic drag race to the line, Hristo Ublev broke Megrim Aliu’s heart and led for the first time, only yards before the checkered flag. Mihail Velikov overhauled pre-race favourite, Daniel Markov, in the GT4 AM class.
Immediately after the sixty-minute sprint, several of the Apex Racing League GT Trophy drivers shared their thoughts on the second round of the championship:
Maximillian Fritz: “It was quite a decent race. I nailed the start! The first half of the race was all about fuel saving as the BMWs had so much torque out of the corners. When we found GT4 traffic, I played the undercut. I knew I could overtake the Lambos because my Ferrari is very fast on the straight.”
Rickard Karlsson: “It went pretty well but I made a bit of a mistake to start with only sixty litres of fuel at the start so I gave away the win.”
On the 16th of March, the Apex Racing League GT Trophy returns for round three of the championship. Tune in to live coverage on Apex Racing TV at 8pm GMT.