Anger on fire at The Ring!
iRacing Apex Racing League GT Trophy R3 Nurburgring
After a fortnight long hiatus, the Apex Racing League GT Trophy reconvened at the Nurburgring for round three of the championship. With the modern GP layout in use, drivers in this new multi-class championship could focus on practice rather than learning every nuance of the notorious Nordschleife.
During the ten-minute qualifying dash, Niklas Hjelm set the benchmark in his Hellracers BMW M4 GT3. Three tenths off Hjelm in second place, was Gaeten Anger in his Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo. British ace, Andrew Broome, outpaced the GT3 AM class field in twelfth overall.
Throughout the opening third of the race, Niklas Hjelm led confidently overall while his Hellracers stablemate, Rickard Karlsson, kept a frustrated Gaetan Anger at bay. Although Anger’s Lamborghini Huracan exhibited superior corner speed, the grunt of the BMW M4 thwarted each of the Frenchman’s advances. However, on arrival at the slower GT4 class traffic, Anger pounced. Under pressure from Anger, Karlsson tangled with a BMW GT4 backmarker and dropped down the order.
Without Karlsson’s cover, Hjelm’s lead was now under threat from the surging Gaetan Anger. During the laps that followed, Hjelm kept his French rival behind. However, just after halfway, an errant GT3 backmarker snagged Hjelm’s BMW M4 GT4 and sent the Hellracers star tumbling down the order. Thus, allowing Anger to escape.
Once Anger had the advantage, the Lamborghini man cruised to victory and solidified his championship lead in the process. An early slow down penalty cost BMW M4 ace Lewis Ward dearly. Following the enforced delay, Ward valiantly fought back to second place but rued the chance of a win gone begging. Matthias Beer aka ‘The German Austin Powers’ made an early pit strategy work to finish third in his BMW M4 GT3.
Andrew Broome continued his total domination of the GT3 AM class with another lights to flag victory in his Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.
GT4 PRO class honours were fiercely contested all race long by Mergim Aliu and Hristo Ublev. Until the final lap, Aliu had kept Ublev in the mirrors of his Porsche Cayman. Throughout the final circuit, Aliu and Ublev switched places back and forth whilst negotiating a slower GT3 Lamborghini. Eventually, a forceful move from Ublev at the final chicane allowed the Bulgarian to pinch the win from Aliu in the dying moments of the race.
Dominant GT4 AM class winner and fourth GT4 home, was the Bulgarian bullet, Daniel Markov. By virtue of his dominant victory, Markov now holds a strong advantage in the GT4 AM standings.
Next up on the Apex Racing League GT Trophy tour is Sebring International Raceway. Known as the spiritual home of American endurance racing, the drivers will face the notorious bumps of this former World War 2 airfield. Tune in to Apex Racing TV at 8pm GMT on the 23rd of March to catch all the live coverage.