Anger romps ahead at Road America!
iRacing Apex Racing League GT Trophy R5 Road America
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin welcomed the Apex Racing League paddock for round five of the inaugural GT Trophy season. Arriving at Road America, Gaeten Anger holds a convincing advantage over Nick Madsen as the second half of the season commences. So far, Lamborghini Huracan mounted drivers appear to hold an advantage over their BMW, Ferrari and Audi counterparts. However, the pendulum of performance could swing away from the Sant’Agata Bolognese built machines at any point.
Niklas Hjelm broke the Lamborghini stronghold by qualifying his BMW M4 GT3 on pole position, eclipsing Gaetan Anger by a tenth of a second. In GT3 AM, Greg Hoobler pinched class pole position and eleventh overall in his BMW.
A full circulation of Road America’s four-mile layout gave the forty-two-car pack plentiful opportunity to generate tyre temperature in preparation for the rolling start. From second on the grid, Gaetan Anger quickly pushed ahead of Hjelm for the lead and threatened to pull away early. However, Hjelm maintained the pressure on Anger for most of the opening stint before fading into the clutches of Nick Madsen who soon eclipsed his Scandinavian rival.
Following the pit stop cycles, Gaetan Anger maintained a comfortable margin over his fellow Lamborghini pilot, Nick Madsen. However, trouble for Madsen allowed Hjelm to reclaim second place, albeit far behind Anger. Once again, Anger’s metronomic consistency delivered a dominant win. With two rounds to go, the French star now holds an enviable lead in the GT3 PRO championship.
As the GT3 AM leaders fell by the wayside, Stephan Sander ploughed on in his Audi R8 GT3, claiming a convincing class win.
Keen to make up for his Sebring disappointment last time out, Mergim Aliu forged ahead at the front of the Porsche dominated GT4 field early on. Nevertheless, Aliu still had his hands full with Hristo Ublev and Piotr Matuszczak. On the strike of half time, all three GT4 protagonists dived to pit lane in single file, led by Matuszczak. Following the pit stop cycle, Matuszczak and Aliu promptly dropped Ublev and engaged in a two-way fight for GT4 honours.
Matuszczak and Aliu couldn’t be separated in yet another epic battle at the front of the GT4 field. Eventually, with eight minutes to go, Aliu made his decisive move to grasp the win from Matuszczak.
Following runaway leader Daniel Markov’s demise, Boykop Shopov gladly picked up a surprise win in GT4 AM.
Immediately after the hour-long sprint race, several of the Apex Racing League GT Trophy drivers shared their thoughts:
Mergim Aliu: “It was fun. In the first part of the race I was planning to stay behind the leader, but I had some better pace. I then took my chance to pass him.”
Neil Cooper: “It was a very tough battle. A lot of guys are on the same team so I was always worried about that. I missed the AM class narrowly, so my goal has been to get into the top half of the PRO class.”
Dominykas Jovatsa: “I started thirtieth and gained a position nearly every lap. I finished ninth, it was a hard race! I’m feeling great after the race. I tried my best.”
On the 6th of April, the Apex Racing League GT Trophy heads to the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya for the penultimate round of the championship. Catch all the live coverage on Apex Racing TV from 7pm GMT.