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Dramatic finale shuffles the pack at The Glen!

iRacing Apex Racing League GT Trophy Final – R7 Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen, New York provided the arena for the final round of the Apex Racing League GT Trophy. Following a crushing performance in Catalunya, Gaetan Anger maintains a vice-like grip on the overall championship. However, the race for GT3 AM, GT4 PRO and GT4 AM titles continues to rage to the final round.

Eclipsing Nick Madsen by over three-tenths of a second, Gaetan Anger charged to pole position once again in his Lamborghini Huracan GT3. Continuing the GT3 domination for the Sant’Agata factory, Andrew Broome clinched sixth overall and AM class pole position.

In the Porsche dominated GT4 ranks, Mergim Aliu signalled his intent to overhaul Hristo Ublev for the GT4 PRO crown with a fine run to pole position. Mark Silcock upset the GT4 AM class form book by outqualifying Daniel Markov with true antipodean tenacity.

Aware that only victory would do, Nick Madsen forced through to lead a gaggle of PRO class drivers in the opening laps. Thrown into unfamiliar territory, a mistake from Anger dropped the Frenchman to the wrong end of the leading breakaway pack. Meanwhile, Nick Madsen and Matthias Beer engaged in a superb battle for the lead. Hounded by Huracans, Beer held up Bavarian honour in his groovy BMW M4 GT3.

Although Anger’s start had been shakier than usual, the champion elect lurked behind the leaders. While his rivals bickered, Anger deployed a cunning fuel saving strategy. When the GT3 leaders piled into pit lane, Anger leapfrogged to the lead by virtue of less time at the fuel pump.

Once into the lead, Anger was back to his best, marching to another race victory and the inaugural ARL GT Trophy GT3 PRO title.

In GT3 AM, Tom Bingham’s nearest challenger for the class title fell by the wayside early on.  Stepping a wheel onto the grass, Julian Martinsen spun on lap one. Effectively ending his chances of a late championship charge. Andrew Broome brushed off a brief challenge from Aaron Smith to claim the final race victory of the season.

Mergim Aliu headed to Watkins Glen with a points deficit to overhaul in GT4 PRO. From pole position, the Italian ace drove immaculately throughout the race. A cunning undercut strategy from Matuszczak created a brief scare for Aliu, but the lead was soon reclaimed. With no response from championship leader, Hristo Ublev, Aliu sped to victory and pinched the title at the last moment.

Antipodean tenacity paid off in spades for Mark Silcock. A lights to flag victory contrasted deeply with former runaway leader, Daniel Markov. Retirement midway through the race resulted in no points for Markov and Silcock stealing the GT4 AM crown.

In the aftermath of a dramatic season finale, several of the ARL GT Trophy stars shared their thoughts:

Andrew Broome: “Really good to end the season with a win. It all went to plan!”

Mergim Aliu: “I couldn’t feel any happier right now! My goal was simply to win the race like any other race and be careful with incident points. I had to be really careful with traffic.”

Nick Madsen: “It was a tough day, as it has been through the whole season. As you have seen, Gaetan has been the man to beat. In a lot of races I was second!”

Tom Bingham: “I’m absolutely blown away. I couldn’t imagine more drama! I’m just thrilled.”

Aaron Smith: “At the start, I was able to pull a gap to the cars behind. I knew I could probably jump them in the pit stop. I eventually made a mistake and it was relatively quiet from there.”

Congratulations to Gaetan Anger, Tom Bingham, Mergim Aliu and Mark Silcock on their Apex Racing League GT Trophy championship titles.

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