ARL - GT Championship S2/R1 - Silverstone
The home of British Motorsport, Silverstone Circuit welcomed the drivers of the Apex Racing League GT Championship for the first meeting of Season 2.
With reigning Drivers’ Champion Eneric Andre absent, last season’s runner up Dennis Ipenburg was looking to make the title his, but he would be facing stiff competition from not only his Gold Racing team-mates, but from the likes of reigning AM Champion Bob Humphrey and Daniel Lee, who have both moved up into the Pro ranks. A challenge is also expected from EvoSR, with Tom McMahon and Aarron Powell seemingly their front runners.
Qualifying was the usual exciting affair, and when the dust settled, the first pole position of the season went to GRT’s Tahj Edwards; the Jamaican taking it by over 0.4 seconds; an intimidating margin which laid down a marker no question.
McMahon took 2nd on the grid with a strong effort and Daniel Lee in 3rd for H2M Engineering underlining his potential.
Matty Chambers made a strong start to his assault on the AM Category by leading those runners with 7th in qualifying, with Andrew Becker behind him in 9th, and Daniel Sivi-Szabo of Hungary in 11th.
McMahon was determined not to remain in second place however, and on lap 1 of the 20-minute Sprint Race he seized the opportunity, shooting past Edwards into the Loop and into the lead.
It wasn’t however a dream start for James Salt and Adrian Campfield, colliding on the Wellington Straight and sending them tumbling down the order with a lot of work to do.
Dennis Ipenburg meanwhile was making progress, dispatching Daniel Lee for third, while Lee also fell foul of Nick Madsen who also got by early on.
Edwards wasn’t going to let losing the lead deter him however, keeping the pressure on McMahon while Ipenburg kept a watching brief. Matty Chambers retained his lead of the Pro-Am category in the early going, up to 4th and staying there until the chequered flag.
John Gordon (Gold Racing) was hit hard by Privateer Wayne Douglas at Luffield, while battling amongst a group containing a struggling Daniel Lee (who would end up down in 34th place after an unscheduled pit stop), Bob Humphrey (EvoSR) and the Ford of Mike Horder (BoosTED). Gordon later finished 20th after contact with Euler put him into a spin coming out of Copse Corner.
Steven Brumfield (Gold) had a great battle with Satellite Racing’s Lukas Euler, with Brumfield coming out on top in the battle of the Germans, finishing in 11th.
At the front however, Tom McMahon resisted the pressure from Edwards to claim the first race victory of Season 2 with Ipenburg in 3rd and Chambers winning the AM category with a brilliant drive to 4th.
One of the smallest reverse grid spins ever meant that only 13 cars were swapped round for the 40 minute Feature Race.
Andrew Becker was the lucky one and he would start from Pole in his Indy Autosport Porsche. Lukas Euler was second on the grid for Satellite Racing, with Steven Brumfield third in the Gold Racing Team BMW.
Green Flag! Brumfield immediately got the jump on Euler through Club and up into 2nd.
Tom McMahon made a great start from 13th to 10th on lap one, with Nick Madsen in the Madsen Motorsport entry going through on Humphrey into 4th.
Brumfield had a good piece of luck on the first lap as he severely missed his braking point into the slow Vale chicane and somehow got it stopped, past Becker and into the lead. Becker’s race took a turn for the worse as he then spun going through Brooklands and down to 18th place. Ipenburg’s strong start continued as he managed to get into the top 5 on lap three and just a few corners later dispatched Lukas Euler into Stowe to take third.
Madsen tried to take the lead seconds later, but his outside move into Vale wasn’t successful and dropped him down to third.
Chaos ensued just moments after , as Euler and McMahon crashed spectacularly on the pit straight after colliding. Both continued but would suffer from damage throughout.
Tahj Edwards was making a charge. The Race 1 polesitter had got up to 3rd position from 12th on the grid, and he was looking like picking up serious points before his car viciously snapped on him coming through Stowe, dropping him down to 20th.
Nothing would stop Dennis Ipenburg in the Feature Race however – the Dutchman leading home Steven Brumfield in a Gold Racing BMW one-two, showing that they will be a force in this championship.
Max Wolf performed brilliant for Indy Autosport. He followed up a great 6th place in Race 1 with 3rd place in Race 2, showing that the AM category will be hard fought this season indeed.
Strong performances from Maik Wiesekopsieker, Bob Humphrey, Jeffrey Garzotto and James Holman over the two races mark them out as ones to watch for sure.
Next week the series heads to the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain for more, join us live on Apex Racing TV.