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Neumann stuns in Styria

iRacing Apex Racing League GT Trophy  – R5 Red Bull Ring – iRacing

A brand-new circuit to the simulator awaited drivers for round five of the iRacing Apex Racing League GT Trophy. Nestled in the elegant Styrian hillside, northwest of Graz, the Red Bull Ring is arguably the most sophisticated motorsport facility on earth. Owned by the energy drink behemoth, only the best will do for this gold standard venue.

Formerly known as the A1 Ring, this grand prix circuit emphasises the necessity for old fashioned horsepower. Two long straights, intertwined with two slow corners, demand straight line speed. Heading south from their Bavarian home in Munich, the armada of BMW M4 GT3s soon made the Red Bull Ring their own.

Once again, Valkyrie Esports celebrated pole position in qualifying. However, it was a new face on top of the time sheets. With Kenny Roosens absent, Nolan Lemeray picked up the mantle for the BMW squad and took top spot on the grid. Lurking immediately behind Lemeray, the Core sim racing BMWs of Sven Neumann and Carl Winkler sat poised for a fight.

HYBRIXX sim racing’s Josh Wiggins set the AM class pace in twenty-fifth overall.

From the drop of the green flag, a high-speed game of tactical warfare ensued. Lemeray led with ease in the opening stages but couldn’t ignore the Core Sim Racing duo of Neumann and Winkler who stalked the Frenchman’s every move.

On the long full throttle stretches of the Red Bull Ring, fuel consumption is excessive. In a sixty minute sprint race with a compulsory pit stop, time spent fuelling up on the lane is vital. Fully aware of this, Sven Neumann parked in the draft of Lemeray for the entirety of the opening stint. Thus, running front running lap times, but able to use significantly less fuel in doing so. In other words, Lemeray had no choice to be the thirsty locomotive in a train of BMWs out front.

As the fuel stops approached, Neumann began to hassle Lemeray, seemingly keen to deploy his full pace. Incensed by his role as the world’s fastest tow truck, Lemeray defended firmly. Swooping through the tree lined final sector, Lemeray decided to duck out of the battle and head to pit lane. However, a slight tread over the pit lane blend line landed Lemeray with a stop and hold penalty. Although the punishment exceeded the crime, Lemeray’s race was over.

After the pit stops, Neumann incurred a brief challenge from teammate Carl Winkler. However, Neumann soon dispatched with his countryman and sped to a convincing win. Tom Dadswell rounded out the podium.

A tense last lap battle for fifth place between Maik Paluch and defending champion Gaetan Anger grabbed plenty of attention. Once again, Anger had ascended from outside the top ten. However, Anger couldn’t keep Paluch at bay and had to settle for sixth place.

Following a high rate of attrition early on, Juan Manuel Calleja emerged as the AM class winner by nearly half a minute over Dan Moorey.

On the 29th of June, Brands Hatch provides a polar opposite venue to the long straights of the Red Bull Ring. Tune in to Apex Racing TV at 7pm GMT to find out if the BMW stronghold can be broken in Kent.

Race Replay

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