Neumeier nudges ahead in Austria
Wave Italy Apex GT Championship – R3 Red Bull Ring
Sensational Styria welcomed the Wave Italy Apex Racing League GT Championship for the third round of a new look season. In the early stages of the season so far, several protagonists have staked a claim for a championship charge. Arriving at the Red Bull Ring, Aaron Powell leads the way in his Evo SR Corvette C8.R. However, Michael Neumeier, Niclas Laubisch and Danny Lee lurk close behind.
Qualifying threw up several surprises. On the front row of the grid, none of the current championship protagonists could be found. Thomas Avanzini and Mikel Ruterbusch stunned the establishment by taking the top two spots for the twenty-five-minute sprint.
Darragh Adriaenssens set the AM class pace and started an impressive eighth overall.
Starting from the second row on the grid, James Crouch was on barnstorming form from the get-go. Within a handful of laps, the Evo SR driver had slipped into the lead past Avanzini and Ruterbusch. Once Crouch hit the front, the Briton couldn’t be overhauled by the army of Corvette’s following behind. While Crouch drove off to the win, Ruterbusch had his hands full with Vincenzo Taormina and Danny Lee. Eventually, Ruterbusch held strong to claim second position from Taormina.
First to first finish behind the glut of Corvette’s at the front, was the leading AM class Porsche of Darragh Adriaenssens in ninth overall.
Tom Bingham and Thomas Avanzini started on the front row of the grid for the forty-minute feature race. Race one winner Crouch started back in thirteenth after the reverse grid shake up.
Keen to make up for a disappointing race one, Avanzini sped into an early lead in his Porsche 911 RSR. Despite the Corvette C8.R appearing to have the edge, Avanzini proved the worth of the Weissach machine and continued to build an advantage throughout the opening stages.
Lapping at a blistering pace, Neumeier began to erode Avanzini’s advantage. With fifteen minutes left on the clock, Neumeier swept past the defenceless Avanzini to claim the lead. Unable to respond, Avanzini could only watch as the rear of Neuemeier’s Corvette disappeared over the horizon to the feature race win. Ten seconds behind Avanzini, Aaron Powell completed the podium. Thus, keeping a stronghold in the championship battle.
Tom Bingham held off a charging Darragh Adriaenssens to deny his Belgian rival a double AM class victory.
After the race, a few ARL GT aces joined the Apex Racing TV commentary crew to share their thoughts:
Tom Bingham: “It was a hell of a race! I was struggling with off tracks towards the end. I was petrified of running wide and then getting a drive through. I am so happy to have got the win there.”
Danny Lee: “Race one would have been a completely different ball game had it not been for fear of the drive through penalty!”
Next time, the Wave Italy ARL GT championship heads to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Canada. Tune in to live coverage on Apex Racing TV on the 11th of July at 7pm GMT.
The Wave Italy ARL GT is one of the Apex iRacing Leagues 2021 currently running across the service. Check out all our other leagues here