The historic city of Noris, better known now as Nuremberg, was the venue for the second stop of the NARS VDTMC in 2021. While the skies were overcast and threatening throughout the day, drivers and teams heaved a great sigh of relief by race end that no rain had been visited on what was a hectic and demanding race under the looming presence of the Steintribüne.
PRO driver Ahmed Abdallah showed the field that he was not going to dwell on his early retirement at Monza with an impressively strong performance on the bumpy and unusual layout of Norisring. Setting a blistering 46.767s to capture pole position, he led the race from flag-to-flag, taking the fastest lap of the race to boot. JT Tami remained hot on his heels from start to finish – crossing the line just 18s behind the leader and the only driver still on the lead lap. Brian Hall finished 3rd after a race long battle with Dan Kirby during which scant seconds separated the drivers as they exchanged positions several times.
In the AM field, a great start by Matthew Overton as the polesitter for the class was thrown away after a tangle with Dan Kirby through the chicane. Stuart Barge took advantage to then lead the class well into the final third of the race, battling with several both PRO and AM drivers in the midfield through and beyond the pit cycle. An unfortunate off and then running out of fuel however, ended his run at the podium and meant that Rodger Gabryszak, also battling hard in the midfield was to claim the AM win and 7th overall in the race. Overton, in a determined recovery drive, took 2nd in class and 8th overall with Frank Radosti claiming the last AM podium position and 10th overall.
With the tight corners and the walls giving little room for error , Norisring claimed a number drivers, in particular seasoned PROs Jon Uyan, Rich Hibbs and Norm Graf who were forced to retire after incidents. For each of these three perennial favourites, it has been a slow start to the season, however with plenty of time left, anticipation is growing for their return to contesting the top rungs of the standings.
At the other end of the spectrum, AM driver Paul Ibbotson claimed the ‘top mover’ honours, gaining 9 positions to finish 11th from his P20 on the starting grid.
With two rounds complete, the standings at the top of the VDTMC are:
Tami 44 Gabryszak 51
Kirby 30 Overton 37
Abdallah 26 Radosti 23
Chen 25 Smith 13
Hall 23 Ibbotson 14
The NARS chapter of Champion Motorsports is hosting the Virtual DTM Championship concurrently with a Virtual Modern Sportscar Championship Thursday nights, both using rFactor 2.
The next VDTMC race will be 11 February at Lausitzring, and full details for both series may be found at CMS Thursday – Champion Motorsports (cmsracing.com).