CMS rF2: A “TESTING” RACE AT LAUSITZRING FOR THE NARS VDTMC

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This week, the drivers of the NARS VDTMC made the pilgrimage to the European centre of automotive testing, the DEKRA facility at Lausitz, to show their manufacturers how well they could extract performance from their cars on a track the manufacturers themselves know so very well.  While a number of drivers opted to skip this round, there was plenty of action for the 8 PRO and 11 AM drivers that lined up on the starting grid, with the series welcoming four new drivers – NARS regular Tony Boynton and newcomers John Maher, Chris Cox and Cedric Collins.

Qualifying was intense, with some great times being set during the session however it was PRO driver Ahmed Abdallah that again proved to be THE driver to be beaten with a blistering 1:37.122 to take pole with AM driver Matthew Overton delivering a 1:38.748, good enough for 4th on the grid.

With a number of warnings issued from the last race due to jump starts, the drivers ensured that this time there would be no questions as they rolled smoothly across the start line from the formation lap however T1 saw the front pair of Ahmed Abdallah and Norm Graf struggle with T1, clattering down the order as a result.  Quick thinking and quick reflexes from the following drivers avoided what could have been a major incident, leaving Jon Uyan a field largely untouched by the T1 difficulties.

From that near-miss of a start, Jon Uyan and JT Tami were in a thrilling battle for the lead of the race through to the pit cycle and into second stints, with Brian Hall and Norm Graf close behind.

An unexpected blown engine for Jon Uyan had the effect of putting an end the drama for the overall and PRO class win, however a hard-charging Ahmed Abdallah completed a spectacular recovery drive through the field to close to within 10s of race winner Tami made for some late-lap drama.  Norm Graf and Brian Hall maintained a spirited battle within seconds of each other to the chequered flag, with Graf taking 3rd place a mere .5s ahead of his rival.

On the AM side, a sweep of pole, race win and fastest lap in class made for a very satisfying victory for Matthew Overton, who had to overcome 2 drive through penalties and damage incurred early in the race.  The strong performance of newcomer John Maher however, finishing 2nd in class and only 11s back, may be indication that both Overton and series leader Rodger Gabryszak, who sat out the Lausitzring event, will have to watch him closely.  This, in addition to Ross Smith, who with his third consecutive 3rd place finish, is consistently threatening to move up the AM podium.

With three rounds complete, the standings at the top of the VDTMC (drop round applied) are:

PRO: Tami (51), Abdallah (45), Kirby (30), Hall (27), Chen (25)

AM: Gabryszak (51), Overton (45), Smith (30), Radosti (27), Ibbotson (20)

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 25 February at Zolder and full details for both series may be found at https://cmsracing.com/thursday/

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