CMS NARS Formula 3 at Barcelona in rFactor 2 is right up there with some of the best racing combinations in the community Great cars, top track, let the racing commence.
The CMS NARS Virtual Formula 3 Championship kicked off recently in rFactor 2. With CMS providing some great racing throughout their leagues, one can only expect this to be another victory.
NARS Virtual F3 Sprint Series
Round 1 – Barcelona-Catalunya
Photo credits: Jerry Chen and Dan Kirby
The days are getting shorter and so are the races for NARS as we head into the first of two sprint series championships. Beautiful Barcelona and the municipality of Montmeló hosted the opening events of the F3 sprint series.
19 drivers showed up for the race weekend featuring a point-gaining qualifying and then two sprint races that included a reverse grid for each one. While there had been rain during the week, drivers were treated to dry and warm conditions for this inaugural event.
PRO Cameron Sansano blasted out of the paddock to set a blistering 1:29.7 that stood unbeaten despite the determined attacks of Dan Kirby through the qualifying session. On the AM side, it was Gilles Lalonde setting the pace at 1:31.9.
Both gained 4 valuable points for the championship but would move down the starting grid order when the top 12 qualifiers were reversed for the race start.
After lining up in good order, the actual start became a confusing tangle of cars when Lalonde bogged down, resulting in a collision with Tom Mountjoy and both drivers falling to the back of the order.
As the front runners jostled for position, it was Eduardo Beninca that was able to stay out of even minor trouble to run away in the lead by the end of L1. Behind, a close pack of Sansano, Kirby, JT Tami, Matthew Overton, Paul Ibbotson and Brian Hall gave the crowd plenty to cheer about.
By mid race, Sansano and Kirby had drawn ahead with the remainder of the field continuing some individual battles. An unfortunate Ibbotson needed to withdraw after a bizarre incident with a piece of curbing and then an engine overheat when the car could not be shut down.
At the checkered flag, it was Beninca with the race and PRO win, while AM Lanny Hall survived his L1 difficulties to take the class win in at P11 in the race.
A clean start this time for the whole field to pick up on the close racing from the first race. Newly promoted PRO John Maher held the lead under pressure until a braking error at the T10 hairpin ceded the lead to PRO Norm Graf.
An error on the following lap opened the door for a charging Beninca, who had taken advantage of miscues by others in L1 to rocket into P1 by L3 although hotly pursued by Brian Hall and Guiherme Bencke.
A chasing group of Graf, Tami, Overton, Sansano Kirby and Pedro Gomes were hot on their heels, giving the crowd more drama as they raced hard with plenty of passing action.
With all three tire compounds in play, by mid-race the effects of differing driving styles and tire wear were starting to be felt, with Sansano overtaking a flagging Hall L12 followed by Gomes doing the same on L15.
Dan Kirby proved the most adept at managing tires, laying down a succession of fast laps as the time ran down to grab the final podium position from Gomes on run to T1 on the last lap.
The AM competition was a close-run affair, with Lalonde, Ibbotson, Tom Mountjoy and Lanny Hall trading passes and positions through the race. After leading the field for several laps, a mistake at T8 on the final lap meant Ibbotson limped home third in class, with Lalonde taking the win and Mountjoy in second.
As the teams gathered back at their respective garages, race organisers announced a late change to the driver divisions noting that Guiherme Bencke had elected to compete in AM rather than PRO.
As the team had not been able to make the required alterations to the car to conform to the AM requirements, Bencke would be registered in the AM division, but would not be scoring points for the Barcelona events – qualifying or races.
On a more positive note, the organisers congratulated PRO Dan Kirby and AM Gilles Lalonde for setting the fast laps in both races in their divisions for 2 bonus points each time.
Eduardo Beninca also picked up a point in each of the races for the PRO Hard Charger, sharing that honour with Pedro Gomes in R2, who also received a point. In AM, no Hard Charger points were awarded in R1 with Gilles Lalonde scoring the bonus point in R2.
With one race under their belts, the drivers and their supporting pit crews have much to think about, and quickly, with the next fixture coming on only a week to prepare. See you all at the Hungaroring, 30 September!
rFactor 2 is a realistic, easily extendable racing simulation from Studio 397. It offers the latest in vehicle and race customization, great graphics, outstanding multiplayer and the height of racing realism. rFactor 2 features mixed class road racing with ultra realistic dynamics, an immersive sound environment and stunning graphics, perfect for top-level esports and a rich single-player experience.
Race against a field of AI cars, or in multi-player mode against others. rFactor 2 supports a full day-night cycle as well as dynamically varying weather conditions such as rain which dynamically builds into puddles. Tracks feature “real-road” technology that changes the grip as more cars drive on it. You can run full 24 hour endurance events and in multi-player mode, driver swaps are also supported. Everything can be customized by the community, including adding new tracks and cars, and a wealth of add-ons are available on-line.Working with several partners, rFactor 2 has been used in hundreds of esport championships all over the world – in particular McLaren’s World’s Fastest Gamer and Formula E.
rFactor 2 is also an evolving product, which will be updated and added to for many years, so the list of features will expand!