BGT 2017 R5 Review
CoRe Orange Wins At Spa In Unbelieveable Fashion!
The fifth round of the 2017 iRacing Blancpain GT Series was taking place at the famous Circuit de Spa-Franchorchamps for the longest race of the season – a six hours race. CoRe SimRacing and their leading line-up Team Orange with Frederik Rasmussen & Isaac Price were competing alongside their partner car Team Silver with Thomas Arends and Maxime Pauly behind the wheel. After an eventful and probably the most dedicated and significant racing finish for CoRe’s history, Frederik won the six hours Spa race in an unbelieveable fashion.
Smashing down the hot lap with a time of 2:15.366, Frederik went for his 5th pole in this season. A very good lap by Thomas too, made the Silver entry start from 3rd position despite an off-track cancelled their first Q-lap run. The 38 car grid rushed down to the Eau Rouge with Frederik in the lead. Coanda’s AMG machine immediately attacked the CoRe Silver car and advanced as Thomas had to back off. The ineX Blue car with Brunner driving also went for the early overtake and stole the 1st position from Frederik. A big train behind Thomas started to form up making him lose few positions. Meanwhile the Orange car presented a fantastic lead change battle against ineX and Coanda. With the clock passing the first hour, Thomas went in for an early stop, Frederik continued as far as he could but was jumped by PRT afterwards.
Thomas balanced his pace out being around the top ten after he took tyres at the first pitstop. Frederik was following the leader in 2nd place meanwhile. A third of the distance was done and Isaac took over from Frederik who was nearly taken out by the backmarker Redline Ford GT car. Lucky enough, the Orange team could continue racing for the lead. Thomas kept on racing for a triple stint and both CoRe cars found themselves in the top five. Coanda’s Mercedes leading #8 car with Mitchell deJong behind the wheel was followed by Isaac who went his solid pace. Maxime was about to get ready for his double stint. The race overall went quite clean as just few teams had to retire within the distance duration. The half of the race was through and both CoRe SimRacing entries were switching out position within the top ten.
While Maxime was getting into his pace and started matching speed with the opponent teams around him, Isaac was still maintaining the gaps to the lead pack of PRT and Coanda SimSport. The CoRe Silver entry could catch up back into a top ten position before the next pitstops. Thomas was taking over after Maxime’s single stint. Isaac though was losing ground to Coanda SimSport behind and had to give them the position. His great double stint also came to an end and Frederik took over for the final two runs. Frederik immediately started to go mad and dropped several 2.13-mid to low laptimes which closed the gap to Coanda and PRT in front to a minimum. Thomas on the other hand kept on flying over the Spa circuit gaining positions. With less than an hour on the race clock, things started to get exciting. CoRe Orange caught the leaders and started a great ending battle towards the line. With Benecke from PRT and Coanda’s deJong in the lead, Frederik closed the gap down to around four seconds. Gaining tenths by tenths made the situation breathtaking as things became to be a massive race fight.
After the other PRT car let Frederik and Benecke through for the final battle, Benecke decided to let the CoRe Orange car through and make Frederik secure P2. With the last laps to go, Frederik was on the rear of deJong and started the attack. An unbelieveable move by Frederik out of the Kemmel Straight gave CoRe Orange the lead and the outstanding victory. Thomas meanwhile was under pressure from ineX Red which were chasing up fast making him defend the 10th position. The team was definitely delighted with the outcome after this stressful race. “Incredible job. Unbelievable performance. Class of 1 in GT cars, absolutely incredible.” – said Isaac after the race. Frederik had to celebrate : “Awesome race, I have never felt better in the car than those last 2 stints. Catching 30 seconds up to Coanda and PRT and then to do a last lap pass.” The CoRe Silver team also said : “We kept our championship hopes up, we did our laps and in the end it was good.” The final race of the 2017 iRacing Blancpain GT Series will take place at the Nürburgring. The broadcast of this great race can be found here.