Greetings Sim lovers this week we are at Silverstone in Northamptonshire for another round of this cracking series. My team Result Clothing; in various guises, has a strong presence in the TCR competition and supporting my team and the excellent Stream by the Backfire team of Clyde Bill Sam and Ryan is a highlight of the week here at Toon Towers.
With the fair Princess Pete now a regular on the track in these races we get the opportunity to be stunned by his silky driving skills. No surprise coming from this doyen of the Commentary Booth.
Right! down to business.
As the grid formed up with it’s usual GT4/TCR split we have Paul Burgess for Ninth Light Racing with a cracking lap from this ever improving driver followed by the Asimetric Aces of Stewart Dick and Abdulkheir Al Amry (Triple A) in 2nd and 3rd. Tyler Newitt and Stephan Goebel filling out the top 5 positions.
The TCR’s were headed by Tom Stanley with Ashley Gefaell (Ashley Gravel) showing us his race face in 2nd, Xavier Mamucha taking 3rd. Garry Craig 4th and Karl Hardy in an excellent 5th Position.
Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Henceforward drivers will be annotated in accordance with the will of the Lords of the Commentary Booth.
‘Bang!’ The starters whistle dropped his flag and they were off! Following the pace car feet poised, ready to press the loud pedal as the lights turned to green. Paul Burgess was quick off the mark but a rocket start from Triple A swept him past teammate Stewart Dick into second.
The TCR’s also saw a swift change as Xavier Mamucha sped by Ashley Gravel, the whole field are buzzing like Bees in these early stages Princes Pete showing a fine if scary turn of pace and moving into 7th position on lap 3. Further ahead Tom Stanley was giving way as Xavier Mamucha charged into the lead, Tom dropping into 3rd behind Ashley Gravel.
At the front lap 10 saw Paul leading by less than a second from Triple A who was pressing hard. The cars were only just starting to spread out and settle down to individual battles with Triple A finding a way past Paul to take the overall lead with Paul in hot pursuit.
In the TCR Karl Hardy who is a fan of Silverstone, can be quick around here and he was keeping a determined Chris Shaw at bay with some really great driving from both of them before Chris got past the resisting Mr Hardy into 5th position
Meanwhile the front of the TCR field were locked together in a titanic struggle Ashley Gravel wresting the lead from Xavier with Tom Stanley in a close 3rd. A handful of seconds covering the leading 9 cars.
Now, the keen of memory will recall that there could be a ‘Random Safety Car’ Between the 15th & 45th minute of the race and as we reached lap 18 we entered the ‘Zone of Uncertainty’ so called because I just made it up. Will the Safety Car (SC) put in an appearance this week?
A different look to the front of the TCR field with Ashley and Xavier denying Tom his accustomed battle with arch-rival Chris Shaw for the moment. A long way still to go in this one folks, but exiting committed driving by all these chaps.
Lap 23 and Pete Bingham was in the pits early the Princess re-joining in 14 and beginning a steady stream of cars taking their stops.
At the front Triple A, Paul Burgess and Stewart Dick were still leading the race by a couple of seconds. The pitstops can be decisive, mixing up the field and lot’s of cars flat out trying for the undercut to gain a place. The race was in full flow when BOOM! there it was, the Safety Car was destined to make an appearance on lap 29 a right pain if you have just pitted as drivers rub their hands at the prospect of a ‘free’ stop under the Safety Car. Going into the pits refuelling and rejoining before the re-start.
Due to a few technical difficulties Backfire have now opted for the Organic approach with a live driver replacing the iRacing AI. I was all agog at this important new role for our plucky commentator as Mr Clyde Whiting Stormed into Action! Really showing the racers how to do it a he took command of the race.
After a bit of shuffling about the cars lined up and we were ready to race again With Paul Burgess now leading Tyler Newitt and Triple A now in third.
The TCR field had a different look also with Ashley and Xavier now in 5th and 6th Tom Stanley inheriting the lead and Chris Shaw arriving just in time to resume his ongoing contest with Tom. We have had the pleasure of watching these two excellent drivers race before.. they share a great respect and are prepared to trust the other guys judgement. Which makes for great racing and epic battles, and it was happening again.
Paul Burgess was now in a running battle; with serious pursuit coming from Tyler and Triple A. Real nose to tail racing and no room for error.
David Ayers had been keeping his head down and was now in a fight with teammate and workmate Karl Hardy chasing Ashley in 6th still locked together with Xavier until a tiny contact at just the wrong moment sent him flying into one of the very hard walls. Xavier not delighted with how things turned out but ‘Racing Incident’ was the verdict from the commentators.
The middle of the TCR pack was a ferment of cars. Karl and David still engaged in one of their famous debates with Karl in 5th, Dave in his wheel-tracks and BSTV driver Scott Malcolm chasing hard in 7th.
No letting up of the pace anywhere; these are committed racers giving their all to find those vital tenths to move them up. Joe McDonald was having a great race still running in 9th in this very competitive field and a great performance by Martin Brennan in 10th position and only 9 seconds down from the class leader after 46 laps.
With all the door to door competition it’s bound to happen that it sometimes goes wrong and it went wrong for Tyler Newitt who unfortunately had a moment that included taking out race leader Paul Burgess. Tyler is a very polite young man and waited for Paul to rejoin; forfeiting any advantage from his mistake. Typical gesture from Tyler and pretty much the norm in this league. But Rob Venn and Andy Perks were happy to slot into 2nd and 3rd with 8 minutes left in the race.
Behind them Martin Brennan had a wobble that cannoned him into Joe McDonald pushing him into David Ayers and before we could draw breath Stephan Goebel and Scott Malcolm had a wee joust across the track.
Three minutes on the clock and places are still being won and lost in this fantastic race Mark Heron and Karl Hardy side by side on the last lap.
As the last second ticked away it was another victory for Triple A and well earned indeed. Rob Venn and Andy Perks will be delighted with their overall podium places.
The familiar sight of Messers Shaw and Stanley in first and second does not begin to tell the story of this race with some very real competition coming the way of the Champion and Garry Craig 3rd tonight will be looking to add his voice to that.
Another fab race in a series that never fails to entertain. Don’t forget to watch the replay on Backfire SimSport Tv via YouTube. Congratulations to all our podium sitters.