WSS Is Off With A Bang In Sepang!

Winner – Arwin Taruna (Vorteks Simsport) 24 Laps 51:05.481
Fastest Lap – Alexis Clapano (LMP-ANBU Racing) 2:02.397
Pole Position – Alexis Clapano (LMP-ANBU Racing) 2:01.218

Arwin Taruna has taken victory in the opening round of the World SimSports GT3 Asia Championship Powered by NRT Game servers. With a risky strategy of short-fueling his Vorteks Simsport Asia Audi R8 and pitting on lap 14, Taruna put himself into position to attack pole sitter Alexis Clapano on the penultimate lap for the lead. Taruna passed Clapano and held on to the finish. Clapano had, to that point, driven an imperious weekend in qualifying on pole and leading for 18 laps in the race. The LMP-ANBU racing driver had gone out at the very beginning of the qualifying session and smashed in a lap time of 2:01.18 just as the rain began to fall. Clapano stated afterwards that he was happy with his start until the rain began to fall and he suffered from locking of his front tyres. Taruna’s team mate Niranjan Kumar rounded out the podium positions. Following the race Kumar spoke of his relief in holding onto the third in the face of a relentless challenge from HME-Amsterdam’s Harris Muhammad and overheating tyres.

The battles further down the field were fierce throughout the race. Fickry Segeir, having arrived late to qualifying, took 18 places on his way to eleventh. Mad Hawk’s Lucas Lichten and Tri-Continental’s Mark Robinson were also big winners in gaining 13 and 14 positions to finish twelfth and thirteenth respectively. Lichten sounded relieved after the race having stated he felt he “lacked pace generally” and had to hold off the charging Robinson in the closing laps. Bontank Smith, following a solid qualifying, was disappointed to be taken out on a straight and struggled with damage before retirement on lap 12.

In all, of a packed field of 30, 24 cars took the chequered flag. Despite several incidents related to driving error, participants showed outstanding sportsmanship post-race as they congratulated the winners.

The standings at the end of the first round have Clapano and Taruna tied on 30 points, with Clapano having taken fastest lap. With Asian drivers dominating seven of the top 10 finishing positions, it seems the championship is aptly named currently. The talent in the field is such that a few rivalries might well develop over the coming races!

A special mention to the race report of Lachie Andrews. WSS is astounded by the incredible speed that we have grown as a community. We feel that our members are the best there is. Simply put, we could not do the things we have done, are doing and will do without the participation and contributions of our members. We absolutely appreciate the time people spend post-race letting us know how it went for them…and then Lachie appeared with the best race report we have ever received. It was felt that mere quoting could not do this justice, so we have attached the whole thing raw, unedited, unabridged and in all its glory. Thanks Lachie!

“I entered the event expecting to set decent times in the Mclaren 720 GT3 as it was believed that the Aston Martin Vantage wouldn’t be released until the next week. With 24 hours until the event, the aston martin was released unexpectedly catching myself and several drivers off guard which led to a dramatic change of plans and a challenge to adapt to a new and untested car before the round began. Despite not getting a proper setup I still sailed on into Qualifying as a sort of in race test session. As expected I qualified well down the running order. As the race began Chris Payne’s computer decided that it didn’t want to start the race thus led to me being stuck behind him as the grid rolled away for the start which led to me losing several spots before the race officially started fml. Once the race did start I had a mountain effort to attempt to not only regain my lost spots but to also keep myself on the lead lap. What followed was myself making up many spots due to several drivers coming down with early-lapitis with each others. Once the symptoms subsided I was locked into a battle with B Wong in his Corvette for 17th place. despite having a inferior setup to him I stood my ground for several laps, with every move he made I had something up my sleeve to keep ahead without any contact. However, despite my best attempts I couldn’t withstand the might of the Murica V8 and he found his way through. I pitted 20 minutes in to the race (to my belief) as I opted for a short opening stint and run a long stint to the end. All my progress from the early battles was lost in the pits as I dropped back down to 25th due to the pitstop lasting 55 seconds. With a full tank to the end and a fresh set of softs I set out on a mission to systematically regain my lost positions as everyone else were yet to pit. Once the pit stop cycle concluded a few laps later I found myself back in 17th.
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As the race progressed I began my slow paced chase of 16th with doubts of progressing any higher up the order when both drivers in 15th and 16th spun off the road I ended up in 15th place where I stayed when the checkered flag came out. The race was a complete wing it situation by keeping it on the road albeit a few initial D moments (eurobeats intensifies) and taking advantage of drivers coming together or spinning off to get a good result.”

Full results and standings can be found through the menu bar above. The top 20 points-paying positions are:

Round 2 of the World SimSports GT3 Asia Championship Powered by NRT Gameservers at Bahrain will start at 10:00 UTC+0 on 19 January 2019.

Entries for the series are still possible. If you are not registered and wish to take part we would love to accommodate you! See the links in the title bar for details.

Unfortunately we do not have the whole stream for this race, but what was streamed can be found here:

 

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