While the rest of the world were watching over-paid “men” kick a bag of wind around a field in Russia (its coming home boys….its coming home), Round 1 of the AOR GTE league was kicking off at the incredible Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.
Qualifying went pretty well, with our intrepid Birdys (Magnus Vallstrom, Ronnie Gibbons and Andreas Olsson) impressively all getting inside the top 7 of the 22 car field. But with 80 minutes of darkness to run in the main race and only 16 incident points to play with on the notoriously difficult circuit, it was likely to be a race of attrition as all 22 cars fought not only against each other, but against the awkwardly inconsistent off-track limits.
The start went well with (newest TBR member) Ronnie and Magnus gaining spots through the first half of the race meaning that all three were running line astern in 3, 4 & 5 for the majority of the race. Ronnie and Magnus switched spots multiple times up to and after the pit-stop cycle but with Ronnie carrying 15x since lap 22 and with 14 laps to go, perhaps with hindsight, he should have been more careful. Inevitably, Ronnie took his DQ on lap 34 of 36, promoting Magnus to his finishing postition of 4th.
Meanwhile, Andreas had been plugging away in a comfortable 3rd until Spencer McCarthy (Geodesic Racing) pitted at the start of the final lap, apparently having not taken enough fuel during his regular stop. This promoted Andreas to a well deserved 2nd place scoring some excellent points for the championship.
Well done to all 3 drivers, an excellent showing for Team Buschfink Racing, and congratulations to Jason Dyer (AVA Simsport) for the win.
Results are available here
With the next round in a week at Suzuka, hopefully the guys can keep the momentum going for the Team championships too.