PRL’s GTE Tuesday league kicked off last, well….. Tuesday…. and whilst last season’s P3 finisher Ben Perez had decided to sit this one out, Cristian Eissler (P5 last season) would be joined by TBR Australian Super Brat – Corey Ott for the 15th running of the league.
As with a lot of GTE leagues, PRL follows a mix of the official iRacing IMSA and ILMS schedules, with round 1 starting out at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari. Qualifying is an open affair, and finding a space with 35 other GTE’s can be tricky at the best of times. Cristian took 9 laps to set his fastest time, a 1.38.156, good enough for 2nd on the grid. Corey meanwhile set his quickest lap early on, his 1.38.235 good enough for 3rd on the grid. Pole went to last season’s championship runner up, Carl Modoff with a time of 1.38.044.
So from a rolling start and with one mandatory pitstop ahead of them, the 33 car grid set off for a 40 minute sprint around the beautiful Italian curves of Imola. Carl got a decent jump on the green flag, with the TBR boys chasing hard in 2nd and 3rd. Come lap 3 and Cristian was forced to let Corey through who was on his way to the fastest lap of the race. Cristian was able to maintain his 3rd position and was never really under threat from 4th, but was unable to keep up with the leaders. Corey chased hard and took a gamble by attempting the undercut, pitting first of the leaders on L15. Saldy the gamble didn’t quite pay off, coming out in 8th place as others started to take their stops he eventually finished 2nd, 8 tenths behind the winner Carl.
Cristian took the opposite strategy, pitting as late as possible from the lead. He would emerge in 3rd behind Carl and Corey, eventually finishing almost 15 seconds behind the winner.
So a decent showing by the TBR boys, placing them firmly in the lead of the Team Champs and in a great place for another scrap for the overall throughout the season.
Next race is in the New Year at Barber Motorsports Park.