AOR GTE League – Season 5, Round 4 – Brands Hatch

After his success at Watkins Glenn last week, Eero “Less Brake” Nomm was to prove pretty much unstoppable at the super twisty Brands Hatch circuit in Kent, UK. Taking the clean sweep of Pole Position, Fastest Lap and Race Win in the 80 minute event, Eero was described as “The God of Brands Hatch” by the AOR commentary team – and rightly so. But, how did the evenings event unfold?

Qualifying in AOR is an open 20 minute affair, so finding space on track, especially when a lap is only 80 seconds long, is paramount. For TBR as a whole, the Q session went pretty well, with 4 drivers in the top ten. Eero on pole with the only sub 1.19 time of 1.18.655 from Claudio Clima (Geodesic) in 2nd, followed by Dan “Pro Streamer” Sosulski in 3rd, Jocke “HADOUKEN” Ljunggren in 8th and Joris “Beer flavoured Waffles” Thielen in 9th spot. Resident crazy Fin Teemu Toikka had been unable to replicate his stunning pole from the Nordschlief round, with a still healthy 13th and the final TBR representative for the round, Mr Phil “So slow it hurts” Bedford running rear guard in 32nd of the 34 car field (I hate this track….)

From the start the plan was simple for Eero. Get the jump on Clima and just get his head down and build a comfortable lead, and for the most part – that’s what happened. The job was made slightly easier when Clima and a rampant Dominik Gadermayr tangled on the entry to Graham Hill Bend on lap 1. Luckily, Dan was able to skip past the spinning pair and to be honest, it was a miracle that they didn’t get collected by the closely packed field.

Eero said after the race “I did one lap full gas (lap 2 – fastest lap of the race), then took it steady for the rest of the race” – eventually winning by almost 19 seconds, he was never really challenged. Similarly, Dan had a fairly clean and straightforward race – despite having chosen to run the un-favored Ford GTE (to fall in line with the ProQ team choice, although it now turns out that you can run whatever you like in ProQ ‘cos, well…iRacing I guess….) but anyway – Dan came second, 9 seconds ahead of Mike Schepers in third.

Jocke meanwhile had taken advantage of the first lap kafuffle and slipped himself in to 4th place in an intense battle with Schepers and Enar Mariinsky. When Enar had an issue on lap 13, Jocke was elevated to 3rd spot, a position he maintained right through to  lap 33 when with Jocke’s tyres degrading faster than he had hoped, Mike managed to find a way through. Jocke chose to pit a little early in an effort to resurrect his tyres. By the finish of the pit cycle, Jocke was in 5th and then 4th when Knut Martinsen had an issue. With a fast approaching Claudio to contend with, Jocke decided to save his tyres as best he could and let Clima pass without too much of a battle, finally coming home with his best result so far of 5th place.

Joris had mentioned that he wasn’t really feeling the track (or words to that effect) and was really struggling to find any speed. With the first lap tangles, he found himself in 5th place, just behind Jocke – this didn’t last long though as he found himself in a tough battle with the cars around him. Slipping back to 7th, a position he managed to hold on to until the pit cycle began, Joris found himself the victim of an ill-timed pit entry which took the final couple of incident points he had remaining, resulting in a DQ on lap 47.

Teemu’s race had also started well, again benefiting from the lap 1 shenanigans he was elevated from 13th to 8th before a tangle had dropped him right back to 22nd place. From here it was a recovery drive for Teemu and he en-devoured to pick up places almost lap for lap until he found 10th spot on lap 32, where he stayed until pitting 10 laps later. After the pit cycle completed, Teemu managed to gain another spot for his final finishing place of 9th.

My race went about as well as my qualifying – I crashed out on lap 5 having gained 2 spots – so nothing much to write about.

In the overall standings, Eero is leading by a massive gap of 58 points. Dan is in 4th due to having his race one result removed with a car change – so still promise there. With just 2 results on the board, Joris sits in 8th with Magnus and Jocke just outside the top 10 in 11 and 12 with Teemu back in 17th.

In the teams, TBR (Eero and Jocke) have a 47 point lead with TBR Pink (Dan & Fraser) in 4th. TBR Yellow (Magnus and Teemu) in 6th with TBR Red (me and Joris) in 9th.

Next round is Interlagos on Monday night.

Results are here

AOR’s excellent coverage is here

The race from Jockes perspective is here.

Thanks to Alexandre Godefroy for the image.

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