Race Report by Drake Burgoon
Night Racing Kickoff
September 7, 2020 – Monday saw the first round of the much anticipated CMS Assetto Corsa Competizione GT4 Series, and it did not disappoint. The race was a 60-minute race at South Africa’s Kyalami circuit and featured 1 mandatory stop for fuel with tires being optional. Due to the overwhelming attendance, the event was split into two servers with split 1 being all Pro classification and split 2 being Silver and AM. With qualifying being pretty standard conditions but knowing a nighttime race is coming the big question mark was how would the pace be during the night.
Split 1 Race
Heading into the event it was pretty well established that Jon Leigh in the Ginetta was the favorite to post the quickest time and he did not disappoint. Posting a 1:50.298 in the #7 Ginetta, .075 quicker than Tomas Lastre in the #717 Aston Martin and .318 quicker than Troy Barman in the sole Camaro. Leading flag to flag Jon Leigh sealed up the win and posted the quickest lap with a perfect trifecta. Troy in the Camaro finished second and Tomas in third for Aston Martin. Rounding out the top 5 is our one and only Josh Staffin and last season champion Hamza Gulzar. The big mover from Split 1 is Matthew Marlow, starting in 17th and finishing 7th for a 10 place gain!
Split 2 Race
In split 2 the racing was just as intense. Tim Brook posts the quickest time in qualifying with a 1:51.867 in the #107 Porsche Cayman. In another Cayman, Collin Johnson rounds out the front row with a 1:51.981. Steve Koontz qualifies 3rd in the difficult to drive Maserati with a 1:52.320. The final result for the race sees the pole sitter and 2nd swap with Collin Johnson edging out Tim Brook. Tim Brook would take the extra point for the fastest lap though. Chris Horton would take 3rd after starting 6th in his BMW M4. Guilherme Wolff finishes in 4th in his Aston Martin and Paul Seymour would come home 5th after starting in 9th. Brandon Gobes takes the honor of biggest mover from split 2, starting 17th and moving up to a finishing position of 9th for an 8 place gain!
Next, Laguna Seca
Next Monday’s round will be a sprint format at the famed Laguna Seca. Two 30 minute sprint races, with the second races starting position being decided by a one-shot qualifier which will be sure to mix the field up a bit. With the nature of Laguna Seca it should cater towards the smaller and more nimble cars, setting the stage nicely for another good result from the Ginetta. The KTM fielded by Staffin and the Alpine with Hamza will surely be in the fight, but never count Troy out. If I put my money on anyone to hustle the big Camaro around a small track, it is Troy. Can Jon keep his championship lead over Troy, or will another contender throw his hat in the championship battle? Only time will tell.