For the second round of the iRTES the grid heads to the south of Spain. Near Cádiz, Jerez de la Frontera is a 4.4km (2.75 miles) long FIA grade 1 track with 15 corners and two straights, which constitute the best overtaking chances on this layout. Founded in 1985 the spanish track has a great history, hosting F1 racing from 1986 to 1990 and two extra races in 1994 and 1997 with the fastest circuit lap being set in this last year by Heinz-Harald Fretzen (Williams-Renault) a 1:23.135. In recent years plays host to MotoGP and it’s a regular on the calendar. It is a very technical track with tricky sections and it will be a difficult challenge for the drivers. The nature of the track will require the best of every driver. With brief windows for overtaking and a tight road we will see a lot of close calls and possibly a few incidents along the way and great exciting racing.
Bear Pope Racing (GT3) and Obsidian Racing Future (GTP) seen above testing a week prior to Jerez
Leading up to the race there has been much anxiety from the Teams, Drivers and Series officials.
With hotter than normal temperatures expected at the track and a tire limitation setup for the GT3 cars it will be critical that strategy and survival come into play in this race. iRTES officials, backed off a tire limit for the GTP class due to holidays and lack of testing notice, but stuck with tire limitations of two sets for the GT3 field. The GTP cars will be limited to a 97% fuel tank and with upwards of nearly 60 teams expected in the race there will be a lot to manage.
At one point leading up to the race series officials and teams got quite heated over the build up for the race, which we know will make for some great show. All of this should make for a compelling story and broadcast live from Apex Simracing TV and their crew this weekend.
In round 1, the LMDh field was dominated by the #65 car from Sattelite Racing and in the AM field was the #14 from PNUmatik Motorsport and they are both looking to repeat that performance. Some great pacience and skill will be required from these drivers to navigate through the traffic quick and most importantly safely, especially in a track that isn’t as popular as others in this calendar and therefore drivers have less experience driving at Jerez. We will see the cleanest and safest car in victory lane and not necessarily the fastest because of that very fact.
In the GT3 class it was the #327 Mercedes from OVRTK and the #79 Ferrari from Longhorn Racing that won last time round in the Pro and Am classes respectively. This round will be a tuff one for the GT3 field with not many chances to pass, especially with the consistent lapping from the LMDh field.
With limited tire sets and a warm weather, drivers will have to save their sets of rubber to be as consistent as possible trying not to lose too much performance. We are going to have a lot of exciting action out on the south of Spain this sunday with the green flag being shown at 16GMT and you can catch all the action on Apex Simracing TV. See you all out on track!