Story by Thomas Fisher, Images by David Anderson

May 18th, 2023 – Unlike during round 1 of the iRTES series powered by Penguin R/C Simulation, Round 2 in Fuji started well with no multi-car pileups around the 3.7 mile circuit. However, a few spins here and there littered much of the race, as cars struggled with the grueling conditions and kerbs around the Fuji international speedway.

Archie Coveney drove away from pole for RD Simsport and led a one-two for the team for the first 30 minutes of the race, before the No 18 Obsidian Racing car overtook RD Simsport ll for second place. No one could compete with them on pace, however a penalty late in the race for contact with a GTD showed that one’s greatest adversary is often oneself. This penalty handed Obsidian Racing, who had remained within 20 seconds of the leaders, the victory.

The final finishing order in LMDh was Obsidian Racing FUTURE winning by 6 seconds to RD Simsport II who finished just 3 seconds ahead of their sister car in P3.

RD Simsport LMDh (above) dominated much of the race before a late race penalty would drop them out of contention for the win

Obsidian Racing Future are our winners at Fuji in overall P1 and LMDh category (above)

The Static Adrenaline No 42 LMDh car struggled once again with pace from the get go, with the team boxing just before the 20 minute mark and making a driver swap. With David James replacing the outgoing David Nelson with the team going on to finish in last place in class, being the only retiree in the top class.

Another LMDh car that struggled was the No 79 Champion Motorsports Pro car, with Thomas Fisher driving “extremely poorly” during his opening stint for the American outfit. Fisher gave the car to Cameron Barker at the hour mark who had a strong first stint before spinning at the tricky turn 15, suffering heavy damage to the rear suspension and putting them laps down.

Turn 15 proved tricky for drivers from all classes, many cars found themselves in trouble on the exit of that corner as the uneven kerb and perpendicular sausage kerbs lend well to wheelspin and broken suspension pieces.

As the iRTES series utilized the layout without the chicane, the now very fast and very bumpy turn 10 proved extremely unsettling. With nearly every car on the grid running wide or having massive oversteer moments, it was a place of much action throughout the weekend. Most notably, the No 16 SimHQ Motorsports car had a dramatic spin, narrowly missing several other cars, the CMS Ghosts car driven by Kevin Ayers also had a spin in this corner.

In LMP2, once again no one proved a match for the No 11 Tempus simsport Dallara P217, who took a resounding victory over second place RD Simpsort III. Only the top two in class finished on the lead lap, with SimHQ Red taking the final step on the podium.

Tempus Simsport takes the 2nd win in a row in the LMP2 Category with another great drive at Fuji (above)

In GTD, phenomenal battles took place up and down the field. A very memorable incident occurred out of the final corner, with a few cars spinning and stopping lined up next to each other, with little to no damage done to any of the cars involved, this proved to be a good source of laughs up and down the paddock as members wondered how that was even possible.

The first hour and twenty minutes or so saw a big battle in the top 5 of the GTD class, with Imperial motorsports, Tempus SimSport, SimRacing PR, RD Simsport IV, and Tu Pai Racing Team all taking part. With 45 minutes to go in the race, Josh Wiggins took the lead for RD Simsport IV and never looked back, going on to take the win by 8 seconds over Tu Pai Racing Team with 25 seconds back to third place Simracing PR, with longtime race leaders Tempus Simsport finishing in fourth.

The RD Simsport IV team in GTD takes the final sector of Fuji on their way to a nice win for the stable (above)

Another terrific finish for TPRT in GTD keeps them in the hunt for the Championship conversation headed to Lemans for RD3 (above)

With another fantastic iRTES race behind us, we look forward to seeing you on Sunday, May 21st for Round 3 of iRTES at the Circuit du 24 heures de LeMans.

LMDh Standings after Fuji RD2

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LMP2 Standings after Fuji RD2

GTD Standings after Fuji RD2

Gold Cup (50+) Driver Standings By Class after Fuji RD2

Full race Broadcast from APEX simracing TV from Fuji