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NARS Modern Sportscar Championship – Round 10 at Laguna Seca

Race Report by Matthew Overton Images by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith September 16, 2021 - 18 teams (8 LMH and 10 GTE) arrived at sandy Laguna Seca, ready to contest the next round of the VMSC. Conditions were warm and sunny for both practice and the race, a blessing that was appreciated by all on this tight and twisty track that is a real challenge for multi-class racing. Qualifying For the fourth race in a row, it was PRO Jason Whited in the Nissan GT-R that set the pace for the remainder of the LMH field, posting a 1:11.223 about midway through the session. While several other drivers posted times in the 1:11s after his mark, none could best it. In AM, it was Ross Smith (Nissan) and Matthew Overton (Ferrari FXX-K) dueling for top honors, with Overton taking top seed by .4s on his final [...]

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NARS Virtual GT1 Championship Round 9 – 2.4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

Race Report by Matthew Overton Images by Jerry Chen and Dan Kirby Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith September 9, 2021 - There was magic in the air and a real sense of anticipation as 16 drivers, representing 7 of the 8 teams in the series, gathered at the historic circuit of Spa-Francorchamps for the final and deciding race of the Virtual GT1 Championship. The weather was magnificent, promising the best possible conditions for racing over the day and night cycle that was to come. Qualifying With PROs Dan Kirby and Eduardo Beninca tied for the driver's championship, it was no surprise that they set the two fastest time in qualifying, with Kirby recording a 2:06.982 in his Ford GT, only a half-second ahead of Beninca in another Ford. Brian Hall in his Corvette C6.R broke up the “Ford party” to take third in front of another string of Fords. [...]

NARS Modern Sportscar Championship – Round 8 at Road America

Race Report by Matthew Overton Images by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith September 2, 2021 - 21 teams (10 LMH and 11 GTE) jetted back across the Atlantic to land in the beautiful state of Wisconsin and the always entertaining Road American circuit at Elkhart Lake. With only four events left in the season, every opportunity to score points, or the inability to take advantage of missteps, started to loom over the heads of each of the competitors. Qualifying Nissan fans were pleased to see Jason Whited take his G-TR to the head of the LMH PRO field for a second time in a row, posting a 1:47.778 and Ferrari Tifosi was equally enthusiastic when Matthew Overton took his FXX-K to the top of the AM field with a 1:49.372. PROs Norm Graf and JT Tami took second and third with their Ferrari and McLaren respectively, while [...]

NARS Virtual GT1 Championship Round 8 – 60 Minutes of Interlagos

Race Report by Matthew Overton Images by Jerry Chen and Dan Kirby Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith August 26, 2021 – With only two races left in the series calendar, it was a very business-like and focused set of teams and drivers that arrived in Buenos Aires for the penultimate round of the VGT1C. Tightening championship races and several of the contenders returning to form have meant venues packed to their COVID-restricted capacities and record viewership around the world - with the fans at Interlagos streaming into the venue to make sure that they were able to grab their part of the excitement firsthand. Qualifying The fast laps came…. fast and furious as the field attacked the qualifying. In PRO, it was Brian Hall in his Ford GT that threw down the gauntlet early with a 1:25.325, and while many came close, it was Cameron Sansano in his Maserati [...]

NARS Virtual GT1 Championship Round 7 – 60 Minutes of Pergusa

Race Report by Matthew Overton Images by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith August 12, 2021 – From Portugal, the teams of the VGT1C made the short journey east across the Mediterranean to the island of Sicily and another circuit that gets scant attention - Enna Pergusa. With championship battles intensifying and only 3 races left, the absence of PRO Jon Uyan of V.I.C.E Racing, AM title contender Jimmy Regan of Gone Broke Racing made for serious openings in all three sets of standings, if the other teams and 22 drivers made the trip to Sicily were up to the challenge. Qualifying It was PRO Daniel Kirby that made the best of the course in his Ford GT to set the pole-claiming lap of 1:27.83, a full second ahead of championship leader Eduardo Beninca in his B&M Racing Ford. JT Tami, in the first non-Ford in the qualifying [...]

NARS Modern Sportscar Championship – Round 7 at Le Mans

Race Report by Matthew Overton Images by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith August 12, 2021 - It was a beautiful northwestern France and Le Mans for the 21 drivers of the VMSC making the trip for Round 7 of the championship after a quiet July. The Circuit de la Sarthe has been the scene of epic endurance races and with near-ideal conditions for racing, there was a high level of expectation amongst both fans and racers for another thrilling day/night chapter to be added to the storied history of the track. Qualifying The long-suffering Nissan fans were thrilled to see the GTR of Jason Whited claim the pole position with a 3:25.175. Well back in second was the Ferrari FXX-K of Brian Hall with a 3:29.37, with George Angelidis piloting his Ferrari to third in class. John Maher led the qualifying in the AM field, taking his [...]

NARS Virtual GT1 Championship Round 6 – 60 Minutes of Algarve

Race Report by Matthew Overton Images by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith August 5, 2021 - It was a fast and furious return for the drivers and teams of the CMS VGT1 Championship after more than a month’s break in the action. Portugal and the undulating Algarve circuit provided the ideal venue for a return to action with championship battles rejoined with enthusiasm. 22 drivers made the trip to Portimao for the weekend, with AM driver Danny Corriveau of Dark Thunder Racing a noticeable absence and a severe blow for both his championship chances and DTR’s hopes to get out of the team championship basement. Drivers and fans were very pleased to have almost ideal conditions for the race weekend with sunny skies and light breezes, meaning that drivers were able to extract the maximum from themselves and their cars as the track rubber matured. Qualifying While [...]

NARS Virtual GT1 Championship Round 5 – 60 Minutes of the Sachsenring

Race Report by Matthew Overton Images by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith June 24, 2021 - It was with a sense of expectation and curiosity that the NARS VGT1 Championship teams and drivers arrived at the picturesque Saxony countryside for the Sachsenring racing weekend. With almost none of the drivers have had any experience on this tight, weaving ‘rollercoaster’ of a track more often used for motorcycle racing, chances were good for some upsets in the standings. With 24 drivers on the shortest track of the season, there was no concern in the paddock that drivers would be ‘losing focus’! The weather throughout the week was overcast with frequent bouts of rain that had every team scrambling to get the most out of the practice sessions to settle both car and driver on the optimum setups and lines for both dry and wet conditions. While the final [...]

NARS Modern Sportscar Championship – Round 6 at The Glen

Race Report by Matthew Overton Images by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith June 17, 2021 - Watkins Glen and the beautiful countryside and wine-tasting heaven of the Finger Lakes region of upper New York State were the venues for the 6th round of the VMSC, continuing the US stay for the series. Hot and clear weather gave the 19 drivers and teams plenty of excellent conditions for the practice, and it stayed that way through the practice rounds and for the race itself. With several championship contenders in both GTE PRO and AM choosing to sit out this round, there was a heightened sense of anticipation both in the paddock as well as in the stands that this race could be a significant turning point in the overall standings. Qualifying It was a newcomer to the series, Pedro Gomes in his Ferrari FXX-K that set the track [...]

NARS Virtual GT1 Championship Round 4 – 60 Minutes of Zolder

Race Report by Matthew Overton Images by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith June 10, 2021 - From the warming breezes of southern France, the GT1 teams and drivers packed up and made their way back north to Belgium and the guaranteed excitement that comes from a race at Zolder. With another BoP laid upon the Ford GTs as the championship technical advisors grappled with how to deliver level racing potential across the field, the teams focused on their preparations. The Belgian countryside and conditions proved as welcoming as the south of France, with dry and warm conditions from practice to race, giving the fans some great opportunities to see the drivers at their very best and very fastest on this demanding track. Qualifying It was Maserati again at the top of the qualifying results, this time privateer Pedro Gomes with a time of 1:22.962, a full second ahead [...]

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NARS Virtual GT1 Championship Round 3 – 60 Minutes of Paul Ricard

Race Report by Matthew Overton Images by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith June 3, 2021 - Sunny southern France was the locale for Round 3, with the demanding Paul Ricard welcoming 30 drivers, including 8 teams of paired drivers for what turned out to be a thrilling race weekend. The flat and technically demanding track marked a dramatic change of pace from the Brno circuit with plenty of opportunities to pick different lines through the high and low-speed corners. Anticipation was high that the competition would become that much closer with the announcement of a BoP adjustment aimed principally at the Ford GT. In addition, there was speculation that the Nissan GT-R would be making a reappearance in the series after a period of intense negotiations between the manufacturer and race organizers that resulted in some demanded BoP adjustments to the Nissan. Qualifying Maserati claimed a second [...]

NARS Virtual GT1 Championship Round 2 – 60 Minutes of Brno

Race Report by Matthew Overton Images by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith May 27, 2021 – NARS made a long-overdue return to the rolling hills of the Brno circuit with the arrival of the Virtual GT1 Championship to the venue last week. 31 drivers, making up 7 teams and 17 independent drivers arrived in the Czech Republic to contest the second round of the 9 race championship. The weather cooperated to provide the drivers with consistent conditions for both learning the track and becoming more familiar again with their cars. Qualifying It was PRO driver Ahmed Abdallah that set the pace, laying down a 1:47.679 in a Maserati MC12, nosing ahead of Dan Kirby and Eduardo Beninca, both in Ford GTs. A 1:50:590 was the best that top AM driver John Maher could wring out of his Corvette C6.R, which left room for almost all of the [...]

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NARS Virtual GT1 Championship Round 1 – 60 Minutes of Silverstone

Race Report by Matthew Overton Images by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith May 20, 2021 – Excitement was high as the racing teams, drivers and fans flocked to Silverstone on a dreary race weekend for the inaugural event of the NARS GT1 short series. 30 cars, including 6 teams of paired PRO and AM drivers ensured that the paddock was abuzz with activity as work was completed to get the cars and drivers ready for their first racing test.  The weather throughout the week varied from cool, dry, and sunny to heavily overcast and steady rain, giving each team major headaches in tuning their cars for the track and conditions. Qualifying Good conditions under broken clouds allowed the drivers to get out and stretch their legs a bit, with PRO Ahmed Abdallah setting the fastest lap with his Nissan GT-R at 1:50.623.  Close behind was Dan Kirby [...]

NARS Modern Sportscar Championship – Round 5 at Long Beach

Race Report by Matthew Overton Image by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith May 13, 2021 - It was back to the USA for the VMSC and the always demanding street circuit at Long Beach California. Beautiful skies greeted the 19 teams (10 LMH/9 GTE) on their arrival and the weekend carried on in the same manner, providing for some excellent racing conditions. Qualifying Qualifying was as ever, hotly contested, with Norm Graf setting the crowd abuzz, seizing his first pole position of the series with a 1:12.241 in his Ferrari FXX-K. Brian Hall and George Angelidis, also in Ferraris, completed a lock-out of the top spots in LMH PRO for that manufacturer, an indication of things to come in the race. In LMH AM, Ross Smith and his Nissan G-TR were only slightly behind the top PROs, with a 1:12.603, which was only just ahead of the Ferrari [...]

NARS Modern Sportscar Championship – Round 4 at Spa-Francorchamps

Race Report by Matthew Overton Image by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith April 22, 2021 - The VMSC carried on with the globe-hopping nature of the series, stopping this time at the renowned Spa-Francorchamps of Belgium, home to some of the most electrifying sprint and endurance racing to be found anywhere. Since the last event at Sebring, the teams and drivers have been hard at work to optimize their cars for the high-speed racing that has been a hallmark of this iconic track, all the more difficult with the imposition of an updated LMH BoP by the series officials, raising hopes for even closer competition as a result. While many other CMS series have been bitten by the ‘spring rain bug’ while in Europe, the VMSC benefitted from clear skies which provided plenty of time for fine-tuning of the setups before the serious work of qualifying. Qualifying [...]

NARS VDTMC Final Report – Round 9 Spa-Francorchamps

Race Report by Matthew Overton Images by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith April 8, 2021 - It was 21 drivers and crews that arrived at the historic location of Spa-Francorchamps to contest the final round of the CMS NARS Virtual DTM Championship.  Anticipation was running high with a number of teams determined to show true racing colors and close out the season on a high note. It also marked the return to NARS racing for Guilherme Bencke and the first race of the season for Pedro Crulas Gomes – perhaps heralding a more regular attendance? A glorious weekend, more like an early summer than spring, provided for some excellent racing conditions, even with bands of clouds regularly passing overhead.  The final practice provided hints of the close racing that was in store and the qualifying session was a great taster of the action to come. Qualifying Perennial [...]

NARS Virtual DTM Championship – Round 8 at Hockenheimring

Race Report by Matthew Overton Images by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith Another beautiful week and another weekend of off-and-on-again weather that is so typical of Europe in the spring. 21 drivers (11 PRO and 10 AM), including a late PRO series entry, Juan Salas Morales, assembled in the paddock for the race weekend, guaranteeing great action for the penultimate race of the season. Qualifying Spring delivered the required dose of rain during the final practice, but the generally warm weather and steady breezes meant that by the start of qualifying, the conditions were almost ideal, giving over to a number of PBs as the drivers jostled for their starting positions. Once again, PRO Ahmed Abdalla seized pole position with both hands, laying down a 1:31.849, over a half-second ahead of Daniel Kirby. In AM, Matthew Overton's 1:33.499 placed him .02s ahead of Danny Corriveau , with [...]

NARS Virtual DTM Championship – Round 7 at TT Assen

Race Report by Matthew Overton Images by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith March 25, 2021 – It was a thankfully short trip for the drivers and teams as they left Austria for the Nederlands and the city of Assen to prepare for the next round of the CMS NARS VDTM Championship. With only 3 races left and the series wins for both PRO and AM virtually locked, there was still much to race for in the battles for the remaining podium positions. And so it was 19 drivers (9 PRO and 10 AM) enjoying the Dutch hospitality and working to further refine the tuning of their cars in preparation for their race at a venue more renowned for the MotoGP than motorcar racing. While during the week, the practice conditions were bright and dry, by the weekend itself, spring had reasserted herself with a good lashing of [...]

NARS Virtual DTM Championship – Round 6 at Red Bull Ring

Race Report by Matthew Overton Images by Jerry Chen and Danny Corriveau Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith March 18, 2021 - Austria, in particular the lovely area of Styria, was the 6th of 9 stops for the drivers and crews of the NARS VDTMC. The Red Bull Ring was the venue and there was great anticipation for a high-speed contest along the long straights of this storied course. 21 drivers (10 PRO and 11 AM) completed the weekend of racing, much to the delight of the few fans permitted at the venue as well as the record crowd watching remotely. With periods of rain punctuating the practices, the odds were high that the drivers would be very lucky indeed to avoid a wet track for two weekends in a row. A notable absence from the initial practices was PRO driver Ahmed Abdallah, raising speculation that there could be a [...]

NARS Modern Sportscar Championship – Round 3 at Sebring 1.2

Race Report by Matthew Overton Image by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith March 11, 2021 - No rest for the drivers and teams of the VMSC as it was back to Sebring for the third round of the series. Like Daytona, the race would feature both day and night driving as the drivers fought the bone-shaking and suspension-breaking surface of this historic track. Despite some concerns over the weather in the lead-up to the race, the furrowed brows disappeared as quickly as the clouds with the drivers enjoying the cooler temperatures that stood in contrast to the very hot racing that they delivered. 22 drivers raced over the weekend (7 LMH and 15 GTE) with the biggest news being the entry of CMS CEO David Anderson in the GTE AM class, driving a Ferrari 488 that had been provided and prepped at short notice by Ferrari USA [...]

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