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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 [...]

VWSC 1971 – 100 Minutes of Spa

  Race Report by George Angelidis Images by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith May 8, 2021 - The annual 100 min historic race for sports cars, took place on the magnificent Spa-Francorchamps circuit without any bitching and binding from any outside organizations, or complaints from the participants and used the full-scale circuit, ignoring the “safety chicane” put in at Malmedy for the puny little Grand Prix cars and their timid drivers. The Francorchamps circuit was at its glorious best during practice, which was held under a clear beautiful sky, much to the pleasure of few English drivers that have been tormented by rain the past few weeks on the island. The entry for the Spa race was not large, but it had all the necessary ingredients with the Rookie Monsters and CMS Pro 5-Liter Porsches, for Ben Boorman, Jon Uyan, and Jerry Chen, the sole existing flat-12 Alfa [...]

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 [...]

VWSC 1971 – 100 Minutes of Brands Hatch

Race Report by Matthew Overton & George Angelidis Images by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith April 3, 2021 - Southeast England provided a beautiful race weekend for the 4th round of the CMS VWSC ‘71 Championship, much to the delight of the drivers and crews. On the deceptively simple Brands Hatch GP circuit, the drivers, in particular, were relieved to be pitted only against each other rather than a wet track! A total of 20 drivers presented themselves for the briefing for the marshals, with all the levels of competition well represented. After the practice sessions, it was on to qualifying, where Ahmed Abdalla (Purist) in his Ferrari 512M took top honors with a 1:21.132, ahead of Marouane el Idrissi (Pro) and Wouter de Bruijn (Pro) in another Ferrari and Porsche 917K respectively. Setting the pace in Am was Leone Gennari in another Ferrari with a 1:25.283. [...]

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 [...]

VWSC 1971 – 1.2 Hours of Sebring

Race Report by George Angelidis Images by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith March 6, 2021 – On a rain-soaked day at Sebring, Ben Boorman almost pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the historic era of sports car racing, in his Rookie Monsters Porsche 917K car to the overall win at the 1.2 Hours of Sebring. He ultimately finished 2nd coming from dead last some mere 30 secs of winner Ahmed Abdalla, who marked his first win VWSC in 1971 and Scuderia Cavalli Ferrari’s maiden victory. The weather-plagued race played into the advantage of the German car, which took five of the top 10 finishing positions overall, and remarkably majority being Purist entries, typically splitting the top of the field with the Pro class. S 5.0 - Purist Ben Boorman with his Porsche 917K, endured through a near-record 70% wet race duration (the longest in any [...]

NARS Virtual DTM Championship – Round 5 at Nurburgring

Race Report by Matthew Overton Images by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith March 4, 2021 - It was a return to Germany once again for the VDTMC teams with a pilgrimage to one of the most imposing and storied circuits of Europe - the Nurburgring. And while perhaps best known for the longer layouts, including those used for F1 and the 24-hour endurance races, for the VDTMC it was to be the Sprint layout that would be waiting to test their mettle. 19 drivers (8 PRO and 11 AM) with their supporting teams gathered at the paddock for what turned out to be one of the most hotly contested races of the season to date. With the weather difficulties still fresh in the minds of the teams, preparations for rain were very obviously in hand but as the weekend rolled out the threatening nature of the skies [...]

NARS Virtual DTM Championship – Round 4 at Zolder

Race Report by Matthew Overton Image by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith A wet week with plenty of rain provided real challenges for the drivers of the NARS VDTMC as they prepared for their next challenge at Zolder. Teams and drivers both struggled with the constantly changing conditions and the difficulties of managing undulating terrain and constant chicanes in addition to the sweeping high-speed curves of this iconic Belgian track. 22 drivers were present for the race weekend, including PRO newcomer Edgar Cruz as well as AM recruits Pedro Gomes and Morgan McCalister. Qualifying Come qualifying, a welcome relief from the rain allowed the drivers to put down some seriously fast times. PRO driver Ahmed Abdallah proved that he was the man to beat, setting a time that at 1:23.474 was .8s clear of JT Tami. PRO drivers Dan Kirby, Norm Graf and Jon Uyan were close [...]

NARS Modern Sportscar Championship – Round 2 at Twin Ring Motegi

Race Report by Matthew Overton Image by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith February 18, 2021 – For the second round of the Virtual Modern Sportscar Series, the drivers and their support teams made the round-world trip from Florida to meet the rising sun in Japan to test themselves against the Motegi circuit in the Tochigi Prefecture. Conditions were almost ideal throughout the weekend, with all the visitors remarking on the excellent facilities and the support they received from the local organizing committee. Enjoying the weekend most fully was the Ferrari factory delegation, hosted to the event by their Nissan colleagues who were to be disappointed by the results of the race at their ‘home’ track. While not every driver was able to make the long trip – with Daytona LMH AM winner Jose Florez and GTE AM 2nd place finisher Dan Minges among them - it was [...]

VWSC 2021 – 60 Minutes of Twin Ring Motegi

Race Report by George Angelidis & Matthew Overton Images by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross “Tnadz” Smith February 20, 2021 - It was truly a day for the partisans of the Rising Sun with Nissan getting a full return on the effort they put into attracting and staging Round 2 of the VWSC ‘21 Championship at their ‘home’ track. A total of 30 cars and drivers arrived early in the week to complete testing and preparations for the weekend. It was clear that many teams had been hard at work during the break since Daytona, though not all were able to put past difficulties behind them, as the race was to show. Qualifying LMH-Pro Storm Rider Racing driver Ahmed Abdallah set the pace with his Nissan by grabbing pole ahead of LMH-Pro contender driver Marouane el Idrissi and his Triploski GorillAAAH Nissan. In the GTE field, it was the [...]

NARS – VTDMC Round 3 at Lausitzring

Race Report by Matthew Overton Image by Jerry Chen Broadcast by Ross "Tnadz" Smith February 11, 2021 - This week, the drivers of the NARS VDTMC made the pilgrimage to the European center of automotive testing, the DEKRA facility at Lausitz, to show their manufacturers how well they could extract performance from their cars on a track the manufacturers themselves know so very well. The weather, while generally overcast, in the end, provided excellent conditions for the race, which saw plenty of action from the 8 PRO and 11 AM drivers that lined up on the starting grid. While a number of drivers opted to skip this stop, the field welcomed warmly four new drivers to grid – familiar face Tony Boynton and NARS newcomers John Maher, Chris Cox, and Cedric Collins, all in the AM category. Qualifying Qualifying was intense, with some great times being set during the [...]

VWSC 2021 – 2.4 Hours of Daytona

Race Report by George Angelidis January 24, 2021 - After New Year’s every sportscar fan in the world is waiting for Daytona. The twice around the clock endurance race traditionally held at the last weekend of January is for many of us the start of the racing season. With its high speeds and high banks, it’s a spectacle on its own. The sun may rise at Daytona in the United States, but it was the machine from the Rising Sun country where the day belonged. Nissan finished 1-2 in LMH-Pro and 1-2-3 in LMH-Am dominating the first race of this new era of hypercar sportscar racing. In GTE 2 teams dominated their classes respectively: the CMS Pro Ferrari and the Trash Panda Racing Aston Martin. LMH-Pro Ahmed Abdalla took the win in LMH-Pro class and overall, shifting from his dominant GTE-Pro performances from last year. While he couldn’t make [...]

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