An overcast day and rain greeted the teams assembled at the cathedral of speed for the opening round of the 2021 NARS Virtual DTM Championship at CMS on rFactor 2.
23 drivers, PRO and AM took to the track, all three manufacturers well represented with Aura clearly the steed of choice.
Light but steady rain during the practice morning raised significant concerns that weather would play a major role in the race, but by the time qualifying had arrived, the rain had lifted although the track remained damp due to the slow drying conditions.
JT Tami pipped Ahmed Abdalla at the last moment to take the pole as the drivers struggled with the conditions and the optimal tire choice.
A couple of hectic opening laps saw several front runners fall back, victims to the tricky track conditions that continued to provide setbacks to many drivers from either mishaps or track violations even as the rain held off.
Race winner JT Tami steered clear of the difficulties, calmly keeping Dan Kirby and Jerry Chen safely behind him from pole to chequered flag. All three showed consistent, fast laps and the ability to stay out of trouble with the three PRO podium finishers crossing the line well ahead of the rest of the field.
On the AM side, Rodger Gabryszak parlayed his consistency and strong laps into a win for the class. Matthew Overton crossed the finish line 17s back for second while Ross Smith claimed third place another 40s back.
All-in-all, it was a strong start for the championship. With 8 more races in the series and some challenging tracks to come, the season looks very promising!
The NARS chapter of Champion Motorsports is hosting the Virtual DTM Championship concurrently with a Virtual Modern Sportscar Championship Thursday nights, both using rFactor 2.
The next VDTMC race will be 28 January at Norisring, and full details for both series may be found at https://cmsracing.com/thursday/