This weekend “Team Spirit by Advanced Simulation” in partnership with SIMRACE247 had two good races at the Autopolis Internation Circuit within the SR GT500 championship.
In both races the team was unable to trouble the winner and went on the take up the next three places in the races, getting used to the technique, dealing with technical problems and battling rivals on the track.
It is worth noting that Autopolis is not that type of track which is condusive to overtaking so bad starts affected our drivers with tire wear a problem in the fight with other drivers, which prevented the team from imposing serious competition in the fight for the victory.
Nevertheless, the team are content with Round 1 and happy with the experience gained during these races. An excellent understanding and chemistry was established between all drivers of the team with the stage set to consolidate the result and compete for victory
SIMRACE247 ‘loaned’ team captain Elliot Simpson and Vlaislav Zenkov to Team Spirit to help make a success of the opening round.
Elliot Simpson, second place in both races: “The car felt very nice and very stable and was a good first experience with rfactor 2, I think our setup had a little bit of under-steer which may have made us a little bit slower compared to Vlad Pavlov.
“However, 2nd place in both races for my debut felt very good, I had good pace over the field and put in a good lap during quali. In the feature race I found myself in a good battle at the start but by the end I was rather lonely, with half a minute gaps ahead and behind. For the next race I will need to work on my starts (and my Russian)”.
Vladislav Zenkov, third place in both races: “GT cars are not very suitable for me, but the Nissan GT500 seemed to me very interesting to drive, and in combination with the interesting track Autopolis brought a great racing experience.
“In the sprint, luck was not on my side, because of an unsuccessful draw I started the last 14th, but I managed to break through to the podium in a short 10-minute period and come 3rd to the finish. In the main race, the start failed and I had to break through again, but since I had speed again, I managed to do it.
“On the Autopolis track, overtaking is very difficult, but I managed to get back to 3rd place and keep it after a series of obligatory pit stops. My competitors tried to carry out an undercut for me, but my pace allowed me to keep the podium position.
“Unfortunately, I spent too much time on the break, just like in the first race, and could not catch up with the second place, which was my partner Elliot. I think that two 3 places in two races, with two breakthroughs from the end of the field is a good result. I want to thank my teammates Elliot Simpson and Nikita Stepanenko for a great race”.
Nick Stepanenko, fourth place in both races: “In general, the races did not go exactly as we planned and we also prepared for other conditions on the track. Nevertheless, I want to thank Elliot and Vladislav for both races and note that we had a great time and are ready to improve our results on the track together.
“The car is very interesting in terms of handling and working with tires and it makes us improve our racing skills. I hope that in the second stage at the Fuji track we can achieve more than this Saturday.”