The CMS NARS and VWSC chapters were both at Twin Ring Motegi last week in rFactor 2 for some exciting modern sports car multi-class racing using the CMS WSC21 mod featuring LMHs and GTEs.
In both race series, anticipation was high after the initial races at Daytona. In particular the Nissans were hoping that their ‘home’ track would give them the opportunity to make amends for the difficulties they encountered on that iconic American track. In addition, there were a number of drivers in both series looking to show that their poor first outings were not typical of their abilities.
NARS (Thursday 18 Feb)
23 drivers, amongst them a number of new comers to the series, were on hand for what turned out to be excellent conditions for racing in the ‘North American’ series.
Qualification picked up where the last race left off, with LMH PRO driver George Angelidis setting the pace in his Ferrari FXX-K. With rivals Jason Whited, Norm Graf and Brian Hall stacked up within .2s behind him, race start was looking very promising. Pole for LMH AM went to another FXX-K, driven by Matthew Overton, with the Nissan GTR of Ross Smith 1.5s behind. Ahmed Abdallah’s Ford GT was also comfortably in the GTE pole position ahead of his closest challenger, Colin Moore in the Corvette C8.R. It was a bit tighter in GTE AM, with top qualifier Edgar Cruz placing his Porsche 911 RSR just nudging clear of Stuart Barge in his Ferrari 488.
To Nissan’s great dismay, the race was very much a Ferrari show, with a clean sweep of the PRO podium by drivers Norm Graf, Brian Hall and George Angelidis. Ferrari also topped the podium in AM thanks to a strong 4th in race by Matthew Overton however it was the Nissan GTR of Ross Smith and McLaren Senna of Doug Ritter that rounded out the podium and prevent a total domination by Ferrari.
Ahmed Abdallah and his Ford GT dominated the PRO field once again, a full lap ahead of Corvette C8.R and Jon Uyan in yet another Ferrari, this time a 488. The AM GTEs provided some of the most exciting and sustained racing of the event with the top four drivers within sight of each other throughout the entire race . At the chequered flag, it was Edgar Cruz in a Porsche 911 RSR that took the flag-to-flag win, with newcomer Stefan Kvistgaard claiming a strong 2nd place in his Aston Martin Vantage and Corvette C8.R driving Frank Radosti finishing 3rd.
VWSC (Saturday 20 Feb)
30 drivers from both North America and Europe, and their teams, converged on Motegi to contest the second race in the ‘world’ series.
It was Nissan at the front after qualification thanks to LMH-Pro Storm Rider Racing driver Ahmed Abdallah setting the pace with his GTR ahead of Marouane el Idrissi and his Triploski GorillAAAH Nissan. In the GTE field, it was the SMR Corkscrew Ford teammates Cameron Sansano and Vasilis Katerinakis driving Ford GTs on top in the Pro class while Josh Nessel took top honours in AM with his Porsche 911 RSR.
Despite a great starting position for the Storm Rider Nissans, it was Ferrari that celebrated the race and PRO class win thanks to a strong performance by Brian Hall, who collected his maiden win in the VWSC. It was another Ferrari, driven by Norm Graf in second, with Nissan left celebrating only a third place finish thanks to a spirited defence by Ahmed Adballah against a late surge of the Ferrari driven by George Angelidis. The AM race saw a much stronger finish by Nissan, with the GTRs of Snake Eyes Racing sweeping the podium thanks to strong races by Guillerme Bencke (for his first VWSC win), Wayne Hutchison and Ross Smith.
Fans were treated to two separate battles in the PRO field with teammates Cameron Sansano and Vasilis Katerinakis of the SMR Corkscrew in their Ford GTs and then CMS Pro driver Jon Uyan in his Ferrari and Colin Moore in the ByKolles Corvette C8.R. What looked like a maiden victory for Katerinakis ahead of his teammate came apart suddenly due to handling problems for the two Fords. While Sansano was able to retain the win against Jon Uyan, Katerinakis had to content himself with a distant 3rd.
The AM field showcased a Porsche and Aston Martin battle with the Matt Buice in the Vantage engaged in a race-long tilt with the 911 RSR-driving Josh Nessel. It was a calculated gamble by Nessel to not take tyres that resulted in the win by a margin of only 2s over Buice. Stefan Kvistgaard staved off a hard-charging Jamie Zolecki in his Ferrari 488 late in the race to take 3rd place for Recab NG TMC Aston Martin and his first career podium with CMS.
The next race for both series will be a 1.2h Sebring classic, with the NARS race going to Q at 2100h ET 11 March and VWSC going to Q at 1330ET 13 March.
For more information, check out NARS at https://cmsracing.com/nars-2021-vmsc-series/
and VWSC at https://cmsracing.com/vwsc-2021-modern-series/