Classic 1971 rFactor 2 racing series sees rain, drama and Sebring at its finest brought to you by CMS. The drivers just raised the bar.
This past weekend in rFactor 2, a rain-soaked Sebring was almost the scene of one the biggest upsets possible in the CMS VWSC 1971 series as Ben Boorman piloted his Rookie Monsters Porsche 917K brilliantly at the 1.2 Hours of Sebring. Starting dead last, he finished a mere 30 secs of winner Ahmed Abdalla, who himself reached a personal goal with his first win in the series, also providing 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, with a majority in the highly demanding Purist class.
S 5.0 – Purist
In the soaking wet conditions, Boorman showed some ‘magic’ driving on the Firestone-shod Porsche. Up to 10th overall by lap 8 and into the top-five just ten laps later, it was a pass coming 20 minutes before race end on Joe Miller in the #40 Storm Rider Racing Lola T70 Chevrolet that secured second place overall.
But it would be Ahmed Abdalla that secured a first win that was largely uncontested for him and his new team, Scuderia Cavall. Ross Smith in the sole n00n Racing Lola entry was content to finish ahead of his major competition for the final podium position, keeping n00n racing at the top of the Team Championship and himself still 2nd in the Purist standings.
S 5.0 – Pro
Jason Whited would also have one of the races in his career to remember. Voted as “Driver of the day” he would be running in the Top 3 and then managed to bridge out a gap to Purist-class Lola driver Ross Smith before they tangled in the pit entry. With a damaged car Whited drove the race of his life to go from 7th to 3rd overall and win his class.
“Honestly, the last stint I did in the car, in a soaked track, was the hardest stint I’ve ever had in my life and it’s the most concentration I’ve ever had to put into driving a race car,” Whited said afterwards.
It marked the first victory in class for Storm Rider Racing in the 1971 Virtual World SportsCar Championship and a unique 1-2 courtesy of teammate Joe Miller, achieved just three months since the creation of the team.
“Joe Miller’s pass of Ross Smith on the outside in the wet at Sunset while a lapped car was on the inside in the dark, was an example of total commitment,” said Cara Adams, motorsports director, Firestone North America.
Jerry Chen would continue improving on his performance finishing a career-high in the 917K of 4th place, however not enough points to keep his CMS Pro Porsche team from dropping 2nd to the Championship behind the surging Storm Rider Racing Lolas. It was a disappointed Wouter de Bruijn that left Florida despite the win at Daytona – struggling with the Sebring circuit, a technical issue dropped him from the race after going down a lap. While still leading the Pro championship with 18.5 points, his lead has shrunk with Jason Whited at 15 and Jon Uyan at 13 points respectively.
S 5.0 – Am
Another win for Wayne Hutchison but unlike Daytona, a strong challenge came from teammate Guilherme Bencke, who had a phenomenal race, showing some tremendous skill in the wet. He would lead early on while Hutchison struggled, but a problem in his pit stop would put him 2 laps down in 5th. A sustained recovery drive, passing both Stian Gjorvad and Dan Minges, as they struggled themselves, made for a 1-3 finish and propelled the Lady of Sorrows Racing Lolas to 26.5 points clear in the team championship standings. In the Am Driver’s Championship, Wayne Hutchison now leads with 24 points from Dan Minges at 15 points and Guilherme Bencke completing the top 3 with 8 points.
Mark Jones would be awarded the “Save of the Race”, a full almost drift coming out of Sunset Bend that was gathered just before the Pit Wall entrance!
With the entire field on wet tires (except for Colin Moore trying his luck at the last stage of the race), Firestone, Goodyear and the teams hope to race on a “non-soaked” weekend at Brands Hatch, but judging that the Kent venue had been notorious for Spring downpours the paddock was overly quiet…