It was a return to Britain for Round 4 of the VRCC DTM Group A Championship where the drivers faced the Donington National circuit to mark the halfway point in the Championship. Ben Abbitt started the night ten points clear of his brother Dan, with Alex Jamieson of Ambrex Racing five points behind in third.
It was an Ambrex Racing front-row lockout after qualifying for Race 1 with Andrew Gillone looking for a strong return to racing after missing out last weekend. The Abbitt brothers lined up in third and fourth in the Alfa Romeos.
Ben Abbitt and Dan Abbitt had a fantastic start with the Alfa Romeo's 4WD showing its supremacy over the RWD Mercedes of Alex Jamieson and Andrew Gillone yet again. Stu Neale, unfortunately, lost his position early on in lap one and tumbled down to sixteenth. First lap excitement didn't stop there as Alex Richardson of Flying Tangerine Racing fell victim to a slight tap and dropped down to twelfth place. However, the biggest victim was Alex Jamieson as he ran wide and fell to fifth place on lap three, only to be presented with hardware issues and a resulting DNF.
With his teammate out of the race, Andrew Gillone was left to challenge Ben Abbitt for first place and a fantastic battle ensued. A small mistake cause Gillone to spin on lap nine and he dropped down to fourth place as AJR Motorsport’s ‘Silent Assassin’ Charlie Heath managed to sneak past him in the aftermath. Gillone didn’t give up the chance of a podium and managed to take third place back shortly after. Continuing his assault at Donington, he capitalised on a mistake from Dan Abbitt and moved into second place with five minutes to go. With just over one minute on the clock remaining Dan manages to grab second place back off Gillone after an unfortunate technical error sees Andrew depart the race. Despite an aggressive last lap, Dan could not get past his brother but they bring home another Abbit Motorsport one-two, with Ben's fifth win of the series.
Race 2 saw the halfway mark of the Group A DTM Championship in style. A turbulent first lap saw Roy Grassie of AJR Motorsport and Stu Neale of Three Wheels Racing leave the track with Roy dropping way down the order. Alex Jamieson was the next to be involved in an incident that saw him drop from tenth to fourteenth after starting from the back of the grid.
Up ahead Alexander Rhodes and Charlie Heath found themselves fighting for third position behind the Abbitt Motorsport team, with them swapping positions while trying to close the gap. Alex Jamieson proclaims himself the comeback kid, making his way through the field and eventually up into third place past the two AJR teammates, only for his race to end suddenly due to technical issues. Credit where it's due, that was a fantastic effort by Jamieson who demonstrated why he's third in the championship coming into this round.
After his heart rate settled from defending against Jamieson, Ben and Dan Abbitt were still squabbling over first place with five minutes to go. Ben made a rare mistake and Dan seized the opportunity to get past. An incident with a backmarker sees Dan leave the track while making contact with Ben. After regaining the track Ben valiantly gave the place back to his brother making for his second win of the series.
Charlie Heath continued his fine form to secure his second podium of the weekend, and Nathan Birch of Two-Tone Racing equalled his best finish in fourth after a late overtake on Alexander Rhodes. It was an exciting night of racing not without its disappointments, but that’s motorsport for you. Join us next week as we head to Zolder for Round 5.
1st – Ben Abbitt (Abbitt Motorsport)
2nd – Dan Abbitt (Abbitt Motorsport)
3rd – Charlie Heath (AJR Motorsport)
4th – Roy Grassie (AJR Motorsport)
5th – Stu Neale (Three Wheels Racing)
6th – Alexander Rhodes (AJR Motorsport)
7th – Koen de Groot (Big Logo Racing)
8th – Nathan Birch (Two-Tone Racing)
9th – Alex Richardson (Flying Tangerine Racing)
10th – Jari van Binsbergen (Big Logo Racing)
1st – Dan Abbitt (Abbitt Motorsport)
2nd – Ben Abbitt (Abbitt Motorsport)
3rd – Charlie Heath (AJR Motorsport)
4th – Nathan Birch (Two-Tone Racing)
5th – Alexander Rhodes (AJR Motorsport)
6th – Stu Neale (Three Wheels Racing)
7th – Roy Grassie (AJR Motorsport)
8th – Nick Isherwood (Independent)
9th - Jari van Binsbergen (Big Logo Racing)
10th - Koen de Groot (Big Logo Racing)
About the VRCC
The VRCC is a community of drivers organising leagues across multiple sim racing platforms including Project Cars 2, Assetto Corsa, and Assetto Corsa Competizione. Races are run throughout the week and are often accompanied by live commentary and broadcasts on various platforms. The community is best known for its Virtual Touring Car Cup, but have also provided race series with Ginettas, MX-5s and Vintage F1 to name a few, alongside occasional stand-alone events. Follow their page on Facebook to find out more, or join in the conversation on Discord.