VRCC DTM Group A Round 6

Silverstone International hosted the penultimate round of the VRCC Group A DTM Championships on Sunday evening, as we entered the round with Ben Abbitt thirty-four points clear in the driver’s championship, and Abbitt Motorsport looking to crown themselves the champions of the team’s standings.





Race 1


They got into a strong start with Ben qualifying in second, and brother Dan in fourth. Ambrex Racing’s Alex Jamieson qualified on pole as he looked to fight for second place in both the drivers’ and team’s standings with teammate Andrew Gillone starting in third.


As a wide, short track with long straights and almost no stop-start corners, the Mercedes was favoured to perform well on Silverstone International’s 1.8-mile circuit. Alex Jamieson verified this theory as he had an uncharacteristically strong start off the line, closely following Ben Abbitt’s Alfa, while behind, Alexander Rhodes moved into third from fifth, his soft tyres helping his pace in the early stages.


Only two cars in the fifteen man grid chose to use medium tyres at Silverstone, with the three drivers of AJR Motorsport and Trev Hummer of Two-Tone Racing on soft tyres, and the rest on hards. Tragedy struck four laps in for Alexander Rhodes as he left the track following contact and dropped down to ninth. Although unfortunate for the man in sixth position in the championship, he was undeterred as the group ahead was still tightly packed thanks to the short circuit length.



Alex Jamieson's Mercedes came into its own in lap five and he took the lead, leaving Ben Abbitt packed in an Ambrex Racing sandwich, defending from Andrew Gillone, allowing Jamieson to build his lead. Just behind the top three lay Dan Abbitt who had managed to sneak onto the back of them. This was short-lived as contact between Dan and Andrew left them both off the track, with Gillone ultimately retiring from the race, and Dan left to pick up the pieces in sixth, with Charlie Heath and Alexander Rhodes gaining their places.


With just two minutes to go the race picked up and Dan Abbitt and Alexander Rhodes made contact while in a heated battle for fourth. Dan dropped to seventh and with him any hopes of a podium. Lurking behind the pair were Nathan Birch of Two-Tone Racing and Stu Neale of Three Wheels Racing who pounced at the chance of a top-five finish. Both consistent drivers that fly somewhat under the radar, Nathan and Stu worked hard to close the gap ahead.


They caught Alexander Rhodes in the closing minutes of the race, with Alexander’s soft tyres now starting to show their wear. With Nathan and Stu unhappy to work together to overtake Alexander, he needed not to defend from the pair and this allowed him to claw back an advantage to take fourth. A fantastic battle for fifth place ensued with Stu Neale completing the overtake on Nathan in the final corners to take fifth, and with Dan Abbitt hot on his tails, Nathan conceded fifth place to him as well. Alex Jamieson meanwhile had extended his lead to over ten seconds to win his second race in this series and tightening the gap between him and Dan in the driver’s standings.



Race 2


With a similar line-up in the top five for the second race, Ben took the lead again but this time Charlie Heath (the Silent Assassin) also managed to get past Alex Jamieson. The second race saw a change in tyre strategy for Heath who had gone for mediums compared to the softs in the first race. Teammate Alexander Rhodes also got past Jamieson although the jostling between the three drivers allowed Abbitt to extend his lead to over a second by the end of the first lap.

A busy first lap saw three riders leave the track; Daniel Collins and Stu Neale of Three Wheels Racing, and Koen de Groot of Big Logo Racing were all left hunting places early on.


As the race began to settle down, Alexander Rhodes managed to close the gap to Ben Abbitt with his soft tyres helping his pace. The battle for first began to intensify in the sixth lap with Alexander Rhodes taking the lead, leaving Ben to defend from a hungry Alex Jamieson who needed all the points he could get for a chance at second in the driver’s & team’s championships and his teammate no longer on the grid.


Eleven laps in and Jamieson pounces on the Alfa Romeo of Alexander Rhodes. With Ben Abbitt glued to his bumper, he manages to get past Rhodes as well, leaving him to launch an attack on the defensive master that is Alex Jamieson.



Dan Abbitt made his way back to the group and glued himself to the back of Rhodes’s bumper. He eventually gets past while his brother makes hard work for Alex Jamieson with the two of them continually swapping places.


Aggressive yet clean driving from the top four continued as the end of the race closed in. Alex Jamieson sealed his third victory, and second in a row this weekend. Meanwhile, second place seemed sealed for Ben Abbitt until the final straight which saw his brother Dan pass him on the line. Speaking after the race, Ben explained what happened


“I had to push hard after letting the Alex’s battle ahead and my tyres were gone by the end of the race. I ran wide on the final corner and couldn’t put the throttle down so Dan took the place by less than a tenth”.


With the Abbitt’s performances this weekend enough to crown them the winners of the team’s championship, second and third are still to play for with only five points separating Ambrex Racing and AJR Motorsport as we move into the final round. In what has been a dominant display from Abbitt Motorsport in the inaugural VRCC Group A DTM series, they are deserving winners and have provided some excellent entertainment throughout the series.


The driver’s championship is still all to play for with Alex Jamieson looking to take second place off Dan Abbitt. Join us next week for the final round where the drivers will tackle the mighty Nurburgring GP Circuit.



Results


Race 1

1st – Alex Jamieson (Ambrex Racing)

2nd – Ben Abbitt (Abbitt Motorsport)

3rd – Charlie Heath (AJR Motorsport)

4th – Alexander Rhodes (AJR Motorsport)

5th – Stu Neale (Three Wheels Racing)

6th – Dan Abbitt (Abbitt Motorsport)

7th – Nathan Birch (Two-Tone Racing)

8th – Roy Grassie (AJR Motorsport)

9th – Koen de Groot (Big Logo Racing)

10th – Nick Isherwood (Independent)


Race 2

1st – Alex Jamieson (Ambrex Racing)

2nd – Dan Abbitt (Abbitt Motorsport)

3rd – Ben Abbitt (Abbitt Motorsport)

4th – Alexander Rhodes (AJR Motorsport)

5th – Charlie Heath (AJR Motorsport)

6th – Nathan Birch (Two-Tone Racing)

7th – Roy Grassie (AJR Motorsport)

8th – Stu Neale (Three Wheels Racing)

9th – Nick Isherwood (Independent)

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.


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