VTCC Round 2 – Zhuhai

After a thrilling start to the series in round one, Andrew Gillone of Ambition Racing came out on top of the Pro Class leader board, Aran Large of e11evens Racing second, and Roy Grassie of AJR Motorsport putting in stellar performances to round out the top three.

The Am

Class had a similarly exciting opening weekend, which saw the first female winner of the series – Alice Hughes of TCS Motorsport. Trev Hummer of AJR Motorsport narrowly led the championship heading into the second weekend of racing, over a three-way tie for second between Alice Hughes, Teddie Cooper of Cooper Motorsport, and Paul Hargreaves of OG Racing.

In the GoBobby.uk championship, the series’ resident photographer Chris Callaghan of Falcon Racing led Colin Dunn of Track & Beyond by five points after a strong opening weekend.

For round two, the drivers faced the lesser-known Chinese circuit of Zhuhai on Easter Sunday, a 4.3km circuit with a number of tight corners and long straights. And with changeable conditions set as the races went on, it was bound to be an exciting watch.

Pro Class

Race one began in clear conditions as the usual suspects Alex Jamieson and Andrew Gillone of Ambition Racing locked out the front row of qualifying, followed by Joshua Quincy of Falcon Racing in third and Aran Large of e11evens Racing in fourth.

There was but a nose between the two Ambition Racing drivers as they battled for the lead for the entire fifteen-minute race, with Andrew only just coming out on top. While Andrew admits he knows the track well, a tight second place should be a great confidence boost to Alex Jamieson as he suffered technical issues last weekend and was forced to retire. Further down the order saw Roy Grassie of AJR Motorsport, David Moll of Full Send Racing, and Jirka Štěrba of OG Racing providing magnificent entertainment with their battle for sixth place, with David Moll eventually taking the honours.

Clouds formed over the circuit for the random grid race, which saw Quentin Chauviteau of Full Send Racing given the luck of the draw for pole position. A hectic opening to the second race of the evening saw several drivers lose and gain positions in the first few minutes. Eventually, the fight for the lead was whittled down to four drivers, Jason Powell of Track & Beyond, David Moll, Roy Grassie, and Aran Large, all separated by less than a second. Meanwhile, Andrew Gillone, sitting in fifth place, worked hard to close the gap and eventually pulled off a storming victory, making it two from two after a late-race incident for Roy Grassie saw his chance of a maiden win in this series disappear.

The rain came lashing down on the drivers during race three, which saw the level of driving step up a notch as drivers fought to control their cars through the massive puddles on the track. Ambition Racing locked out the front row in qualifying, with Brendon van Eden of Gummy Motorsport and Roy Grassie of AJR Motorsport lining up behind them.

Alex Jamieson dropped down the order early on to finish sixth, but a thrilling race ahead saw his teammate Andrew Gillone do the unthinkable and win his third successive race. A starting line issue for Mark Werrell of Squadra di Corse Veloce caused a domino event with multiple cars affected. The drivers struggled to get to grips with the treacherous conditions, but Roy Grassie finished a credible second making it two podiums on the night, with Brendon van Eden hot on his tail in third after a mistake on the final lap allowed Grassie to sneak through.

Speaking after the race, Van Eden explained his last-lap error.

“I made a small mistake on the last lap, I was busy watching Grassie and missed my braking marker into turn one. There wasn’t any way I was going to stop him so I just let him go through to see if I could attack at the last couple of corners but he was just as quick.”

The championship standings remained largely the same in the pro class after round two, as Andrew Gillone extended his lead to 19 points over Aran Large.

Am Class

Championship leader Trev Hummer took a solid pole position for the first race, with Paul Hargreaves joining him on the front row. Behind them, Teddie Cooper and Ștefan-Andrei Gagiu of Go4it Racing lined up on the second row.

Hummer cemented his position as championship leader as he took a decisive victory in race one, having led from start to finish. Fending off an early jump-start by Teddie Cooper, who finished the race in fourth (although technically seventh after accumulating a large penalty), after a tremendous late-race battle with Alice Hughes, and Will Breame of Radical Underdogs.

Unfortunately for Hummer, he couldn't repeat his race one success in the random grid race, as it was a write off for both his championship lead and his car as a large incident on the first lap saw him airborne and dealt with significant damage, trailing the back of the grid. Will Breame found his form and drove to a conclusive win, with the eye-catching liveried BMW of Alistair Pollock of OG Racing acquiring his first podium of the season alongside Ștefan-Andrei Gagiu.

Race three saw the stormy weather appear over Zhuhai as we were treated to a wet-weather masterclass from Alice Hughes. After qualifying in third, she raced aggressively from the start to take the lead from Ștefan-Andrei Gagiu early on until the finish, taking her second win of the series. The conditions took their toll as a number of drivers struggled to keep their cars on track, cementing Alice's status as the wet-weather Queen.

Speaking after the race, Alice suggested it was consistency that led to her win.

“It was quite slippery, but you just had to avoid the puddles and not aim for the quickest lap. There was a slightly grippier line if you came off the racing line. It was just about being consistent.”

After a busy weekend of racing, the Am championship standings changed hands from Trev Hummer to Alice Hughes, leading Trev by five points. Round three will see the drivers tackling the historic Imola circuit on 18th April. Make sure you tune in to our live stream on YouTube to catch all the action.

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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