Race Calendar

An exciting start to our second GT3 season!

With the first season ending about a month ago, the plans of getting a new racing season started as soon as possible, were quickly finalised and the schedule of tracks has been released. The drivers will test themselves against one another on 6 different tracks, over the course of the next 7 weeks, with one off week after round 3 of the season. The races this season, unlike previously, will mandate drivers to take at least one pit stop during the race, and the races themselves will vary in length between 60 and 90 minutes. Another change this season sees the introduction of two racing classes, Gold Pro and Silver AM, so we will crown two champions at the end of the season. 

We also have a sponsor this season, in Z1 Dashboard, providing prizes for the winners in both classes, with a Z1 track license worth $99, and a 3-month subscription to their services. Their Dashboard offers many utilities helping drivers improve their racecraft, analyze their driving, as well as offering services of a virtual engineer, track maps, and many other helpful tools to help drivers perform better on track.

As you may have already noticed, the first race of this second season has already taken place a few days ago. Round 1 took our drivers to Great Britain, visiting one of the most famous race tracks in the country, or even in the world, one could argue. The race was held at Silverstone, and it was a 60 minute race this time around. We have seen some new names on the grid, as well as some drivers returning after competing in season 1 as well. The weather throughout the race weekend was pleasantly warm, with temperatures hovering around 23°C for majority of the event, meaning that the drivers had all the possible grip available to them on the dry track.

In qualifying we have seen some great lap times being posted by the quickest drivers, dropping into the 1:57s, and the whole field was super close, the top 12 drivers qualifying within 1 second of each other! But, the pole position time, overall and in the Gold Pro class, was posted by Damien Bosc in the new Ferrari 296 GT3, setting a 1:57.382, only 13 thousands of a second quicker than Abe Santema, which promised a super close battle, not just for the lead of the race, but throughout the whole grid as well!

Shifting our focus towards the Silver AM class now, where Akos Szabo, in the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2, took pole position with a lap time of 1:58.290, nearly 4 tenths quicker than Yannis Bouguerra, who took second in class. Looking at the overall results, Szabo's time was good enough for 12th position, while Bouguerra started the race in 15th position. Considering there were 36 cars on the grid at the start of the race, not a bad result at all!

The start of the race was super thrilling, having that many cars going into Copse corner for the first time in the race, and it was amazing to see everyone behaving themselves and making it round the first sequence of corners with no major incidents. Santema got a great run right off the line, hanging round the outside of Bosc in that first corner, getting the overtake done before entering Maggots and Becketts, taking the lead of the race, which he only relinquished for a short while during the pit stops. There were some incidents further down the order in those first few corners, nothing spectacular, thankfully, which could have caused a huge pile-up of cars, destroying the race for half of the grid, or more, which we were really happy to see it did not happen.

Over in the Silver class, we've seen Bouguerra overtake Szabo in the opening moments of the race, showing that qualifying, many times, can be deceiving. Overtaking a car in those first few corners, or laps even, is one thing, but staying ahead is a completely different story. However, Bouguerra made sure that we didn't get to see another change in the lead of the class, only due to different strategies between the drivers, thus bringing home the victory in the Silver class in this first race!

Taking a look at the final standings for both classes, in Gold class (and overall), we have seen a dominant performance by Abe Santema, taking the win ahead of Damien Bosc and Hugo Boucher in second and third respectively. In Silver class, the win went to France, with Yannis Bouguerra finishing in 13th position overall, and ahead of the class rivals Akos Szabo in second (14th overall), and Paulo Tempera in third (15th overall). 

For the extended race results, you can jump on our results page on The SimGrid website. If you are interested in seeing some of the race highlights, as well as a full Twitch stream replay, make sure to visit our YouTube channel, where you can also subscribe to the channel and hit the little bell icon to get notified of our new videos right away!

Unfortunately this time around, we have had a few DNFs, with drivers being involved in race ending incidents, as well as a couple disqualifications for speeding in the pit lane. Despite that, we have seen a lot of great battles up and down the grid, which only fills us with excitement that we will be able to see even more of the same in the upcoming races. Drivers will now travel to South Africa for round 2, taking on quite a technical track, named Kyalami. The weather conditions, combined with 90 minutes of racing, will surely bring us another spectacle to watch!