Borja Millan won the GT Pro Series third round at Virginia International Raceway, as World’s Fastest Gamer winner Rudy van Buren stormed from 26th to third in a thrilling fightback.
A sprint race opened proceedings, the top 10 of which would be reversed to decide the starting grid for the GT Pro Series main race, held on rFactor 2.
Joni Tormala, the main race winner at the Nurburgring, took pole position with Erhan Jajovski in second and Yuri Kasdorp in third (Tormala and Jajovski pictured below).
One of the standout moments was Williams Esports’ driver Nikodem Wisniewski trying to pass Manuel Biancolilla for fifth place.
He made the move stick but on the exit of the turn his car slowed to a crawl, which inevitably caught out some of the following drivers moving at racing speed behind him.
Jimi Nisula and van Buren were the two drivers to smash into the back of Wisniewski which sent Nisula further down the order and caused the other two to retire.
As is usually the case much of the important action was for a top 10 spot, since the main race starts with the top 10 finishers from the sprint race reversed.
Nuno Pinto therefore threw away what would’ve been a second place starting position as a move around the outside of Kevin Ryan for eighth backfired when he lost rear end traction and he dropped outside of the vital top 10 positions.
Up at the front the Red Bull Racing Esports driver of Tormala led the majority of the race but was overtaken by Jajovski in a simple slipstream move for first place.
Triple A Esports driver Erhan Jajovski won the sprint race with Tormala second and then Joonas Raivio in third.
Millan was the driver who benefitted from Pinto’s mistake as he crossed the line in tenth and so had pole position for the 45 minute long main race.
His lead disappeared almost instantly though as Hany Alsabti took the lead with a move down the inside of the first corner.
However Alsabti soon had to give up the position as he was given a drive through penalty for unsafely rejoining the circuit and taking out Simoncic at the end of the main race at the Nurburgring.
Despite the multitude of off track excursions, spins and crashes, the quickest drivers always found their way towards the front at this undulating, high-speed circuit.
Tormala for example span twice in the main race but still finished in sixth having started in ninth.
His second spin came from an attempt to move into third place which was was horribly misjudged as he broke far too late for the first corner.
That sent Tormala into the grass which spun his car around completely, turning the five way fight for 3rd into a four way scrap.
Controversially Jajovski punted the man who started the race in third, Kevin Ryan. It wasn’t hard enough to cause Ryan to spin but it opened up a big enough gap to put Jajovski into the final podium position.
Kappet tried to follow his fellow Triple A Esports driver past Ryan but was unable to do so.
As Kappet and Ryan ran side by side down the star finish straight Ryan moved over and forced Kappet onto the grass. That meant he lost some momentum which allowed van Buren up ahead of him.
Van Buren, who started the main race in 26th as he didn’t finish the sprint race, had pulled off a stellar job to move up to fourth.
But the Team Redline driver made one final overtake before the chequered flag came out as he blitzed past Jajovski for third before the braking zone of the turn.
The move was done so effortlessly that it appeared as if van Buren had set his car up for straightline speed, which is necessary for overtakes around the circuit which could explain his phenomenal charge up the order.
The race long battle between Ryan and Kappet came to an end as they made side by side contact in a bid for fifth place.
That send Kappet off into a tyre barrier, the impact meant his car lost it’s rear wing and caused Kappet to retire.
Borja Millan was far enough ahead to avoid the relentless action behind him and win, with championship leader Kevin Siggy finishing in second place.
Van Buren finished in third ahead of Erhan Jajovski and Kevin Ryan.
The next round of the GT Pro Series will take place at the Imola circuit in two weeks time.
Before then the GT Challenge Series, the feeder championship to the GT Pro Series, will have it’s 30 drivers tackle the undulating Virginia International Raceway next week.