After the short break over the final week of iRacing’s season one, and the ensuing week 13, the BSR Formula Renault Series returned to the Leicestershire countryside in England to the renowned Donington Park. Peter Berryman now leads the drivers championship, while Apex Racing UK continue to hold a comfortable lead in the team championship, along with Apex Racing Academy in 3rd place. With Donington’s flowing undulations as well as the demanding chicane and consecutive hairpins, it’s a great circuit for overtaking and holds some fantastic possibilities for hard racing with little room for error.
Qualifying: Peter Berryman would be the driver to take pole position by a narrow margin over Graham Carroll who was replacing Pashalis Gergis who has departed from the team. Very close to the front two, was Maarten Van Loozenoord with the Top 3 then being separated by just over half a tenth. 3 tenths back was Oscar Mangan in fourth place, with Samuel Libeert, Josh Thompson and Antoine Higelin meaning it was a lockout from 1st to 7th for Apex Racing UK and Academy. Tom Depke and John Godfrey also took places within the Top 20
Race 1: With the morning conditions and recent tyre update, it left the car quite tricky on the cold rubber. The lights went out and the 7 Apex car’s all got off to decent starts, as they funneled into turn 1, Maarten and Peter both had a moment of snap oversteer with Maarten unfortunately not being able to correct it, giving himself, Graham and Oscar damage, though all 3 continued on. Peter started to pull a gap as Graham struggled with rear wing damage, while Sam, Josh and Antoine were pushing hard in a scrap for a few laps. Tom and John both advanced up the pack and made their way to the brink of the Top 10, with John getting in a 9th place. Oscar with heavy front wing damage limped home to 13th and Maarten over incurred the incident limit ending his race early.
Race 2: After the reverse grid, Oscar was now the highest starting Apex car, with the rest all a fair bit back after the good finishes in race 1. Green light and the field set off, with Oscar getting into 1st place before the end of the first lap and working at pulling out a gap. Bad luck for Josh resulted in a DNF early on, while also John sustained damage. Nevertheless, it wasn’t all bad news as Peter and Antoine were the hard chargers to reach 2nd and 3rd to make it an Apex Racing UK 1-2-3 again in that night. A close race between Graham, Maarten and René Osterkamp saw them place in the Top 10
Race 3: The sun disappeared and the clouds loomed, overcast conditions proving to be quite slippy on the track surface but nonetheless it was easy to adapt. After the win, Oscar was starting at the very back, with Josh, Antoine and Peter. Many took a very cautious approach behind the other teams as it was clear it wasn’t going to probably stay clean with the lack of grip. That was the case as many were involved in a mid pack dilemma resulting in damage for a few such as Sam, Antoine, Peter and John, with Antoine and John retiring. Meanwhile, it was the usual with Graham and Maarten dicing it out hard up ahead of the field, pulling out several seconds over the competitors. It continued for several laps, though disaster struck and with both drivers giving little room, it resulted in a contact that sent Graham into the grass and advancing him towards going over the incident limit, a DNF. Maarten continued on to win the race, while Josh from P25 took 2nd place. Despite damage and misadventures, Peter, Oscar, Sam and Tom all took Top 10 finishes, a good recovery from the few who suffered on lap 1.
Race 4: The finale of the night, back to evening time with cool temps and lots of grip once the tyres bedded in. Due to so many retirements, Maarten would start 15th despite a large reverse, along with other Apex cars starting mid pack. It was a mostly clean start, though a few had to avoid spinners. Early on, Antoine was involved in a few incidents and went over the incident limit, retiring. John was again taking solid points for the Academy team where he placed 17th and fellow team-mate Tom took 12th. Up ahead, there was a large scrap for a good while between Peter, Maarten, Graham and René Osterkamp, while Josh, Oscar and Sam were a bit further back looking to catch up. This dicing continued until a 3 wide move resulted in Maarten spinning and losing a few places, Graham soon found space and pulled a gap while Oscar also passed Sam and Josh with a few to go. Peter who was a comfortable P2, had a screen freeze and spun the car dropping him to 5th. In the end, Graham was happy to finally get a race win, Maarten still coming back to hold 2nd and Oscar 3rd, Josh 4th, Peter 5th as mentioned and Sam 6th. A 1-2-3-4-5-6!
Overall it was quite a successful night for both teams, while the BSR Formula Renault 2.0 Series will return as usual on Tuesday night at Spa Francorchamps for Round 9. Until then, be sure to catch the race LIVE on Apex Racing TV, where you can also catch up on the Montréal broadcast\2222. You can also check out the current Standings as well as all the news from BSR and even how to sign up by clicking HERE. Tune in next week!
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