Season 3 of the GT Pro Series is one of the most unpredictable sim racing championships you will tune in to see all year. Some surprises were expected after the brand new pre-season draft phase, but to see two new race winners for the first time of asking was truly something. Furthermore, there were now serious concerns as to the overall competitiveness of last season’s front runners with Erhan Jajovski and Kevin ‘Siggy’ Rebernak suffering miserable evenings as they fought for the crown in another championship.
Every race gives every driver a chance to earn some cash, so in this world of varying weight penalties and compromised car picks, the prize pool may end up more evenly split than anyone could have expected.
GT Pro, Round 2, Spa, Qualifying
Round 2’s venue of Spa-Francorchamps would offer plenty of intrigue not just through the nature of the circuit but the time at which the event would take place, starting in the early stages of the evening and transitioning to a night race for the Feature bout.
Burst Esports found themselves dominating in qualifying for the preceding Sprint Race locking out the front row with the Audi duo of Michi Hoyer and Jernej Simoncic. Dennis Jordan would begin from P4, joined on the second row by a fellow Bentley in the form of Nuno Pinto.
Imola’s Feature winner and championship leader Luca D’Amelio got as high as P5 whilst his early title rival Jordy Zwiers struggled and could only manage P13 – unlucky for some.
Once again the class of 2020 struggled; Kevin Siggy P27 and Erhan Jajovski P29. It looks like they will be fighting to stave off relegation in 2021.
GT Pro, Round 2, Spa, Sprint Race
From sixth on the grid, Alan Terzic stole a march on everyone around him as lights went green. D’Amelio was behind him out of La Source and after a monster draft down the Kemmel Straight he moved up a further two places to put himself firmly on the podium. Frustrating for Jordan who had done the business passing Pinto.
Kaspar Stolze would also find a lot of joy in the opening few minutes giving more to celebrate for Jean Alesi Esports. Starting from P7, his journey to the top five only took him a lap and a half.
Heading into the final chicane with just over seven minutes left to expire, Terzic made his next big play. With Simoncic leaving plenty of room on the inside, the BS+ driver planted his BMW down the inside and punished Jernej with aplomb. Second was now his.
Despite their strong team showing, there was no need for team orders at Burst with no championship for them to compete in as an outfit. This fact was none clearer than when Jordan attempted to overtake Simoncic for third into Les Combes with just two minutes remaining. On the backfoot, the German tried to keep Stolze back but was ultimately passed.
No one could pass his compatriot Michi Hoyer, however, who cruised to his first win in the GT Pro Series ahead of Terzic and Simoncic. Following a controversial incident on the final lap, Joonas Raivio claimed the reverse grid pole ahead of a furious Timotej Andonovski.
- M. Hoyer – 8 LAPS
- A. Terzic
- J. Simoncic
- K. Stolze
- D. Jordan
- N. Pinto
- L. D’Amelio
- J. Brzezinski
- J. von Der Heyde
- J. Raivio
GT Pro, Round 2, Spa, Main Race
If the Sprint start was intriguing, the Feature start could only be classified as eye-popping. Amongst the chaos, there was contact between championship pacesetter D’Amelio and race one hero Stolze over the crest of Raidillon. Both hit the barriers hard.
As mayhem ensued behind, Raivio began to settle in for the long haul following a clean getaway. Simoncic ended up being the only driver to get a podium in the first race and be totally unaffected at the start; both Hoyer and Terzic found grief somewhere along the line. Ferris Stanley would be the next to taste Eau Rouge’s wrath as a sideways moment for Zwiers ahead would directly result in him losing three positions in a row and ejecting him from the top ten.
Swathes of time passed before another truly significant move came about. With over eleven minutes still on the clock, Brzezinski had been studying Jan von der Heyde ahead in second and had judged that Les Combes would be the best place to strike. He did so with deadly precision around the outside of the Dutchman to claim second place as his own.
Still not content, the Pole ate away at Raivio’s lead to set up a showdown with three minutes to go on the timer. Despite two full laps to attack however, and attack he most certainly did, he could not overhaul Raivio; the Finn making it four brand new winners in the first four races of the season. Further down the order, a late pitstop in the day would rob Zwiers of a top ten finish.
- J. Raivio – 21 LAPS
- J. Brzezinski
- J. von der Heyde
- N. Pinto
- D. Jordan
- J. Nisula
- J. Simoncic
- Y. Kasdorp
- T. Andonovski
- Z. Siara
It is desperately difficult to say that anybody is a championship favourite at this point with so many of the winners in Imola suffering hugely in Belgium. The rFactor 2 GT Pro Series powered by Traxion will continue nonetheless in two weeks time when the field travels west to the UK and the Silverstone Circuit.
Remember that you can catch every event LIVE on the Traxion YouTube channel. 5th April is the next date to look out for.