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Race Wrap - Oceanic Sprint Championship R3

Three Fusion SimRacing drivers took part in round 3 at Silverstone of the GT-Leagues Australia run Oceanic Sprint Championship broadcast by V8sonline. One word would describe qualifying for drivers Craig Edwards and Blake Neck in their Amazon Web Services Audi GT3’s, “Dominating”. Edwards with a 1:42.509 time, 5 tenths clear of 3rd place and Neck’s 1:42.623 some 4 tenths clear. Trent Thomas was the third driver, struggling through brake pedal issues and coming to terms with the track, managed to qualify 9th with a time of 1:43.533 in his Amazon Web Services Mercedes.

Edwards got the jump at the start and managed to clear Neck easily before Copse. Neck was pressured by 3rd place but held the outside line and was easily ahead before coming into Maggots. Thomas made a solid start and was able to avoid a strong attack from behind with enough room on the outside to avoid contact from the attacking car on the inside. Edwards and Neck continued to stretch their lead until misfortune struck Neck on the entry to Priory when the rear end stepped out and he spun. Although able to get manage a quick recovery, the damage had been done and he slipped back to 16th place.

Lap 2 did not start much better when Neck had to avoid an accident in Chapel and again found the grass and spun. Neck rejoined the track in 25th position and his race would be focused on solid a recovery drive. Thomas, meanwhile, was in a battle for 8th position and managed to fend off a solid move with some side by side racing through Stowe and held onto the spot with a defensive line into Vale. By the end of lap 2, Edwards had created a 2 second lead, which extended to 3 seconds at the end of the next lap as the 2nd place car pulled over and retired.

At the end of lap 5, Thomas had a slight slide exiting Luffield and lost a position but managed to stick with the car that got by him. Neck chose to pit early after 7 laps to complete the required fuel stop to make it to the checkered flag. Thomas started to lose about a tenth of a second per lap to the car ahead and decided to pit after 15 laps. Edwards continued to build his lead out to almost 8 second before pitting after completing 21 laps. A slight moment in the pit lane avoiding an unsafely released car did cost Edwards some time.

Edwards cruised home for victory after 26 laps with a margin just under 7 seconds. Pole, fastest lap and victory for the AWS Audi GT3. Thomas almost compromised his 7th place with his early stop by coming out in traffic but managed to hold off a fast charging challenger in the final laps. Neck had managed to fight back for a solid 10th place finish after falling back to as low as 28th place after his pit stop.

4 different manufacturers filled the top 4 places, going some way in proving that iRacing’s latest BoP updates to the GT3 field has been quite successful in creating closer competition between the cars. A mixed bag of results for the Fusion SimRacing drivers but overall a very successful event. Round 4 of OSC will be held in a fortnight’s time and Donington Park Racing Circuit.

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