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A new season of Simautosport’s BTCC Cup is upon us! As usual, I expect to have fun, but to get my ass whipped by faster drivers. Mid-field is great, anything above that is superb.

Great turnout for the first race, with 14 drivers of varying skill levels. I joined the server shortly before qualifying and began running laps as soon as I could. I was gradually knocking time off, but mis-timed the start of my last run, just missing out on making a final push for a time. Unfortunately this put me right at the back, but even then I was only 1.3 seconds off pole! The grid was super tight! Pole was a 1:06.357 from Christian Baxmann, I did a 1:07.740.

I knew the chances of a melee into the first turn were pretty high, so I tried to get a decent start, but also wanted to give myself some space into the turn. This paid off, as I was able to avoid the expected incident and grab 11th, then 9th, in the following few corners of the first lap.

Everyone seemed very evenly matched on this circuit, and I felt Neville Britton behind me was probably faster. I tried to make up as much ground as I could in the early laps, so fought hard with those ahead, grabbing 8th, only to be overtaken by Britton on lap 3.

Stowe corner was my nemesis at this track, almost every time I went into it, I carried too much speed and scrubbed grip from the tires. My decision to run softs began to hit me as being a bad one, and things got gradually worse and worse. By lap 7 I had dropped to 10th, but felt determined to minimize errors… Unfortunately, this didn’t quite work out as I tried to outbrake Balazs Orban… Although I couldn’t see him turning in, I do think it was probably my fault, I sent him spinning while I took a ride on two wheels before regaining control.

Towards the end of the race I was really struggling with worn tires, but then so were a lot of other people. I had Britton behind me again and fought very hard to minimize my errors, again failing to do that as I ran wide and launched myself off a kerb, flying right across the track infront of his windscreen. I would cross the line after 23 laps in 8th place.

Fin Sta Driver Interval Led Fast Lap
1 2 Joern Hoormann 23 laps 23 1:06.749
2 1 Christian Baxmann +0:00.920 0 1:06.841
3 8 Matt Palla +0:14.690 0 1:07.249
4 9 Ray Woolhead +0:25.090 0 1:07.495
5 3 Rob James +0:25.247 0 1:06.735
8 14 Timothy Wheatley +0:39.470 0 1:08.189


Race 1 Highlights.

Pretty happy with the result considering how tight things were and what I believe to have been a bad tire choice. This season, we run two rounds at each track and wow, was Race 2 insane. Inverted grid! I’ll post a report and video from that race soon.

Check out the official race report of both races at Simautosport.com.

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British-born U.S. Resident, Tim Wheatley, works for Image Space Inc., a developer of driver-in-the-loop simulation technology. He lives in Illinois with his wife and children.
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