TORA British GT: Hoch and Sherlock celebrate win apiece at Silverstone
Esports+CARS drivers David Hoch and Jay Sherlock claimed a victory apiece in the latest TORA British GT eSports Championship round at Silverstone last weekend.
Anyone doubting the series’ level of competition need only glance at the qualifying times ahead of the opening encounter at Silverstone where the top nine GT3 drivers were covered by just under a second and the first four by a tenth. Clearly 2017’s fourth outing was going to be incredibly close.
Race 1 pole went not to the much-fancied esports+CARS squad but to Dan Nyman’s Praga Karting by F4H Huracan, the sole F4H Lamborghini claiming top spot by two hundredths of a second over the first of the the esports+CARS Aston Martins driven by Hoch. Third went to team-mate Sherlock and completing the tight quartet was Lanan Racing’s James Brown.
The first encounter was very much a story of pit strategy for the esports+CARS Astons. Nyman held onto his lead at the start and made the Huracan just wide enough to prevent Hoch and Sherlock from making a pass stick. However, better in-laps from the Aston duo helped them emerge from the pitstops running one-two ahead of a frustrated Nyman in third.
Another esports+CARS entry, this time driven by Matt Kennedy, claimed fourth with a final lap pass on Brown’s HCR Lanan Viper. The brilliant move started at Brooklands and was complete by the National Pit Straight.
Race 2 was a similar story, albeit without F4H’s Lamborghini-shaped cork in the bottle! Sherlock and Hoch were free to pull away from the field but were kept honest by Nyman’s concerted efforts throughout.
However, while Sherlock led team-mate Hoch home for a one-two ahead of Nyman, Kennedy’s third esports+CARS Aston Martin ended its afternoon in the Luffied barriers following a steering issue while battling with Henry-Noah Schmitz and Ross May.
The opening GT4 race boiled down to a battle between Beechdean Motorsport’s Gary Mitchell
and the HCR-run Maserati driven by Nick Sneijder.
With HCR team-mate Cal Hawkins racing in the lower lobby after missing qualifying, it was left to Sneijder to uphold honours for Happy Cat Racing’s GT4 squad. And he duly delivered following a tense battle with Mitchell. Third place in Race 1 went the way of Ty Butler in his Fortec Porsche Cayman.
With Mitchell unable to compete in Race 2, Sneijder was free to make good his escape. Focus therefore shifted to the close battle for the remaining podium places between Butler, Ashley Mansfield (HCR Airwaves BMW) and Kieran Millward (Beechdean).
All three drivers remained locked together after the pitstops just as they had before, and at the chequered flag only a second covered all three manufacturers - proof positive that GT4’s BoP has also worked very well in the TORA British GT eSports Championship.
Spa-Francorchamps, a firm favourite amongst drivers and teams, is next up on July 23.
A full replay of the Silverstone meeting can be found on YMTV: https://youtu.be/77qdHR6V4Lg