After two rounds of the NTESERIES Dry Season Cup, the championship fight is well underway. Maverick Benson currently leads the championship after two ever consistent rounds picking up a haul of bonus points through some exceptionally clean driving.
The NTESERIES awards bonus points to drivers who complete an incident free race, with additional points up for grabs for drivers who complete an incident free round, also known as a Golden Round. After picking up a Golden Round at the first event at Brands Hatch, Benson managed to back it up for another incident free round, scoring back-to-back Golden Rounds and several additional bonus points.
Qualifying for Round 2 from Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, saw first time NTESERIES entrant Tyson Broad park his Porsche 992 on pole for race one of the evening, alongside 2022 Shannons Insurance NTESERIES Champion, Jack Widdas.
Race One saw an exceptionally clean start as over 30 Porsche 992’s filed into the tight turn one, two sections of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve track. Unfortunately, Widdas had a night to forget in round 2 after an early mistake on the opening lap saw him lose control of his Porsche 992 and found himself parked and stranded in the middle of the track, in front of a huge field of cars.
The incident with Widdas promoted Sam Dicker into second who went on to battle with Broad for a number of laps, before a late race incident saw Dicker escort Broad off the track at turn two, causing Broad to lose a number of positions and Dicker earning himself a five second post-race penalty for the incident.
With the post-race incident applied, this dropped Dicker to second and promoted Chris Mitchell to his first NTESERIES race win.
A key feature of the Dry Season Cup is the new two race format with progressive grids and one compulsory pit stop (CPS) required across the two races. This new format puts the race strategy back in the hands of the drivers to determine if they take their CPS in Race 1 or Race 2, spicing up the strategies and the podiums.
Once again, this new feature proved for great viewing on our SimSpeed TV Broadcast, showing a range of different leaders throughout the race and a great comparison of racing strategies.
Race two saw Mitchell and Dicker lead the massive field through the opening corners with the field once again getting through extremely clean with no major incidents at turn one.
Later in the opening lap, Dean Hunt made an unfortunate mistake, losing the rear end of his Porsche and causing him to lose several positions, while he sat stationary as the field raced past.
As the CPS cycle commenced, the revised and correct order began to filter to the lead, with John Bradshaw leading the field of cars that had completed their CPS. It came down to the last lap and last corner, with a late charging Widdas making his dive for the line, taking out race two, closely followed by Bradshaw in second and Ray Oliver rounding out the podium in third.
Series organisers were extremely impressed with the high level of driving standards and the quality of racing by entrants at round two of the series. With more than 30 Porsche 992’s taking to the track, only a handful of incidents were required to be investigated by Race Control.
After the opening two round of the championship, the current top 10 championship standings are:
1. Maverick Benson (484)
2. Jack Widdas (472)
3. Chris Mitchell (434)
4. Guy Leach (390)
5. Paul Mansell (387)
6. Ray Oliver (360)
7. John Bradshaw (309)
8. Jacques Swanepoel (306)
9. Dean Powe (287)
10. Zach Wendt-Smith (281)
Full championship results are available on the NTESERIES website.
Round 3 will see drivers head to Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya for another two-race dash on Sunday the 10th of July. Live broadcast of all the action on the NTESERIES and SimSpeedTV Facebook and YouTube from 6:50pm ACST.
For more information, check out www.nteseries.com.au
All images kindly supplied by DM Simtography.