Updated: Oct 28
It was a difficult afternoon of racing for all the Satellite Racing teams competing in the first installment of the 2021 edition of the Virtual Endurance Championship (VEC) in rFactor 2. All four cars in both Division 1 and 2 suffered from incidents of some description not of their own doing, some more catastrophic than others, making Monza a round to forget by looking forward towards the next race meeting at Spa for redemption and success.
In Division 1, the issues started early as a mistake coming to the green in the DPi field caused a stack up and spin, subsequently causing a chain reaction within the GTE field when they met the stationary DPi. "The first race of the season ended in disappointment," said Jimi Nisula, one of the drivers of the #64 Moradness eStars Corvette GTE. "The unlucky chain crash of the first lap caused 7-minute repairs to the car, after which there was not much to be done. After a long break, competing in the high-class Virtual Endurance Championship was a great experience, as always. We're hopeful of better success at Spa since we've had great pace there in the past." Also in Division 1, the #21 DPi unluckily did not fare better -- connection issues early in the race caused a premature retirement for a car with high hopes for a good finish. "Going into the race the #21 crew knew they would need to work hard and stay clean to perform in the Division," said driver David Nichols. "The team was left with no other option but to pull Ian (Peiffer) out of the race straight away once the network issues appeared less he cause (more) damage to other cars unable to see him in the server." Looking forward towards the next round at Spa, Nichols explained, "We know we have a good setup for Spa, with the team recently completing a 24 Hour race there. All three members of the #21 took part in that race and should not take long to get back up to speed at that historic track."
Over in Division 2, the #23 DPi driven by Ryan Nash and Nello Pastorino also suffered a disappointing result, finishing just off the podium after suffering from a crash which required 3 minutes of repairs. "Monza was disappointing for the #23 DPi," said Nash. "Once again the fastest car on the server but we couldn't turn this into the result we wanted. Improvement wise I'm not sure really what we can do other than don't crash and have 3 minutes of repairs. Expectations for Spa have to be a race win -- we really need to be at the top in Division 1 where we belong and the only way we can do this is by winning."
The sister GTE car in Division 2 had an admirable recovery effort after an early incident entering Turn 1, putting the car at the tail of the field -- it battled back to ninth position, but its luck took a turn and ended with a 16th-place finishing position. "The excellent recovery drive that followed a T1 incident put us back into contention slowly but surely throughout 3 consecutive stints," said Jan Granqvist, co-driver of the #265 entry with Liam Rance, Adam State, and Tom Kapusta.
"(Adam)'Statey' did a good job engineering me through the stint. Can't say much about the race afterwards as all the hard work essentially went to waste in that round. But it's a crucial learning experience and lesson to help push us for a win for the next race."
Final Finishing Order:
#21 VRS Satellite Racing Cadillac DPi
#64 Moradness eStars Corvette C7.R GTE
#23 VRS Satellite Racing Cadillac DPi
#265 VRS Satellite Racing Corvette C7.R GTE
2021 VEC Schedule:
6 Hours of Monza
October 9, 2021
8 Hours of Spa
November 6, 2021
January 8, 2022
1000 Miles of Sebring
March 12, 2022
6 Hours of Nurburgring
April 9, 2022
24 Hours of Le Mans
June 4, 2022
Be sure to follow Satellite Racing throughout the Virtual Endurance Championship season by watching the race broadcasts and by reading our race recaps!