Round 1 Donington Race Report | Season 1

Welcome to the first ever VBTCR race report! For the inaugural round we were off to Donington Park Circuit in Leicestershire, England. Running on the larger Grand Prix layout provided us with some fantastic, close racing with plenty of overtaking opportunities in the superb Audi RS3 LMS TCR. With open qualifying, short 20 minute sprint races and a reverse grid race, it was always going to be an exciting opening couple of races.


With over 35 drivers on the grid, qualifying was not just about who was quickest, but who was able to plan their lap, get everything up to the correct temperature and find some space out on track. Martijn Asschert from Impulse Racing was the driver who managed to time everything to perfection and put in that ultimate lap with a time of 1:37.608, earning himself the first ever VBTCR pole position! Christopher Emms came ever so close, putting in a lap time just 0.087 seconds slower.

race One

After week’s of build up, multiple practice sessions and a hotly contested qualifying there was a lot of excitement going into race one, with a race length of just 20 minutes there were many drivers looking to make quick progress through the field. Leon Grames managed to do just this by gaining a huge 9 positions on the opening lap! Terje Flåten did not fair so well, being the unfortunate victim of a lap one racing incident, he was pushed off into the gravel trap at coppice sending him tumbling down the order and into 30th place.


Race one was full of midfield battles but out front Martijn Asschert was untouchable, leading every single lap from start to finish and keeping Dan Mould at bay who was consistently keeping around a second behind but couldn’t quite close on that gap and get the overtake done. Andreas Gillmann brought his car home to take P3 and put two Impulse cars up on the podium.


race two - reverse grid race

After a short break it was on to race two and a full 36 car reverse grid. There was concerns over what reversing such a large grid would do to the quality of racing but it gave exactly what we were hoping for, a real challenge for some faster drivers to battle their way through but also a great opportunity for drivers who didn’t have an ideal race one to reset, try again and put their defending skills to the test.

Turn one provided some challenges with some four car wide battles entering the braking zone. Insignia racing came off worst with both of their cars being turned sideways across the track. What then followed was 20 minutes of near constant battles, overtakes and some thoroughly entertaining racing. 

Neil Butler drove a superb race to bring home the win with Bostjan Fujs in second and Terje Flåten being able to recover from the disappointment of race one and get his first podium. Race two can’t be covered without mentioning the progress that Dan Mould made, starting way down in 35th and unbelievably bringing his Audi RS3 all the way up to 4th place.


So that was the first two races of the Virtual British TCR Championship. We had an absolute blast running this opening round and can’t wait to hit Brands Hatch in just under a weeks time.

Dan Mould came away from Donington leading the championship with his team Ignium Motorsport also taking the top spot in the teams points. Jack Newell is currently sitting nicely as the highest placed rookie driver, with some very consistent results in the first two races. However, after just one round there’s a whole lot of points to play for throughout the rest of the season, will they be able to keep that lead after round two?

To witness the full excitement of VBTCR please have a watch of the race broadcast and make sure to come back in two weeks time to see how all the drivers fair at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

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