Round 2 Donington Race Report | Season 2

Hello and welcome to the VBTCR race report from the second round of the championship, held at Donington Park in Leicestershire. This week we had 32 cars taking on the 2.487 mile (4.00 km) Grand Prix circuit, all battling it out to have their names at the top of the leaderboard. Donington is one of the most internationally-renowned and historically significant circuits in the world, hosting a variety of motorsport events including the FIM Superbike World Championship, as well as the Bennetts British Superbike, British GT, F3 and of course the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship. Donington will also host the second round of the TCR UK championship in 2022.


A vastly different track to the opening round at Silverstone would present drivers with many challenges and would perhaps give a few drivers who didn’t fair so well at round one to show their true pace here, at the oldest motorsport circuit still in operation in the UK.


As always, the 15 minute open qualifying session began and drivers were keep to get out on track. Compared to Silverstone however, a lot of drivers seemed to consider their timing when exiting the pits, meaning that generally everyone had a fair bit of space as opposed to half of the grid trying to leave the pits at once. On a shorter track like Donington, this made a big difference to peoples qualifying session. Last rounds pole sitter Roman Paerschke unfortunately couldn’t make the races this week and with such close times at the front of the grid at Silverstone, the opportunity for anyone to take pole position was wide open. 

Once again the lap times at the top of the time sheets were ever so close, but it was Pulsus eSports driver Mats Borge Andersen that managed to find those extra tenths and put his Honda Civic Type R on pole position. Starting alongside Mats was Mad4Mini – Heusinkveld driver Ryan Elliott, keeping his team on the front row once again, even in Roman’s absence. 

UK Sim Racing driver Ell Neal once again put his Audi RS3 onto third place on the grid with Jack Johns and Sam Vanolst rounding out the top five.

Scott Morris was the highest qualifying rookie driver, starting up in 16th position it was a fantastic lap from the TR powered by Geekz Energy driver.

race One


Race one kicked off with a bang, with some close, hard racing right at the front of the grid, contact was made between Ryan Elliott and Jack Johns shortly after turn one which left the unlucky pair that was Ell Neal and Sam Vanolst being caught up in the incident, sent into the barrier and subsequently to the back of the field. The rest of the grid got away cleanly with plenty of side by side battles into turn one and continuing down into the craner curves all while Mats Borge Andersen (who was ahead of the turn one incident) could zoom off up the road and into a nice healthy lead.  Jack Johns managed to pick up a slow down penalty in the process of all this, which on lap one is a disaster that sent him back to around 20th place.

Wheels dipped onto the unforgiving grass caught quite a few drivers out on the opening laps with some getting away with only a loss of a few positions and others being not so lucky and managing to find their way into a barrier. 

Ryan Smith was the biggest beneficiary of the turn one incident, moving up from 9th on the grid to 3rd place where he would stay for the remainder of the race was a fantastic result and a VBTCR best finish for the Audi RS3 driver. Mats Borge Andersen managed to hold a healthy lead for the entire race with Ryan Elliot earning himself another race one 2nd place finish. Chequers Racing driver Peter Galdies deserves a mention as the rookie driver started in 22nd position but managed to drive his was up to a VBTCR best finish of 15th, great progress from the Veloster driver!


race two - reverse grid race

As we all know, race two in the VBTCR means a full reverse grid and after the implementation of the new ‘second chance restart’ process and Silverstone, we were glad to see that it was not needed here. Even with an unlucky Martyn Pearson, who got tagged into turn one and sent sideways across the track, it was great to see everyone alert and proactive in their driving, meaning that everyone made it through cleanly and with minimal time lost.

As always, race two provides us with a vast amount of thrilling battles throughout the whole grid. We had drivers trying to make up for their poor luck in race one, others making the most of the higher starting position that the reverse grid offers them and drivers trying to maximise their points haul after a successful race one.

Ryan Elliot has clearly got the hang of the VBTCR format, fighting his way up to 4th place and getting oh so close to that double podium which very few have managed to achieve. Ell Neal was our race two winner, earning himself a result he knew he deserved after being dealt a bad hand in race one. Goldwing Motorsport driver Sam Vanolst took the fight to Ell for the entirety of the race distance, battling bumper to bumper right up until the final corner but ultimately bringing it home in 2nd place, just 0.429 seconds behind Ell. Chris Young finished off his first round of VBTCR with a well deserved podium, finishing just over 3 seconds behind the leader. Spud Motorsport driver Alfie Mcgarrity was the highest placed rookie driver in race two, another one who suffered from some bad luck early on in race one and managed to make the most of the reverse grid race.


Four races in and we have had four different winners, with the Honda Civic taking two of those victories, the Hyundai Veloster and Audi RS3 taking one each it’s only the Hyundai Elantra that hasn’t been able to make it to the top step so far.

Unsurprisingly with his race win and fifth place in race two, Mats Borge Andersen has managed to knock Thomas Dandridge off of the top spot in the drivers championship. Thomas now sits closely behind in second place, whilst Ryan Elliott has jumped up to third. Even after scoring zero points at the Donington round, Neil Goodacre is still leading the rookies championship which shows just how well he did at Silverstone. It has however given Scott Morris (now in second, trailing by just 5 points) and all of the other rookie drivers the opportunity to close the gap to Neil.

Looking at the teams championship, Pulsus eSports are still sitting in the top spot and with Mad4Mini – Heusinkveld being a driver down this week, UK Sim Racing have managed to jump up to second place.

Make sure to watch the race broadcast over on our YouTube channel to see exactly how it all went down at Donington!

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.