The hotly contested meeting at Brands Hatch held some close racing and a fantastic 30-car final race.
Sixty drivers took part in the first meeting in Mazda MX5s. Qualifying would decide the two heats, with the odd numbered finishing positions in heat one and even in race two.
In heat one the esports racers led out front. Luke Bennett led from David Williams, in what was an 8-lap race, the lead closed to within 0.4 seconds and remained that way throughout, allowing 3rd place man Jamie Rushworth with a decades worth of sim experience to close. Williams tried the cutback towards Surtees on the final lap, but it wasn’t enough. Bennett won by 0.3 seconds with Rushworth a further 0.35 seconds back from Williams. The top 15 would go through to the final race.
In heat two Jason Cooper, the 2019 BSR Mazda MX5 Pro Series Champion, took the lead from Jack McIntyre. Some real racers suffered during the heat with Brett Lidsey pitting on lap 3, former Civic Cup champion Rob Baker fought for 9th with ex British GT racer Mike Hart. The battle was heated between Maarten van Reeuwijk and Stuart McPhaden as the former tried a move around the outside of McPhaden at Clearways sending them both off. They both recovered and still finished in the top 15 as other drivers hit trouble. Up front and Cooper took victory by just 0.18 seconds from McIntyre and Kelly, the top three separated by 0.4 seconds.
The top 15 from both heats advanced to the final race of the evening. With a reverse grid Jack Wilson started on pole, but Stuart McPhaden who had dramas in heat 2, set up a move on Wilson at Paddock Hill and completed it at Druids to take the lead. The drivers from the two heats starting at the back began to make progress, heat 2 winner Cooper moved quickly up the order and soon found himself in the top 5. There was drama up front as McPhaden dropped down the order on lap 6, the group behind traded places, with Hart taking the lead as Wilson and David Kelly came together along with Kieran Andreoli. Rushworth led on lap 8 as Hart pitted from the lead, Cooper’s drive through the field continued and by lap 12 he was pushing the top two. David Williams was the new leader with three laps to go making up 28 places to win, Cooper took 2nd with Rushworth 3rd.
Results from heat one, two and the final:
The drivers will look forward to the next meeting, taking place next Saturday 25th April at Oulton Park
Pro Racing Simulators and Trackobession will bring you the latest live stream at 8pm.
Feature race can be watched here: