The First Driver Development Programme of Positive SimRacing, powered by Virtual Racing School was launched at the start of the Season 2, 2017. Eight drivers joined the main Programme with the goal of preparing two competitive cars for the qualifiers to the Blancpain WC GT Series. At the same time, a Junior Programme was launched with drivers with very good potential in the mid-long term.
After two Seasons of VRS coaching, intensive team's work and a lot of individual practice, the cars were ready to face the challenge of the Blancpain Qualifiers. The results so far were excellent, both in terms of driver's improvement and standings in the third season of 2017 in BES, BSS and IMSA.
By the start of the qualifiers, the team presented the Mercedes PSR Orange (Javi Utreras, Roque García and Justin Richesin), the Mercedes PSR Red (Roy Kolbe, Bradlee Haley and Phil Mishaga) and the McLaren PSR Yellow (Adaildo Vieira and Adré Paulo). Those 8 drivers significantly improved his pace during the Programme. As an indicator of the improvement, their iRating changed in 6 months from an average of 4190 to an average of 5640. Later, the cars were reinforced with Jon Piesnik, Dino Filippa and Marlon Bastos.
After the 6 rounds of the Qualifiers, Red car finished in P38, with 1190 points, while Orange car finished in P41 and Yellow in P46. Despite the cars finished out of the top 25, in an extremely competitive competition where experience is a must, the results should be considered as very good, considering that the team and most of the drivers were participating for the first time.
The first round was one of the best Q for the team, with P4 (Adaildo and André) in the top split, and all our cars in top 15 (Orange P10, Red P13). The Yellow car lead the race for 17 laps, finishing stint 1 in P1. Unfortunately, we got disconnected in lap 51, while we were P4 recovering from the pits. The team made also an excellent Q in Suzuka (round 3), where the Red car started P3 (Roy).
In terms of points, some of the best results of the team were achieved in Round 1, with a P8 clinched by the Orange car in Monza (283 points) in the top split, and a P2 in the 2nd split for the Yellow car (250 points). In Round 3 (Suzuka) the Red car finished P15 in the top split (254 points). The best result was a P7 of the Red car in the last race, but the SOF (around 4K) prevented the team to gain good points.
With these results, and far of being disappointed because not entering in the WC in this first attempt, the team is planning a new successful year. The plans are to complete a good lineup with the best drivers fitting in the project and a couple of good additions. The collaboration with Virtual Racing School is also foreseen as a key for the success.
We want to acknowledge the effort of the VRS staff and coaches, and particularly David Williams and Rens Broekman, for his dedication and support during the past year.
Positive SimRacing also wants to congratulate the top 26 teams achieving the WC license in such a extremely competitive qualifiers.