Winner – Nick Newcombe (Schubert Motorsport) 68 laps, 2:01:27.698
Fastest Lap – Chris Shire (Dirty Gweilo Racing) 1:43.107
Nick Newcombe has won Round 2 of the RF2 Asia World Tour series in an action packed 68 laps which saw the lead change hands several times between Newcombe, Chris Shire and Pablo Lorenti in the GTE class. Newcombe managed to take the lead on lap 47 and hung on until the end after a disastrous pitstop mistake from Dirty Gweilo Racing’s Chris Shire allowed him and Lorenti to go past. When Shire exited the pits Newcombe saw he had a gap of about 55 seconds and “saw it open as I pushed hard for around 10 laps to 1:04, then eased pace to maintain that gap.” Shire was gutted after the race and felt that he had “thrown it away” having led for 35 laps and pulled out a sizeable lead. This was an excellent way for Newcombe to start the World Tour series and certainly class leader Shire will be wary of the threat he faces.A frantic start
Further back another new entrant to the series, Lukas Lichten, had an outstanding race from the back of the field to finish third in class and fourth overall. Mectech’s Lichten had not set a qualifying time and had a poor start in an incident with Mark Robinson. However, Lichten said after the race that he “then started working my way up the field to fourth, third in class, where I stayed the entire race because everyone behind me was 2s a lap slower and everyone in front was 2s a lap faster.” Lichten took a daring strategy during the race and drastically minimised his pitstop time by only taking fuel rather than changing tyres or repairing damage. Lichten was followed home by Carlos Limjoco of Archon Racing, also in his first race in the series. Limjoco felt the pressure during the race and said afterwards that he was “relieved and pumped as it was my first online race longer than 30mins.” Limjoco ran out of fuel on the final lap and so had to coast to the finish line.
Further back in the class Mark Robinson had what he describes as a “shocker” of a race when he was “tagged into the chicane on the first lap, lost my rear wing and had to pit to repair.” Robinson then had some issues with slower cars on track as he had elected to move to the LMP3 class after qualifying in the GTE and had to start from the back of the grid. He stated that he “loved the LMP3 but I have had no luck in this series.” The final class finisher was Jason Back of Back Racing who was pleased to have completed the race and felt he had good race pace. A mistake into turn 1 with 10 minutes to go meant that Back had to pit, but felt he achieved a good result nonetheless.Traffic was tough to navigate for everyone
Winner – Pablo Lorenti (RF-Argentina) 68 laps
Fastest Lap – Pablo Lorenti (RF-Argentina) 1:44.725
Pablo Lorenti drove a stunning victory, lapping every other GTE entrant in the field at least twice and finishing second overall. With a fastest lap to boot, the RF-Argentina driver is stamping his authority on the championship. The opening laps Lorenti stated that he struggled with cars around him and their pings, but with many cars making mistakes around him Lorenti kept his head down and found himself as overall leader on lap 43. His one-stop strategy worked, although only just as Lorenti stated that the final 35mins was filled with “a lot of lift and coast to save fuel.” Lorenti was followed home by an out-of-sorts Edmund Wong, who had stated throughout the weekend that he was having trouble getting his Porsche set up the way he liked. Wong had a strong start and was engaged in the three-way battle between himself, Lorenti and Merapi Motorsport’s Mada Andhika. Wong found himself out in front in that battle and running in third overall before he spun on lap 14. Unfortunately for the Hong Kong Sim Racing driver the subsequent pitstop and repair cost him two minutes of time and the race became a recovery drive for him till the end.
Alexandr Meshkov of Senya Racing Team and Pol Faustino of Team Garou Philippines were the final GTE finishers, with Meshkov occupying the final podium spot in the class. He stated that he had a “difficult race.” This, according to Meshkov, was due in part to his inexperience with the car, but mainly the battle to stop the car’s rear tyre from overheating in the race. He spun several times but stated that “I learned a lot today through my mistakes in the race.” Pol Faustino also complained of an overall lack of grip, as well as making mistakes with double downshifting causing the car to spin. He felt that “all I could hope for was other people’s retirement. I had to be patient throughout the race.”
There were several retirements, not least the plucky Metalmoro MR1 of Chris Payne who retired with technical difficulties. However, given the lack of competition Payne remains ahead in the championship for the class. Similarly, the popular Mada Andhika retired on lap 19. Chris Tarboten of RSA Simracing, running his first race in an RF2 Asia series, retired on lap 20 with damage and David Plummer of Tri-Continental Racing made it to lap 52.
RF2 Asia would like to congratulate all participants in a gruelling race! With each race having a different winner in all classes, the series is beginning to hot up as LMP3 leader Chris Shire now has some competition to deal with and new series leader Pablo Lorenti will be looking to extend his new championship lead.
Next RF2 Asia moves to VIRginia raceway for round 3 on September 9th at 10:00 UTC+0. Qualifying will run until 24 hours before the race.
Entries for the series are still possible, as are bespoke car skins from our admin team. If you are not registered and wish to take part, we would love to accommodate you! See the links in the title bar for details.