Two rounds of the TCR series are finished, and our drivers had some great results. First, both drivers had two laps to set a qualifying time. Quentin De Boever set a respectable time which put him in 17th on the grid. Olivier Bellanger had a better go of things and set a blistering time to qualify in 3rd. These results were terrific considering the tight 35-car field! The first race got underway with relative ease for both drivers, as Bellanger fought at the front of the pack. Meanwhile, De Boever made up a few spots from the middle of the pack. In the end, Bellanger finished race #1 in 2nd place while De Boever managed 15th. In race #2, the top 10 drivers were inverted on the grid. This meant Bellanger would start from 9th, while De Boever started in 15th. After two laps of chaos, both drivers were able to settle down and find their rhythm. Bellanger worked his way up the field brilliantly to claim 3rd, and De Boever was fighting in a 3-car battle until the very end, but he lost out and came home 16th. Here's what the drivers had to say about the event:
"Pretty happy with the overall performance in the first event of the season. Although, I feel we were on the back foot in terms of overall pace from the start. Despite a solid P3 in qualifying, being half a second off pole shows I've got some work to do on the car setup and driving to improve my one lap pace. My race pace felt much stronger, which allowed me to fight right from the start for the lead, and eventually gaining a spot to finish race #1 a position up. The long run pace was present again in race #2, and I was able to fight my way to the front after starting P9. I was happy to get two podiums even with some chaos and a few off-track incidents. It also feels good to be near the top of the championship standings, only one point behind the leader."
Quentin De Boever
"I had a great time in my first TCR event, and there are so many positives to take away from it. My qualifying was decent, although I definitely left some time on the table. However, the fact that I managed to get through both races relatively unscathed was a huge win. I was so worried about making a big mistake and spinning or hitting something. My race pace was pretty consistent, although I suffered with higher-than-usual tire degradation. I assume everyone had the same issue though, which was most likely caused by the hot, greasy track conditions. In the end, I had some good battles and brough home decent points for the team. Hopefully I can improve and come back stronger for the event at Daytona next week!"
Solid performances from both drivers means that we leave round one with a small lead in the constructors' championship. The team are now gearing up for round two next week at Daytona, which should prove to be a much different beast than Road Atlanta! We would like to thank all of our fans for the continued support as well as our sponsors, which you can learn more about by checking the Partners page of our website. Also, a special thanks to Martin Sports Car Club for hosting this TCR series on iRacing! Look out around late February for a mid-season update from the team!