The racing is finally underway in the 2019 Playseat® SMS-R Series, Powered by The Events House. Portugal’s Autodromo Algarve was the venue for our fastest Challenger Drivers to battle for a place in the main Championship Series. All of the drivers qualified through Project CARS 2 Community Events, and proved their raw speed, but how would they manage in a tense 20 minute Touring Car race?
All of the pilots were in the Mercedes-AMG A45 Touring Car, and consistency was the key to success, as was management of tyre temperatures on this twisting, undulating circuit. It’s also a very long lap for these Touring Cars. Drivers who battled too hard in the early stages could definitely pay for it by needing to manage higher temperatures in the final few laps, particularly on the front left tyre.
This was a tough race, thanks to the circuit’s many blind apexes, long run-off areas, and a really fast final corner onto the massive start/finish straight, with lots of potential for slipstreaming.
Only the top 10 would advance from this Shootout Race to take a place in the main Championship Series.
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Qualifying for the Shootout Race was incredibly close, with less than 1 second separating the top 16. The THR drivers performed superbly, as Dalking ultimately took the pole position, with Operator just behind in second. There were only 4 hundredths of a second between them.
Dalking made a great start and held his lead on the opening lap. It was a clean first corner towards the front of the field, with some good race craft on display from those drivers. The rest of the first lap was proper touring car stuff, with drivers going three and four wide into numerous corners.
As the action unfolded, the top 7 drivers pulled away to make themselves comfortable to qualify for the main Championship Series, but a 5 car battle developed for the final three places in the top 10. It went on lap-after-lap for more than half of the race, until Ockerocker and Guibz made contact. This made a space for Ace, Pelucca and Popsu to squeeze into the top 10.
Operator took the race win, with his THR teammate Dalking in second, in a very well managed performance from lights to flag. Mr Van Ommen also did a superb job with a clean drive to take the final podium spot.
A handful of drivers received small time penalties from the Apex Online Racing adjudicators after the race for making avoidable contact with their competitors during the close battles for position.
Check out the final results below to find out which drivers made it into the top 10, to progress to share the track with our Pro Class teams in the main Championship Series. The successful drivers will be contacted directly by the organisers in the next few days, to give them some more details about the preparations for the main Series.
The first multi-class race in the main Championship Series is on Thursday April 4 at 20:00 GMT. Make sure you subscribe to Apex Online Racing at YouTube and tune in for all of the action from Hockenheim. Get ready for some intense competition, as our 10 Pro Class teams hit the track in GT3 machinery, alongside the successful Challenger drivers in their Touring Cars.
Challenger Shootout Race Results