Championship Still to Play For as eSeries Passes Season Mid-Point
The MSL FastR Touring Car eSeries with Power Maxed Racing, powered by VRRC blasted into the Snetterton 300 circuit and witnessed a massive shake up of the order. Live-streamed across a number of social networks and channels with commentary from David Addison and Andy McEwan the action didn’t disappoint.
Entering the round, the championship was led by the Ten Tenths Coaching duo of Mike Epps and Dave Marshall with Jack Keithley and Robbie Stapleford hot on their heels. Their success ballast though, would hamper them. The Snetterton event also saw some new entries, Alex Toth-Jones in his second event in a Power Maxed Racing entry, as Dave Ward also joined representing championship sponsors 'FastR'. Dan Zelos joined in the Davanti eSports car as well as serial sim front runner, Jack McIntyre. All would carry 45kg as late entry ballast.
As qualifying drew to a close it was Chartlie Oliver who was at the top of the times. He took it by 3 tenths from Isaac Smith, Callum Newsham and Senna Proctor. Of the title protagonists Keithley was 11th, Marshall 12th and Epps 15th.
While Isaac Smith managed to take the lead at the first corner, he immediately ran wide gifting it back to Oliver. There was chaos behind as a multi car pileup involved Senna Proctor, Rob Butler and the luckless Dave Newsham. The virtual safety car was deployed to allow all drivers to regroup and got back going by the end of the lap. Oliver, Newsham, Smith and Edmundson all escaped up the road as a large gap appeared behind. Jordan Brennan led the next pack which included Max Bird, Proctor, Marshall, the debuting Zelos and Keithley. Epps lead the next group, managing to hold station with championship leader ballast attached to his car.
The front two developed a gap over those behind and with 8 minutes to go Callum Newsham hit the front with a sensational move around the outside at turn one. With three minutes left on the clock it was Dave Marshall who was the man on the move. He claimed 7th from Bird who then suffered a nudge from Epps at the Brundle Nelson chicane. A lap later and a computer issue caused Epps to retire, it would also rule the championship leader out of the second race. Meanwhile, the recovering Dave Newsham was on a charge and came back to a point scoring finish.
Onto the final lap Callum Newsham and Charlie Oliver were right together. The two went door handle to door handle, passing each other 5 times on the final lap. In the end though it was Charlie Oliver who took the win from Callum Newsham. Isaac Smith claimed the final podium spot from Jordan Brennan who passed Max Edmundson in the final stages to take 4th. Senna Proctor rounded out the top 6 from new championship leader Dave Marshall. It was Rob Butler who claimed the reverse grid pole from the debuting Dan Zelos.
The second race began with a dead heat into turn one between Zelos and Butler, they made contact at thought which ended up with Butler spearing across the track causing carnage behind. It was Robbie Stapleford though who managed to claim the lead from Jack Keithley as the Safety Car was deployed to bunch the pack up. Rob Butler was on the move though and immediately passed the weight laden Dave Marshall who was struggling to maintain position.
The race settled down, until mid-race distance. Keithley passed Stapleford for the lead, but the two stayed together with Butler also climbing passed Stapleford at turn two, again with a late braking lunge. Meanwhile though, Callum Newsham was on a charge and with just a handful of laps remaining had closed in on the podium battle. With three minutes left Newsham got to 3rd place, with the lead battle brewing! A lap later though, Newsham passed Butler to go 2nd. He had three laps to close a 1.5 second gap to Keithley, was it enough time?
Onto the final lap, Newsham on Keithley's tail. He got the run onto the Bentley Straight and passed into the Brundle Nelson chicane as he found a Hyundai sized gap on the inside of Keithley. He managed to hold it and took the win by just three tenths from Jack Keithley and Rob Butler 3rd. Charlie Oliver hung onto 4th despite being in 6th at points during the final lap. Jordan Brennan was 5th and Stapleford rounded out the top 6. Dave Newsham had what seemed to be his first trouble free race to finish 7th ahead of Dan Zelos, Martin Richards and Max Goff rounding out the top 10.
Dave Marshall finished a lowly 13th. Epps was unfortunately unable to rejoin and had DNS for race two. The result meant first time race winner Newsham now leads the standings ahead of Marshall, Keithley, Oliver, Brennan, Butler, Epps.
Afterwards the undisputed driver of the day, Callum Newsham said, "Honestly, I didn't think I would get it because Jack is so quick, especially with the weight he was carrying. I'm so happy! I was just trying to go as fast as I could to catch him and have a chance to pass before the flag dropped. Now it's game on, I needed a lot of points this weekend and now I'm back in the championship fight."
The races can be watched back via the VRRC YouTube or Facebook page with round four coming from Snetterton tomorrow. David Addison will again be joined by Andy McEwan in the commentary box.
LIVE STREAM LINKS for round three:
Championship Results & Standings: https://vrrceseries1.emperorservers.com/championship/5cda1c50-d74b-435e-8165-5fde79d2cc30