1 August 2017

TORA British GT: eSPORTS+CARS' Sherlock doubles up at Spa

TORA British GT: eSPORTS+CARS' Sherlock doubles up at Spa

eSPORTS+CARS driver Jay Sherlock claimed a double victory in the latest TORA British GT eSports Championship round at Spa-Francorchamps, while JSR’s Nissans dominated the GT4 class.


eSPORTS+CARS two Aston Martins had served notice of their intentions during the previous round at Silverstone, and this time it was Sherlock who led home team-mate David Hoch and Wipperman Racing’s Henry-Noah Schmitz in the opening race.


Qualifying was marginally more spread out than at Silverstone, perhaps not surprising given Spa’s longer seven-kilometre layout. Nevertheless, the grid’s front two rows were separated by only 0.4s with team-mates Sherlock and Hoch locking out first and second ahead of Schmitz and HCR’s Scott McCracken, respectively.


The opening laps saw little change in the order as Sherlock made good his escape from Hoch, who was more concerned by keeping Schmitz at bay over the latter stages. The Porsche’s pressure allowed Sherlock to ease further clear, but there was no denying esports+CARS’ pair of Vantages a one-two finish.


The day’s second race began with a ‘traditional’ La Source incident instigated by Lee Campbell out-braking himself, the Mercedes spearing into Schmitz who in turn collected Hoch and the Lanan Viper of James Brown. All continued but Hoch in particular had work to do to catch his team-mate. His urgency was made clear by a fantastic pass on Meldrum’s Lamborghini Huracan at the end of the Kemmel Straight on the opening lap.


Up front Sherlock was unable to escape the attentions of Schmitz who had largely survived the opening corner collision and was harrying the Aston Martin for the lead. But the arrival of Hoch on lap seven soon made it a three-way fight.


Swift pit work helped Sherlock narrowly emerge ahead of the Porsche with Hoch’s Aston still firmly in third place, a one-two-three that would remain unchanged all the way to the chequered flag.


While on paper the result might not have looked all that spectacular, the on-track action more than made up for the lack of position changes.


In GT4 the JSR Nissans broke away early on in Race 1 and engaged in a battle of their own a few seconds up the road from the chasing pack. Such was the similarities in pace between them that even post-pitstops the gap was negligible. 


It would be the first all-Nissan podium of the season with third place going to F4H Motorsport’s Eric Grove who was able to chase down the leading pair in the closing stages. He ended up less than a car’s length behind at the flag.


The second race would see a repeat of race one’s result but not without drama as the two JSR Nissans initially made contact at Stavelot. Grove was the beneficiary of the early upset and he secured a well fought second place.


Brands Hatch hosts the championship’s penultimate round on August 20.


Remember, you can watch the races back as they happened courtesy of YMTV here.