With a new era upon the iRacing VRS GT World Championship, some people were expecting a shake-up in the top teams. But the big three remained the same.
Despite having a relatively even balance-of-performance for the GTE cars, there were still favoured manufactures.
Twenty-four new BMW M8 GTE cars lined up on the grid, with VRS Coanda Simsport having an all BMW line-up as well as the reformed Core Simracing team and Apex Racing Team after a merger with Evolution Racing Team over the winter break.
Fourteen Porsche 911 RSR GTEs were chosen for the season. Team Redline and Burst Esport were the two-star teams running the car after their partnership to practice together over the course of the season.
Altus eSports were running two of five Ferrari 488s in the 2019 field.
Last seasons champions, Pure Racing Team were the only team to run the Ford GT in the championship and therefore winning the prize money for the manufactures championship. Something that had been added to the prize pool for the season.
The VRS Coanda Simsport 8 and 81 cars locked out the front-row. Sebastian Job qualified the number 4 Red Bull Esports BMW M8 on their debut in the series, all be it with the same drivers as last season bar one.
For the first hour of the race the two Coanda cars lead whilst switching positions to take it in turns to save fuel, but at the end of the stint, Pure Racing Team Red’s Ford GTE came into its own and caught the pair then going on to overtake them with ease.
For the rest of the race, the two leading Coanda cars tried to continue their fuel-saving strategy, but Joshua Rogers began to pull away from one the #81 car, running the longest at the end of each stint, aiming for a short final stint at the end.
Meanwhile Pure Racing Team Red ran from hour-to-hour, without saving much fuel. Red Bull Racing eSports were running on a similar strategy to PRT, but running the tank dry, and triple stinting the tyres at the end to keep their podium place over Williams eSports Razer in fourth.
The VRS Coanda Simsport 81 car, driven by Joshua Rogers and Ricardo Castro Ledo won the first race of the new GTE era for the VRSGT World Championship, five seconds in front of Pure Racing Team Red. Red Bull Racing Esports got a podium on their debut with strong stints from Sebastian Job and Frederik Rassmussen, but feel that the setup limited their pace.