Dirty air played a big part in the fourth round in the rFactor 2 GT Pro Series powered by VCO and helped to spice up the drivers’ championship battle by catching out two main contenders.
Season one champion and pre-race championship leader Erhan Jajovski took pole position for the 15 minute long sprint race at the Nurburgring.
It was a lights to flag victory for the R8G Esports driver, but front row partner Kevin Siggy wasn’t able to hold his position.
He got caught out by the rolling start and got away slower than many of the drivers around him, including Yuri Kasdorp who got ahead of him for second place.
Siggy and Kappet scrapped for the final podium position with the Team Redline driver coming out on top by taking the outside line at Turn 5.
Jernej Simoncic started and ended the race in fifth place with third in the championship before this round Hany Alsabti missing out on vital points as he qualified only 11th and finished ninth.
The lacklustre points haul from Alsabti in the sprint race was made up for in the 45 minute long feature race as he started from second.
Reversing the top 10 finishers put Dennis Jordan into first for the start, a spot he held onto for the first third of the race.
Alsabti went for a diving move into the Turns 13 and 14 chicane but as Jordan went to turn in for the corner their two cars touched and went straight on and across the gravel.
The off track excursion cost them momentum and put Williams Esports’ Nikodem Wisniewski into the fight for the race win.
He was able to slipstream his way past Alsabti and Jordan to take first place.
Jordan’s lack of a slipstream and straightline speed meant he also dropped a position to Alsabti, who passed him before reaching Turn 1.
Wisniewski wasn’t able to hold onto first for long though as a few laps later Alsabti got back in front with a move up the inside of the first corner for what would go on to become the race win.
The R8G Esports driver scored the maximum 35 points from the feature race, doing so for the second race in a row.
For his team-mates though the feature race didn’t go as well as hoped, with Kasdorp spinning out at the Schumacher S on the opening lap due to the dirty air.
Kasdorp recovered to finish in 20th, but even in spite of his second place finish in the main race, that makes this round his lowest scoring one so far this season.
Jajovski started the race from 10th and moved up to eighth place thanks to Kasdorp’s spin and overtaking Siggy.
But the defending champion lost control of his car when rounding the first corner with just over 10 minutes in the race to run, dropping down to 16th place.
A final lap crash between Kuba Brzezinski and Arne Schoonvliet helped Jajovski to recover and cross the line in 12th.
The Nurburgring round was the worst event of the season yet for both Jajovski and Kasdorp and is their current points drop round.
Simoncic, who’s also a title contender, started the feature race in sixth but moved up to fifth place after an overtake on Lorenzo Arisi at the final corner of the final lap.
With drivers unable to choose the final round as their points drop round, exactly how close the title race is will become clear in two weeks’ time when the races at Indianapolis have taken place.