Kiwi Supercars champion and acknowledged Sim specialist Shane Van Gisbergen qualified quickest and won the first and second races of the evening. But in the third and final 8-lap race at the second Tasman Kart Supplies-backed KartSport New Zealand/SIMSpeedTV-hosted GT3 class iKartSport Racing ‘Chocolate Fish’ event at a virtual Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in ‘Belgium’ on Tuesday it was 12-year-old Blake Dowdall who won the third race.
He did it in style too; after Van Gisbergen was taken out by a spinning back marker on the 4th lap Palmerston North schoolboy Dowdall drove the race of his young life to wrestle the race lead off fellow young gun Nathan Anderson from west Auckland then ease away to claim an impressive win over another schoolboy racer Jaxon Harvey from Dunedin and hard charging Auckland kart racer and SIM specialist Zane Hills.
To his credit, Van Gisbergen, probably the only driver in the virtual field to have raced a real car around the famed F1 and WEC road course circuit, was a cut above everyone else in the field in qualifying and the first two races
In the first he led from start to finish, with a winning margin over the battling trio of Nathan Anderson, Cameron Freeman from Dunedin and Braedan Snowden from Whangarei, of close to half a minute.
Van Gisbergen also won the second – full reverse grid – 8-lap race despite starting it from the back row, albeit this time by a margin of less than a second over Aucklander Paul Blomqvist with Brad Wenzlick from Thames in third and Blake Dowdall fourth.
With two wins from two starts Van Gisbergen was back on pole for the final 8-lap race of the evening but the 30-year-old Kiwi Supercars ace was baulked just after the start and was shuffled down the order to 8th.
He was back up to P4 on the 4th lap and was fast closing on a three-way battle for the lead involving Dowdall, Jaxon Harvey and Nathan Anderson….only to clip a spinning car and spear off the track and out of the race.
Tuesday evening’s event was the second of three in a new series of KartSport New Zealand’s SIMSpeed eSport Virtual Club Days’ ‘Chocolate Fish’ Series sponsored by Nelson kart shop Tasman Kart Supplies with on-going support from KartSport New Zealand promotional partners Giltrap Group and Carter’s Tyre Service,
- Shane Van Gisbergen (McLaren MP4 GT3) 2:17.702
- Zach Blincoe (M-B MG GT3) +1.227
- Blake Dowdall (M-B AMG GT3) +1.358
- Zane Hills (Audi R8 GT3) +1.548
- Brad Wenzlick (M-B AMG GT3) +1.595
- Taylor Cockerton (BMW Z4 GT3) +1.793
Race 1 (8 laps)
- Shane Van Gisbergen 8 laps
- Nathan Anderson +25.827
- Cameron Freeman +26.372
- Braedan Snowden +27.346
- Zane Hills +33.2777
- Taylor Cockerton +41.745
Race 2 (8 laps full reverse grid)
- Shane Van Gisbergen 8 laps
- Paul Blomqvist +0.269
- Brad Wenzlick +1.695
- Blake Dowdall +2,251
- Nathan Anderson +3.054
- Braedan Snowden +16.683
Race 3 (8 laps grid based on points from R1 & 2)
- Blake Dowdall 8 laps
- Jaxon Harvey +6.663
- Zane Hills +11.133
- Nathan Anderson +12.516
- Braedan Snowden +12.899
- Ashton Phipps +19.067
Also, 24. SVG +3 laps