In a hard fought and thrilling endurance racing spectacular at Interlargos, the FEEDER Ragnar Simulator and 11000 Bit Racing teams took victory honours at the opening round of the seventh running of the RDLMS by Vesaro. When the 36 teams took to the track this Saturday 1st April for the Thrustmaster 12 Hours of Interlargos, the field was literally wide open for anyone to step up and take the victory spoils. The opening round of the 2017 RaceDepartment Le Mans Series by Vesaro was always going to be a spectacular affair, and the teams and drivers didn't disappoint with 12 action packed hours of racing that served as a fitting showcase for some of the top endurance drivers in sim racing to prove their worth against stiff competition. In something of a remarkable result for a race in the Brazilian climate, the whole 12 hour event was run under full dry conditions despite the constant threat of rain, allowing the winning #25 Gibson 015S Nissan of team FEEDER Ragnar Simulator to cross the finish line after 12 hours of racing and 497 laps a clear one lap ahead of second place finishers TeamRGPL and a further two laps ahead of the #15 Atlantic Motorsport team who rounded out the podium places in the Prototype classification. It was an incredible performance from the FEEDER Ragnar Simulator boys to secure this opening round victory from pole position, with drivers Nikodem Wisniewski, Kuba Brzezinski and Maciej Mlynek wrapping up the full 30 points and taking an early lead in the championship standings. In the GT category the racing was as equally hard fought right the way through the field, with the victory spoils eventually taken by the #120 11000 Bit Racing Porsche of Peter Munkholm, Kasper Stoltze and Lasse Ougaard, crossing the finish line two laps clear of second place finishers MK Simsport. Rounding out the top three in our GT category was the #102 Ferrari F430 of TeamRGPL and it's drivers Michal Sedlacek, Petr Varmuzka and Karel Petrovsky. If the level of competition seen at the opening race is anything to go by, it looks like the GT class will be remain wide open for the next few races. Alongside our podium trio, a number of teams showed flashes of promise throughout the race only to be hampered by misfortune and mistakes keeping them away from top three steps of the rostrum. Special mentions should go out to the #17 Drillers Motorsport Prototype Gibson 015S Nissan who looked to be in contention for podium honours throughout the opening portion of the race, only to be dramatically denied an opportunity to score big points with a blown engine after eight hours of competitive driving, joining fellow 8th hour retirees in the #18 KRT Racing car. Coupled with an impressive front row qualifying position secured by driver Robin Bondon, Drillers Motorsport could well be one to watch in the next few races. Another team in the wars during the race on Saturday was the plucky #121 RC MotorSport team, who despite qualifying in 11th place in the GT field, and having a sizable accident flipping the Aston Martin Vantage over the barriers and causing extensive repairs, still managed to maintain an impressive pace throughout the race and recovered to a respectable fifth position in class, a lap ahead of the sister #104 Racing Club Endurance Team Aston Martin GT, once again proving that in long distance endurance racing sheer determination and a never say die attitude are key ingredients for a successful race. For the most part the field of competitors behaved with remarkable restraint throughout the event. Several incidents occurred during the opening two or three hours of the race until the field quickly settled down into a rhythm, broken only by the first big accident of the day involving the #12 Roaring Pipes Maniacs car, which was forced off the track by a lapped GT competitor at Ferradura and suffered a heavy accident. Despite this setback the team were able to continue until problems struck during the first driver swap, eventually forcing the car into an early retirement. Sadly The #10 Dubai Sim Racing Team take the dubious honours of first RDLMS by Vesaro Season 7 retirement after blowing the engine just 60 minutes into the new season with Haiham Abdelkader behind the wheel, a cruel way to end months of preparation as the Nissan powered Zytek Z11SN gave up the ghost before teammates Grant Crow and Tuğcan Olgun had the opportunity to take to the track in race conditions. Dubai Sim Racing will be looking to recover for the next race as they make their way back up the Prototype grid at Silverstone. Unfortunately the drama and action did not unfold exclusively on the track with technical issues marring the race as a number of teams suffering from disconnects when a driver swap was performed; this also led to several retirements, including that of the #12 Roaring Pipes Maniacs, #116 FFT Corse, #115 AllStar-Racing Team, and #23 Wild Weasel. Driver swap issues are sadly not uncommon in rFactor 2 but rest assured the problems have been escalated to Studio 397 with the hope that a solution will be put in place for future build updates. Prototype Class winners the #25 FEEDER Ragnar Simulator team of Nikodem Wisniewski, Kuba Brzezinski and Maciej Mlynek GT class winners the #120 11000 Bit Racing team as driven by Peter Munkholm, Kasper Stoltze and Lasse Ougaard Thrustmaster 6 Hours of Interlargos Results: LMP #25 FEEDER Ragnar Simulator: Nikodem Wisniewski / Kuba Brzezinski / Maciej Mlynek LMP #24 TeamRGPL: David Beranek / Zdenek Smarda / Matej Surhanak LMP #15 Atlantic Motorsport: Adam Hodgkinson / Ze Jesus / Martin Vindis / James Wilson LMP #16 Team Comet: Damian Baldi / Pablo Flores LMP #2 SimTech Motorsport: Shane Burke / Kevin Ryan LMP #8 Talking Door Racing: Charles Baccio / Evan Spall / Tobias Roehner / David Armstrong LMP #4 SpeedyMite Racing: Geoffrey Fournier / Alex Schmurtz / Jeremy Talbot / Mark Breslin / Thomas Hinss LMP #14 Sikania Endurance Motorsport: Daniele Pizzo / Roberto De Filippis / Franco Scalet LMP #11 MK Simsport: Matt Beavis / Tom Watts LMP #22 JIM Racing Team: Antonio J. Vicens / Fermin Primitivo / Ruben Clavero LMP #6 RedShift Racing: Frank van Oeveren / Rui Martins / Ricardo Umans #6 RedShift LMP #3 SimTech International: Mateusz Bogusz / Standa Sehnal / Sherwin vd Sloot LMP #21 KAMF Racing: Douglas Simoneli / Thiago Amado / Matheus Fonseca / Weimar Baptistotti GT #120 11000 Bit Racing: Peter Munkholm / Kasper Stoltze / Lasse Ougaard GT #107 MK Simsport: Alex Archela / Edson Archela GT #102 TeamRGPL: Michal Sedlacek / Petr Varmuzka / Karel Petrovsky GT #108 Apex Eclipse: Yuri Kasdorp / Tapio Rinneaho / Aleksi Kivela GT #121 RC MotorSport Team: Javier Polanco Lopesino / Alex De Mayo / Ian Navarro GT #104 Racing Club Endurance Team: Eduardo Garcia / Sergio Mengual GT#118 RMI Motorsport: Roy Magnes / Ole Marius Myrvold / Michael Nelson / Jonatan Acerclinth GT #117 Martini Racing Team: Victor Iruela / Jony Martinez / Claudio Barrera GT #105 Racers In Pyjamas: Mike Davies / Jonas Hillert / Christian Moreau / Ismail Yakubu GT #114 RedShift Racing: Ricardo Edelmann / Matt Horst / Johannes Melichar GT #103 TXL Racing: Mark Greenall / Joseph Wright / Steve Le Gallez / Andrew Ford GT #109 World of SimRacing Team: Andros Alvarez / Miguel Angel Piqueras / Javier Casares DNF - Fuel - LMP #18 KRT Racing: Kreshnik Halili / Richard Reckmann DNF - Engine - LMP #17 Drillers Motorsport: Robin Bondon / Yohann Harth / Eneric Andre DNF - MP #5 World of SimRacing: Jose Berenguer / David Trueba DNF - GT #106 Talking Door Racing: Joao Martins / Enzo Fazzi / Lorenzo Bonder DNF - LMP #23 Wild Weasel: Alistair Long / Nate Idiens / Ignacio Hortal DNF - Suspension - GT #112 Team-GTRM: Attila Miklos / Peter Hummel DNF - GT #115 AllStar-Racing Team: Stefan Kanitz / Michael Reiter DNF - GT #116 FFT Corse: Amedeo Fiorella / Nicolo Fabbri / Osasuyi Emumwen DNF - LMP #12 Roaring Pipes Maniacs: Chris Stacey / Ingemar Petersson DNF - GT #119 HM Engineering: Maks Bunevich / Arwin Taruna DNF - Engine - LMP #10 Dubai Sim Racing Team: Haiham Abdelkader Provisional Drivers Championship Standings after Round 1 can be viewed on THIS LINK. If you missed out on Saturday you can catch all the action again from our live broadcast, recorded and saved for your viewing pleasure on the RaceDepartment Twitch channel. As part of the outstanding package of sponsorship we have available to give away all season in the RDLMS by Vesaro, we are delighted to confirm that it is not only the lucky drivers out on track who get to be winners this year. With the generosity of our race partners Thrustmaster, we are delighted to confirm that @Era is the proud recipient of a set of the stunning Thrustmaster T3PA Pro Pedals as prize for submitting a selfie showing his face and the race captured on a screen in the background. @Era and was selected via a draw with random numbers from the website random.org. Well done @Era on winning this spectacular prize! Understandably this is an exceptional reward from Thrustmaster, and with a 4,500 Euro Vesaro racing rig still to give away, what better reason do you need to keep tuning in to our broadcasts and subscribing to our channels on race day? Remember to subscribe and watch via our Twitch and YouTube channels to be in with a chance to win some of these amazing prizes from Vesaro and Thrustmaster. Oh and the racing looks great on the stream too! With the teams and drivers no doubt recuperating after a stressful opening event, the RDLMS by Vesaro will be heading over to the home of British motorsport for the relatively short Thrustmaster Six Hours of Silverstone on Saturday 13th May. Mirroring many of the characteristics of Interlargos with it's fast flowing turns and premium on downforce and driver commitment, it could well be another exceptional race to both watch and participate in when the green flag drops. Once again RaceDepartment will be showing you all the coverage live and uninterrupted (for a change ) on our Twitch and YouTube channels. So sit back, relax, tune in and enjoy the show! See you all on the 13th May... it's going to be a blast!