Drillers Motorsport and 11000 Bit Racing took the chequered flag at the Thrustmaster Six Hours of Road America on Saturday, securing top honours in the fourth round of RDLMS by Vesaro. Taking a first victory in the Prototype category around the classic bends of Road America, Drillers Motorsport secured a valuable 30 points towards their 2017 championship challenge, moving the #17 Gibson 015S Nissan up to a healthy 67 points, just 37 adrift of championship leaders FEEDER Ragnar Simulator who experienced a difficult weekend, coming home a highly disappointed seventh overall having been both foxed by changing weather conditions and suffering an unexpected disconnect during the race, leaving them without a virtual trophy for the first time this season. Despite the troubles for FEEDER in the #25 Gibson Nissan, seventh would be a solid recovery drive as they look to defend a now slim 13 point lead in the series, despite having comprehensively proven to be the pace setting team this season in RDLMS. Things would start out well for a team comprising of McLaren World's Fastest Gamer challenger Nikodem Wisniewski, with the outfit once again looking likely to run away into the distance and romp home to victory after the opening exchanges. Unfortunately for FEEDER things did not quite go to plan later in the race with circumstances conspiring against a team who have been so successful up to this point in the series, however with such a composed and talented driving strength they are by no means being written off as the season heads into its final stages. The Thrustmaster Six Hours of Road America was expected to be run in warm and dry conditions throughout the event, however in typical style the race was to throw up one or two curve balls for the teams to contend with throughout the race, with inconstant weather conditions causing plenty of concern and varied strategies as each driver looked to maximise the opportunities of a wet circuit at different stages of the race. Arguably one of the most exciting events of the year to date, RDLMS by Vesaro headed into the heartland of the US at the outstanding Road America circuit. Pre-race testing times suggested a close and unpredictable grid for the "short" six hour sprint across the pond, and with several teams and drivers looking particularly strong a different stages of the event it would prove to be a nerve wracking time for many of our drivers from practically the drop of the green flag on Saturday afternoon. Things started relatively cleanly during the opening hour of a race run in dry conditions, with the majority of the field exercising caution as everyone looked to bed themselves into the event and get a feel for where the grip and competition would be throughout the grid. Unfortunately things would not be so straightforward for the #12 Roaring Pipes Maniacs team, with a sizable incident causing damage and time loss within the first 20 minutes as the Alpine 450b Prototype would come to an abrupt and unexpected halt as it hurtled down Kettle Bottoms to Canada Corner. Sadly for driver Shawn Jacobs, despite several cars avoiding the stationary vehicle Jacobs found himself collected by another Prototype car as he began to move again, striking him from behind and sustaining damage. @Shawn Jacobs, who made the move from #4 SpeedyMite Racing to #12 Roaring Pipes Maniacs during the summer break and was taking to the track for the first time in the RDLMS, was the first victim of the event; luck was not on his side, as he experienced technical issues (which caused the incident) within the first few laps of the race and had to fairly swiftly hand over the car to one of his team mates, marking yet another unfortunate start for the #12 Roaring Pipes Maniacs team. Things continued in orderly fashion for the remainder of the opening hour or so of track action until rain eventually fell during hour two, giving the drivers a first opportunity to experience wet conditions this season in RDLMS and providing something of a chaotic 15 minutes of activity as several teams opted to pit for wet tyres during the heavy shower. After the rain there was still considerable cloud coverage, but the sun did manage to break through and this helped dry the track surface (which was surprisingly wet after such little rain) very quickly. The temperature also rose fairly rapidly from 9°C to 20°C once the heat from the sun could seep through the widening gaps in the cloud. The rain seemed to induce a little bit of panic and threw a small spanner in the works for a few teams; some had predicted and were expecting it, after watching the forecast intently, while others simply took it in their stride. With inclement weather soaking the circuit it would be the #25 FEEDER Ragnar Simulator who opted to go for wet tyres while all others remained on slick boots, and this possibly had an effect on their pit strategy whilst serving to mix up the running order at the front of the Prototype field. Whilst all hell was breaking loose out on track in the changing conditions a problem of an altogether different nature would affect the RMI Motorsports team. Technical difficulties would prevent starting driver Michael Nelson from performing a driver swap during the second hour of running. RMI would leave the driver out on circuit for an extended period whilst alternative options were investigated by the team. Eventually a technical workaround would be found and Ole Marius Myrvold would take to the wheel under Nelson's name for the close of the race, wrapping up a 23rd place finish despite a last lap technical gremlin that dropped the car a lap on the final scoreboard. Technical difficulties would account for the #18 KRT Racing team, who retired from the action after just 83 laps as the second retirement of the race, followed by the second consecutive DNF for early season favourites in GT, the #108 Apex Eclipse squad. Other notable retirements would include the #4 SpeedyMite Racing team, who blew their engine while being refueled - in spite of the fact that the car was in the pits the damage was irreparable, which meant it was race over for them. Lap 113 and a mechanical problem for the #27 Deltec Racing Team car caused its engine to catch fire; they attempted to nurse the car back to the pits, but only got as far as the Moraine Sweep when the car ground to a standstill - thankfully they were off the track, so a yellow flag was not required. Shortly afterwards on lap 122 the #112 Team-GTRM car retired following heavy contact with a wall after and the final retirement of the race was the pole sitting #119 HM Engineering machine, with accident damage forcing them to leave their car at the side of the road in the closing stages of the race. In some form of a positive from the retirement, the team did complete 75% of the class leader's laps so they were still eligible for points - finishing 11th in class and 21st overall. Heading into the closing stages of the race the GT leading #121 RC MotorSport team would experience an engine fire with just 90 minutes to go, eventually delaying the car enough to drop back to fifth in class by the time they re-joined the circuit. With the unscheduled stop behind them it would once again be left to the #120 11000 Bit Racing team to take advantage, topping off a fantastic performance with a race lead they would be destined to keep right the way to the chequered flag. Just prior to this the #120 11000 Bit Racing car lapped the then 3rd and 4th place cars of #103 TXL Racing and #116 FFT Corse which were in a heated battle; the #116 FFT Corse car had been chasing down their competitor for a number of laps beforehand, and a driver swap for #103 TXL Racing - @Melih Cakmakli out, Andrew Ford in - allowing the Aston Martin to catch up to the Corvette for a tense battle at the end of the race. At the 90 minute mark @Alen Terzić in the #116 FFT Corse car pulled the trigger heading into Canada Corner - both the #116 FFT Corse and #103 TXL Racing cars were side-by-side through Turn 12 and leading up to the penultimate corner, before the two made contact which resulted in both ending up on the grass and recovering back to the circuit. The incident would prove to be a big talking point in the closing stages of the race with the #116 FFT Corse voicing their complaints about the incident, and #103 TXL Racing filing a report. Both points of view would be taken under consideration by Race Control, with the final result ending in a judgement of 'Racing Incident'. The battle continued until the end of the race, and the two cars crossed the line only seconds apart even though #103 TXL Racing performed another driver swap in the final 30 minutes, with @Andrew Ford handing over to teammate @Joakim Stensnæs for the final stint of the event. It appears as though the fortunes of #103 TXL Racing have finally turned after an incredibly successful event; they were involved in battles throughout the race, and came through at the end to be involved in the podium celebrations, as frosty as these may have been following the incident with #116 FFT Corse who finished just ahead of them. Honourable shout out should go to the only new car on the grid for the Thrustmaster Six Hours of Road America. The family run #125 LG Racing entry of father Steve Le Gallez and his two sons Paul and Matt ended up in an incredibly solid fifth in class and 15th position overall, the best result for any new team to enter the championship after the first race. As an added honour, LG Racing would win the award for highest gainer, moving up a total of 16 places over the course of six hours of frantic racing action. Hot on the heals of family Le Gallez would be the #106 Talking Door Racing team, rising from a disappointing 28th place start to 16th overall and a solid 6th in class. The #102 TeamRGPL Ferrari would also gain 12 places during the race, ending up in fourth position and securing useful points in the battle for top GT championship honours. #105 Racers In Pyjamas, #114 RedShift Racing, and #122 Gentlemen Racers Spirit all finished on the same lap, 4 laps behind the class leader; all three ended the race in their best positions so far this season, 7th, 8th, and 9th, respectively. The #121 RC MotorSport Team, once leaders in the GT class before their engine fire, fell further down the order after rejoining the race; at the end they finished 10th in class, 20th overall Prototype Class Winners the #17 Drillers Motorsport team as driven by Yohann Harth, Robin Bondon, Alexis Paradot GT Class Winners the #120 11000 Bit Racing team as driven by Lasse Ougaard, Kasper Stoltze, Peter Munkholm, Chris Johansen Thrustmaster Six Hours of Road America Results: LMP #17 Drillers Motorsport: Yohann Harth, Robin Bondon LMP #2 SimTech Motorsport: Luke Walsh, Shane Burke LMP #8 Talking Door Racing: Tobias Roehner, Erhan Jajovski, Charles Baccio LMP #3 SimTech International: Sherwin vd Sloot, Standa Sehnal LMP #5 World of SimRacing Team: Borja Millan, Marco Antonio Rodriguez, Eduardo del Rincon LMP #14 Sikania Endurance Motorsport: Franco Scalet, Roberto De Filippis LMP #25 FEEDER Ragnar Simulator: Nikodem Wisniewski, Maciej Mlynek LMP #15 Atlantic Motorsport: Martin Vindis, Ze Jesus, Roy de Muinck LMP #12 Roaring Pipes Maniacs: Shawn Jacobs, Jamie Pyatt, Ingemar Petersson LMP #23 Wild Weasel: Nate Idiens, Ignacio Hortal, Alistair Long GT #120 11000 Bit Racing: Kasper Stoltze, Lasse Ougaard GT #116 FFT Corse: Alen Terzic, Amedeo Fiorella GT #103 TXL Racing: Joakim Stensnaes, Melih Cakmakli, Andrew Ford GT #102 TeamRGPL: Petr Varmuzka, Karel Petrovsky GT #125 LG Racing: Steve Le Gallez, Paul Le Gallez, Matt Le Gallez GT #106 Talking Door Racing: Joao Martins, Lorenzo Bonder GT #105 Racers In Pyjamas: Mike Davies, Christian Moreau GT #114 RedShift Racing: Brian van Beusekom, Daniel Watkin GT #122 Gentlemen Racers Spirit: Stephane Perrin, Sam Suffi GT #121 RC MotorSport Team: Alvaro Baker, Javier Polanco, Ian Navarro DNF - Suspension - GT #119 HM Engineering: Maks Bunevich, Arwin Taruna, Luis Moreno GT #117 Martini Racing Team: Borja Garcia, Luis Segura, Claudio Barrera GT #118 RMI Motorsport: Michael Nelson, Ole Marius Myrvold, Jonatan Acerclinth GT #109 World of SimRacing Team: Jordi San Andres, David Hoyo, Asier Gil GT #104 Racing Club Endurance Team: Ivan Avinoa, Eduardo Garcia DNF - Accident - GT #112 Team-GTRM: Attila Miklos, Peter Hummel, Akos Varga DNF - Engine - LMP #27 Deltec Racing Team: Kevin Siclari, Cameron Sansano DNF - Engine - LMP #4 SpeedyMite Racing: Oli McGown, Mark Breslin DNF - DNF - GT #108 Apex Eclipse: Aleksi Kivela, Tapio Rinneaho DNF - DNF - LMP #18 KRT Racing: Kreshnik Halili, Richard Reckmann DNF - DNF - LMP #16 Team Comet: Damian Baldi DNF - DNF - LMP #11 MK Simsport: Dan Long Provisional Drivers Championship Standings after Round 4 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 YouTube 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 @pitumpa is the proud recipient of a stunning TM Leather 28 GT Wheel add-on rim. @pitumpa was selected via a draw with random numbers from the website random.org. Well done @pitumpa on winning this fantastic 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 YouTube channel 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! Finally, a special mention for our broadcast team - We would like to commend @Joseph Wright for his 7 hour marathon in the commentary booth, with help from @Ole Marius Myrvold a.k.a. "Pinkyboy" when he wasn't in the car, @Davy Vandevenne for his fantastic camerawork during the event, @Daiman Patel for his seemingly unending and tireless work to bring everything together, @alexSchmurtz for the fantastic as always spotter guides (despite life trying to throw as many obstacles as possible in his way) and honorary RD staffie @Andrew Harper for the simply stunning artwork and posters all season long. We hope you have enjoyed the fourth round of the 2017 RDLMS by Vesaro and we look forward to welcoming you once again in just five short weeks, when our teams and drivers head over to the Land of the Rising Sun for a potentially epic 12 hours of racing around the wonderful, challenging and utterly daunting Suzuka Grand Prix circuit. I will leave you know on one final comment from our very own Mr. RDLMS himself @Daiman Patel, who sums up the recent Road America round perfectly when he says "The venue for Round 4 of the RDLMS powered by Vesaro was Road America, which is situated close to the shore of Lake Michigan, and it's a good job too given the number of cars that were on fire during this race, some metaphorically and others quite literally". Sim Racing is AWESOME people. Love It, Live It, Breath It. We do, and we do it for you. For those of you wanting the large PDF version of the poster in this article, you can download it HERE.