A Mountain to Climb – Round 1 of the Euro V8 Supercars Championship

The Euro V8 Supercars Championship got it’s sixth season under way on Saturday night with two races (one 15-lap Sprint and a 30-lap Feature) at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. Beast Racing were represented by #022 Chaz Draycott and #032 Taylor Lane – both driving Holden VF Commodores in our Enterprise livery.

Anyone on iRacing knows that the V8 Supercars are real lively animals to drive – no Traction Control or Anti-lock Brakes, in a car with ~650bhp that’s not renowned for its handling capabilities makes for one hell of a machine, and a wild ride.

Chaz and Taylor got into Practice early on, putting down a lot of laps between them, trying to build on consistency, but as the track became more and more “rubbered in”, they started to struggle. This continued through to Qualifying, which saw them finish the session 18th and 23rd respectively, Chaz being 2.4s off the pole position time, and Taylor a further 0.9s back.

Race 1 would be an all-out Sprint as the name suggested. 15 Laps requiring pure pace straight out of the gate. Early on, Chaz made big contact with Phantom 71 driver Michael Mueller – the latter’s car being flung up in the air after their wheels collided. Taylor then remained in tandem as both drivers ran 18th and 19th, as they staged a great chase with a group of Never Quit Racing cars.

Taylor got a bump and made big contact with the wall at the end of Lap 3, forcing him to pit for repairs. He would rejoin 27th and finish 25th after two retirements ahead. Chaz then engaged in a race-long battle with Karsten Pietschmann and Greg Carr, which was temporarily halted by a stopped car on the inside of turn one. He would eventually cross the line in 17th.

Race 2 would introduce some strategy from the drivers – the maximum fuel the car could carry – set by the league – not being enough to complete the 30 Laps ahead of them. The reverse grid was a small one – only 7 – so neither Beast Racing car was affected or had chance to benefit from it. Chaz would line up 17th with Taylor in 24th. Tyres wouldn’t be considered, as the margins towards the end of the race – when everyone was expected to pit – would not be enough to get away with a tyre stop.

More battles ensued from the get-go with Phantom 71 drivers JP Bousselin and Michael Mueller, without heavy contact this time. Draycott eventually climbed up the order to be 14th on the road, with Taylor getting up to 20th. Their positions remained the same until Lap 16 – despite frantic battles with the likes of Pietschmann and Carr. Chaz put it heavily in the wall but luckily was far enough in the race to use that as an opportunity to pit for repairs. Once both cars were back on track, everything stayed as it was until the very last corner – Chaz gaining a last-gasp position as the car in front ran out of fuel. They would finish 18th and 20th overall.

“Overall it was a great meeting. Although I struggled to get to grips with the car, I know how steep this learning curve is and I plan to focus on improving for Tsukuba. Chaz and myself brought home a reasonable haul of points and we plan on moving up the standings this season as we learn the car.” -Taylor

“Tonight was hard work. That car is an absolute monster to drive – great fun though! Taylor and I just really need to put the seat time in and make sure we get some better results as the season progresses. We’re feeling good though – hopefully by Season 7 we’ll be more of a force to be reckoned with.” -Chaz

The series heads to Tsukuba for Rounds 3, 4 and 5 of the Championship on Saturday the 26th of January. Catch it live on Apex Racing TV from 6:15pm UK time.