Atlantic Motorsport raced last weekend the 8 Hours of the Nürburgring, round three in the Division 2 of the Virtual Endurance Championship (VEC), on rFactor 2. For this race, brazilian drivers Alexandre Paumgarttem and Lucas Dittrich were behind the wheel of the #291 Lisaccount Porsche 911 RSR.
Alexandre Paumgarttem was in charge of driving the Porsche in Qualifying, finishing 11th in the GTE class, with the best lap in 2m06.088s, around 1.3s slower than the pole. He also started the race for the first 2-hour stint, where he smoothly progessed in the standings. The race was becoming promising to the team, which struggled to find a good setup for qualifying but had better hopes for the 8-hour competition, due to the strategy of saving tyres and fuel.
Already running fourth in class, but struggling using wet tyres on a drying track, the team opted to pit, dropping down to 11th. Then, Paumgarttem started recovering positions, when he was hit in the rear by an LMHC car for the first time. Hit in the rear, Paumgatterm couldn’t avoid slamming the wall, with damage in the front. Although damaged, the car was drivable, so the team opted to remain on track and, again, started recovering.
Later, still with Alexandre Paumgarttem driving the car, there was again contact, this time with a GTE car that made him spin. This happened before the driver change, but again, the team dropped in the standings.
Lucas Dittrich picked the wheel of the #291 Porsche for the next two hours and, 20 minutes after he started, suffered severe contact from a backmarker from the GTE class. With serious damage in the Porsche, he had to pit and repair, which costed the team 160 seconds. He dropped to last, having to recover once again. Till the end of the race, there were more issues with LMHC cars on track and, with more than two hours till the end, when Lucas Dittrich was again recovering positions and aiming for a top 10 in class, a connection loss forced the team to retire from the race.
“First of all, I want to congratulate Alexandre Paugarttem and Lucas Dittrich for their incredible effort, just the two of them for the entire race”, said team manager and driver, Jorge Cabrita. “We are four drivers in the team, but although this race would be the first for our new member, Fabricio Matheussi, he had serious health issues with a relative and was forced to follow him in treatment. I also was not available to return racing in this round, so the two of them had to stay tremendous amounts of time behind the wheel. Unfortunately, this was another race with bad driving on track, makes me wonder why isn’t there a criterium, such as some sort of super-license that drivers would need to get prior to be allowed to race the LMHC cars. However, our team was also damaged by incredibly poor driving from some GTE class racers, which also makes me wonder why the hell do people need to race the Academy class to get a license, and then with it act like complete morons. This is not at all a cheap series, we have put a lot of effort in this competition and then it’s frustrating the way some drivers are just brainless on track“.
Atlantic Motorsport owner, Mário Rocha said, “Our team is one of some that race VEC since the beginning. Nowadays VEC is a serious investment for teams and drivers. There’s the current fact that we all pay the same to register, both teams and drivers, but then apparently only the ones in Division 1 have special treatment. We all paid the same, but in our division , we have no broadcasts, no prize money also. That is not nice, but gets even worse when the level of racing is not, in my opinion, according to VEC standards. Also, it is strange the choice criterium for divisions, since our team and others in our division should be in Division 1, where we can find some teams that shouldn’t join the championship and immediately get access to the top division. We are very unhappy with how the championship is currently run and unless things change, this will be our last season in VEC”.
The Virtual Endurance Championship (VEC) races again in the 11th January, with the 4 Hours of Imola.