VEC: Atlantic Motorsport Finishes 2nd in GTE at Sebring

It was another nightmare race for the team, but both Alexandre Paumgartten and Lucas Dittrich were able to save a podium spot in GTE, despite seing their performance on track damaged by poor decisions from the series hosts.

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Atlantic Motorsport finished second in the GTE class in the 1000 Miles of Sebring, round 6 of the Virtual Endurance Championship (VEC), hosted by SimRacing.Club on rFactor 2. With brazilian drivers, Alexandre Paumgartten and Lucas Dittrich sharing the wheel of the Atlantic Motorsport Porsche 911 RSR from the GTE class, the 1000-mile race was a tough challenge. Before the race started, Jorge Cabrita was also scheduled to share the wheel of the #291 Porsche, however, technical issues forced him to not attend the event.

Alexandre Paumgartten drove the Porsche in Qualifying, being able to finish fifth among the GTE runners. As stated by the championship rules, he also started the race, with the team opting for double stints for each driver. However, when the brazilian from Curitiba was running fourth, with one hour of the race completed, there was a red flag due to a technical issue with the server. The race started from there, but the race direction made several mistakes related to the correct placement of the cars on the grid and, because of that, Atlantic Motorsport restarted the race from nineth when they should be fourth. “This was a huge mistake by the race direction”, said a very dissapointed Alexandre Paumgartten. “We worked so hard to climb up from where we started and now they completely destroyed that.”

Although restarting from nineth, both Alexandre Paumgartten and Lucas Dittrich drove to perfection, showing that the good performance they carried from the previous round of the championship Sao Paulo) was being continued in the virtual version of the track located in Florida. In the end, the two brazilian racers were able to bring Atlantic Motorsport to a top two finish in the GTE class, an excellent result considering all they had to deal with, on and off the track, during this long event. “This is an excellent result for us and the team altogether”, said Lucas Dittrich. “In the first rounds of the series, some technical issues prevented us from moving forward, but that’s behind us now and hopefully we can still battle for a win till the end of the season.”

Team Manager, Jorge Cabrita said in the end, “This is another great result for the team and I have no words to describe the level of performance that both Alexandre Paugartten and Lucas Dittrich delivered in this race. I know how hard they worked preparing for this event, one where they had to drive long stints against teams that in most cases had three and four drivers sharing the wheel of the cars. They drove superbly at Sebring, hats off to them.” About the race direction, Jorge said, “VEC is a top quality championship, one of the best globally in sim racing. That being said, if’s odd that mistakes such as the ones we saw today are happening. It’s unnaceptable that our car restarted the race five spots down from where it should. It’s also a serious blow to the the performance Alexandre was delivering till the race was red flagged. The success of this series made possible that three divisions were created. It’s very important that the race direction may provide the same level of commitment in all of them, because every driver and team paid the same to race here.”

Text and Screens: OnWheelsTV

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