We return to Lago Maggiore, circuit that has long history in GT-MES. It was part of calendar from Season 1 to Season 4, and then from Season 6 to Season 7, driven in both full layout and shorter layout. We now use full circuit, and it has plenty of high speed corners, some that are hard to master.
We hit midpoint mark of the season, ballast starts to be in effect, results are important. Plenty of penalties to be served from last race.
Honda took maximum points, G4 Rotary got it all finally to work out and won the race + point for fastest lap. He was followed by his teammate Nils, who started from pole and finished second despite running heaviest car. In the end he did not have the speed to beat his teammate over full race, but massive result for championship. He now heads to Italy with even heavier car: ''I don't think a podium is in reach under normal circumstances, especially with tire wear being heavily affected by the ballast''. G4 Rotary jumped to 2nd in standings with win in Croatia, but needs result here to build his title challenge: ''Hoping for atleast P3, Spookyluki should be quick with 0 ballast and Nils is driving like a machine being fast despite carrying a lot of extra weight''. Honda also now leads Manufacturers-standings with good margin, but podiums need to keep rolling every weekend.
Lexus had good race, coming from disappointing Belgium. Hatton93 finished third, despite serving Drive Through-penalty. His teammate Spookyluki finished 4th behind him, he had no ballast but small errors cost him time. Now with much lighter car, and circuit he is more comfortable with, he is absolute favorite for win, anything less would be disappointment: ''Looking ahead to it, just come off a very good race with excellent consistency in a different league so if I can repeat it for Saturday I should be good''. Hatton93 does have heavier car than his teammate, but compared to others around him in Gr2-class, he is in pretty good position to challenge for podium again: ''Spookyluki should be in with a shout of victory here, i just need to make sure i can be the quickest of the guys with ballast to try and bring home a 1-2''.
Nissan crashed down hard from their 1-2 in Belgium, to finish 5th and 6th in Dragon Trail. jonimestari91 quickly faded away, while sota59 could keep up with the group, but collision with back marker and then slash and dash in final lap, killed his podium hopes. Ballast has now come back to their direction, and podium or maybe win can be expected: ''As seen last weekend, no room for errors in this class this season, so small gaps each race. I think we have the strategy to maybe even challenge for win, but we need to work on our consistency. Not having car on podium this weekend would be very bad sign for rest of the season''.
Mercedes and TSR_JoeToGuy took their second win of the season, despite crash in opening laps. His pace was incredible, half a second quicker than anyone. But he also was given penalty for action start of the race, and will start from back in Lago Maggiore, and with now heaviest car, race wont be easy: ''It will be tough to do well at Maggiore with the 10% ballast I have, but there's an outside chance of a podium with the strategy I have in mind''. His teammate Houdini Myers missed the race last time out, will we finally see him in action?
Porsche and y_bearr_ continued their excellent speed in Dragon Trail, but was part of accident with TSR_JoeToGuy. He did sporting gesture to let him back to lead, after Mercedes-driver had made his way back to top positions in last few laps. Despite this, Indonesian got penalty, and will also start from back of the grid. On positive side, he has shown speed to fight for top places each race, and is looking like championship contender. But race in Lago Maggiore will be difficult with penalty and ballast: ''I can feel the ballast now and the uphill part of the track make my car even slower. Feeling good, the car is good, but slow. I will be relying on strategy more than the race pace''. His teammate de-luck4 was having positive race, and even challenging for podium, but accident later in the race killed his hopes. This weekend ballast for top runners is even more in his favor: ''Car feels good also guys get more balast, so it looks like first oportunity to go for podium. Plan is to stick to strategy and enjoy myself''.
Mazda had good race, even with RLH_Wesley99 being unable to start. TSR_Tomsoft drove clean and consistent race, got quicker every lap and was rewarded with third place. His second podium in two races started, this weekend will be good showcase if he has potential to challenge for title. His teammate RLH_Wesley99 is hoping to start the race, and if he can do that, he should be one of the favorites for win.
Audi and Ryslan Zharinov again showed the speed, but crashes ruined his race in Dragon Trail, finishing 5th. Drive Through-penalty this weekend and high tirewear will make his life difficult, but if he can have clean race, good points might come his way. After getting podium in his debut in Spa, VLX_CJohn is back full time. Known to be great driver, you can expect to see him on top half of the class: "I'm happy I got a full time slot, it's filling up my Saturdays which were vacant till now. I know I've got to perform well since Joe, Wesley, Ryslan and Y-bearr will give me a hard time. I'm still to get used to the Audi but I'm confident it'll happen sometime soon''.
Aston Martin is looking for breakout result. amuda74 equaled teams best finish with 6th place last weekend, but they need step up: ''I’ve found a major setup flaw from the previous rounds so the car should be much better. I think that I can fight for some good points this weekend''. GTO250GTO should be back racing this weekend.
After European-rounds, we head to Japan.
Suzuka has always seen some dramatic races in GT-MES, mostly down to small errors by drivers, that have resulted in big time loss due unforgiving run off. This season wont be no different, it will be key to keep car on tarmac, when others might have issues.
We are officially in second half of the season, some drivers have put themselves in good position to be in title fight in Le Mans, and some drivers need some couple good races to improve their position.
Lexus returned winning ways, Spookyluki dominating as expected in Lago Maggiore, in lighter car. Hatton93 capped off great race by finishing 3rd. This race has boosted their title hopes, but Hatton93 will miss Suzuka, one of his strongest tracks. With no reserve driver confirmed yet, it seems all responsibility falls on Spoolyluki. Known to be bit erratic at times, he needs to get clean run on him to get podium in Suzuka: ''Good run recently, if I can just stay consistent then I should be OK''.
Nissan bounced back last weekend, sota59 jumping to 2nd in the race with aggressive tactic, after starting last due penalty. His teammate jonimestari91 was on way to finish ahead of him, but mistake dropped him to third, and then moment with Gr3-car dropped him to 4th. Now going to Suzuka, sota59 has slightly heavier car than others, but not by much so field should be even. Nissan-pair were fast last season, but mistakes dropped them 3rd and 4th rather than challenging for win. Have they learned their lesson, and improve this season? ''After disappointing mistakes last weekend in Lago Maggiore and last season here in Suzuka limiting our results, we hope the get clean run. I dont know if we have as much potential pace wise compered to last season, but we should have both cars fighting for podium'' sota59 commented.
Honda had race to forget in Italy. Coming from 1-2 in Croatia, they could only finish 5th and 6th in Lago Maggiore. Nils had by far heaviest car due ballast, but somehow qualified 2nd. His pace did not continue in the race, and finished 5th, followed by his teammate G4 Rotary, who again struggled with the car. Nils continues in championship-lead, and now with pretty much even ballast, he has chance to make statement, and increase that lead: ''It's going to be an interesting race this weekend because I finally got rid of a ton of ballast. If I can keep the car on track, I'm hoping for a top 3''. G4 Rotary was hoping to make jump this season, but has found things harder than in past, and is 13 points behind his teammate. Winner here last season, after running solid mistake free race, can he do that again and does he have the pace to contend for big points?
Last seasons Manufacturers-champions Mazda got their first win of the season, when TSR_Tomsoft crossed the line first. But it was set to be RLH_Wesley99's day, starting from pole, leading his teammate all race, but it all unfolded in last stint. Scary moment with Gr2, and then penalty for corner cut that he struggled to serve. This allowed his teammate to overtake him for the lead in last lap. Second place is still good result for our last seasons Gr3-champ, he is well in picture to defend his title. Dutchman had good speed in Suzuka last season, ending up second. Could he do one better, and take his first win of the season? ''Think I should be able to score a podium again and hoping to get a win''. TSR_Tomsoft has finished on podium in his first 3 GT-MES races, and now has most ballast in Gr3. Fourth podium might be struggle, but who knows what can happen in this circuit: ''Hoping not to ruin my 100% podium rate and to stay consistent during the race''.
After disappointing last season, 2-time champions Porsche are back in top half. de-luck4's podium last weekend lifted Porsche second in standings. Driver from Denmark was even leading for few laps. Couple positive races for driver that expected to struggle in Gr3. His teammate y_bearr_ was starting last due grid penalty, but could not start the race due problems. This means that not only he missed the race, he will still have to serve the penalty and still has all that ballast. He won here in Suzuka last season with Porsche, but starting last with heavy car, even podium might be struggle. Smart tactical decisions needed: ''Good strategy is critical factor for me at suzuka, more critical than before. Aim for Top 4, or if I'm lucky top 3. The car is good but slow + I'm gonna start from the very end of the pack, so let see''. de-luck4 says Porsche feels very slow in Suzuka, despite being winning car last season.
Audi has lot of potential, close to big results, but for now they are second last in Manufacturer-standings. Ryslan Zharinov again had good speed, but again lacked bit of luck. He was fighting for podium despite serving Drive Through-penalty earlier. Small penalty for track limits ultimately denied him third place in the end. He is still chasing his first win in 2 seasons. His teammate VLX_CJohn has missed 3 races, but if he can get good run of results, he could be late championship contender.
Mercedes has had 2 race wins, but also 2 forgettable races. Last week in Lago Maggiore TSR_JoeToGuy only finished 5th, started from back of the grid due penalty, tactical error and heavy car playing part. Now much less ballast, in very challenging circuit, he is looking strong to fight for 3rd win of the season: ''The current ballast for the field means I have a good chance for a top result at suzuka. I'm expecting a podium as a minimum''. Houdini Myers made his debut last weekend, finishing 7th. He is looking to improve, and finish 6th.
Aston Martin and GT0250GTO had break out race in Italy, fighting with top 5 places, ending up finishing season best 6th in the end. Positive performance is confidence boost, but small expectations for Suzuka, where he struggled last season: ''I'm still slow at Suzuka. Faster than last season but probably at least a second off pace''.amuda74 continues on bad run of races, finishing again last in Lago Maggiore. Like his teammate, he is not confident: ''Try to stay consistent; our car isn’t the best on pace or tire wear so we will struggle a lot. I have a new setup for laguna seca and Interlagos but it isn’t good for Suzuka''.
We head to popular Laguna Seca circuit in USA next. Track is very much liked by drivers, and has stayed due popular demand.
Like last week in Suzuka, there is not much room for error. Other than that, it is very different circuit. Driver that gets good momentum around the circuit, should be hard to beat, but dirty run off areas and slow pitlane mean, no room for errors. Strategy will be critical, even if not as many options like last few races, trackposition is very important.
Last 2 races before Le Mans are critical. Some drivers are looking good, but almost everyone needs at least one good podium finish here, or next week in Interlagos.
Honda and Nils had perfect race in Suzuka. Starting from pole, Nils kept his nose clean all race and was hardly challenged after lap 1. Second win of the season seals his ticket to Le Mans Finale as championship favorite, but he can improve his odds before that. Podium in Laguna Seca would take critical points away from his rivals, who look to cut his championship lead, but Nils is not optimistic of his chances: ''It's going to be the most difficult race of the Season, as it's on - by far - my worst track of the game I'm happy with everything that's beyond last place for this one''. His teammate G4 Rotary started season as maybe biggest favorite, but now is facing almost must win race. After only appearing on podium once when he won in Dragon Trail, and then missing last weeks race, he is in difficult position. But unlike Nils, he is optimistic: ''From limited testing I think we are alot closer to the pace than we were in Lago Maggiore, hoping to score good points''. Honda-drivers have winning experience in Laguna Seca, both winning in Season 9, G4 Rotary in Gr2 and Nils in Gr3.
Nissan had positive result in Suzuka, both drivers on podium, but they were still disappointed in the end, as jonimestari91 spun out couple times, having shown pace to win the race. He ended up third, second podium of the season, keeping up his championship hopes. jonimestari91 now has clearly lightest car in the grid, so pressure is on to perform. sota59 looks strongest challenger for Nils in championship, but has yet to win a race. He won here in Season 10, so expectations are high for him aswell: ''After another disappointing race, pressure on us is high. I almost must win here or Interlagos to have title hopes, while my teammate needs to keep scoring podiums. We have the pace to win, now we just need to deliver''.
Lexus had disaster last week, when both drivers could not race. Spookyluki qualified 3rd, and was set to even challenge for win, but technical issues took him out and could not even start the race. With Hatton93 also out, team scored 0 points. Manufacturer-hopes are dead, but there is still chances for drivers title. Hatton93 is in strongest position of the two, 3 podium so far. But he needs to take his first ever win, and soon: ''Laguna Seca gonna be a tough one, new for me because i missed this race last season, just hoping for a clean race and see where I end up''. Spookyluki has won race this season, but that is his only podium, as he has missed 3 of the first 5 races of the season. He must win again, or atleast score podium in next 2 races to keep title hopes alive: ''Very annoyed about Suzuka, if I can just try get a clean race and don't get caught out by traffic I should be fine''.
Mercedes and TSR_JoeToGuy did it again. Win number 3 of the season, and his place as man to beat is clear. He dominated the race from pole, taking maximum points with fastest lap. His challengers in championship are now under pressure, to keep championship going, and have realistic chance to beat Mercedes-man in Le Mans. Podium for TSR_JoeToGuy next 2 races would almost settle the championship: ''I'm hoping for a 4th place finish or better. It will be hard to do well now that I have a lot of ballast again, but a 4th will help with my points for the end of the season because my current worst results are 5th places''. Houdini Myers is slowly settling back in to racing car, and is looking to take another step in Laguna Seca, and challenge top 6 in qualifying.
Audi and Ryslan Zharinov impressed again, Belarussian finishing second in Japan. Season 10 champion is one of the drivers that is looking to win before Le Mans. He has not won since his championship season. VLX_CJohn missed race yet again, and is now officially out of title fight, but remains danger for wins and podiums each weekend.
Mazda-drivers continue to find themselfs on podium. RLH_Wesley99 took third place, boosting his title hopes, but order to defend his Gr3-title, he needs to return winning ways. Winner last 2 times in Laguna Seca, he returns to the circuit as absolute favorite. Ballast should provides quite even playing field, so it is down to him to find the speed and winning strategy: ''Hoping to get another win at Laguna Seca and have the feeling I can go for that''. His teammate TSR_Tomsoft also major contender for win, and he also has some history in here in other series: ''Hoping for at least a Podium if that's possible, aiming for the win once again even with the weight on me. I'm feeling good towards the race, as I really enjoy Laguna Seca''. German also needs another podium to make himself serious title contender, and this might be his best chance.
Aston Martin got good points, when GTO250GTO finished 4th in Suzuka, his best ever finish. German drove clean solid drive, when other around him struggled to keep cars on circuit. His good momentum continues, and he is feeling optimistic ahead of this weekends race: ''The car felt good in practice. Could be a good race for us''. His teammate amuda74 had yet again very difficult race, had some pace at the start, but had accident that dropped him away from the group. But now we head to his favorite circuit, homerace. Ballast has also gone his way, so expectations are high. Could one of the Aston Martin's steal podium away from title challengers?
Porsche had their worst weekend of the season, finishing 6th and 7th. y_bearr_ had to battle his way from last, with heavy car, and de-luck4 was set to finish in top 5, but did costly mistake. y_bearr_ is facing two critical races, he is on need of big points, win or atleast podium would be very important: ''Hope to win it, the ballast somehow has little effect to the car, I can drive the car as I used to''. Due clock change in Europe, race is one hour later for Indonesian-driver, and he thinks he can gain tenth or two, as he can wake up bit later. de-luck4 misses his favorite circuit of the season, but he is replaced by NS_Zokeo_09, who is looking to help the team gain some points on their rivals. He did his debut last season in Spa, finishing 4th.
Season is shortly ending, but before we head to title decider in Le Mans, we have race in Interlagos, Brazil.
Unlike previous 2 circuits, it is quite wide, but still has some tricky corners where time can be gained. Last seasons race there was very eventfull, lot of wheel to wheel racing and tactical options.
Battle of 3 championships in Le Mans is close, and main contenders are clear, but there is one or two places in offer for those that can get that breakthrough result.
Nissan got second one two of the season in Laguna Seca, when jonimestari91 took win in dominant fashion ahead of sota59. That is his second win of the season, and makes him real contender in Le Mans for title number 3. sota59 5th podium in 6 races, but is still looking for win. And it looks unlikely he will get that in Interlagos, after picking up Drive Through-penalty in USA: ''Penalty for this race is massive shame, i have great pace around Interlagos, and even though due ballast win would been difficult, now my chances are even smaller. Podium would be nice anyway''. Despite not winning yet, he is in title fight in Le Mans, but smaller changes than his teammate. jonimestari91 could help his case with another podium. Nissan also needs big results last 2 races after taking narrow lead in Manufacturers Championship.
Lexus is out of Manufacturers-fight, but both drivers still in chance for drivers honors. Spookyluki got third place in Laguna Seca, keeping himself in the fight, but needs another podium to keep fighting in Le Mans, but he does not sound that positive ahead tomorrows race: ''Going to try not hold my teammate up this season, not expecting much due to high ballast''. His teammate Hatton93 was challenging for win here last season, but came just short. Now he is still looking for his first ever win, and needs it more than ever. Win would make him serious contender for Gr2-title in Le Mans. His performance last season here and ballast being slightly his favor, he is man to beat this weekend: ''I want to win, simple. Tyre wear should be high so strategy will be interesting. I had the pace here last season so hopefully that bodes well for this race''.
Honda had race to forget in USA. G4 Rotary was even lined up for win, but ended up struggling. Early mistake led to early pitstop that left him stuck behind Gr3-field. Nils qualified well yet again, but also struggled and ended up finishing 4th. German is still championship leader, and is set to have good lead for Le Mans, but he can make his life slightly easier by performing well in Interlagos this weekend. But he is set to start as last Gr2-car after picking up penalty, so driver known for great qualifying results, will start on back foot: ''Having to start at the rear isn't a nice thing of course but Interlagos is one of my favorite circuits, so there might be a chance of a podium if I make it clearly through the race''. His teammate G4 Rotary almost out of the title fight, but win here would give him vert tiny chance in Le Mans. Honda also looking for big results, after dropping to 3rd in Manufacturer-standings.
Mazda also took their second 1-2 of the season in Laguna Seca, but unlike predicted, it was not RLH_Wesley99 winning for third season in a row, but his teammate TSR_Tomsoft winning his second race of the season. It was close race, but German kept his nose clean after starting from pole, and took 20 important points. RLH_Wesley suffered bad qualifying, and then dropped off bit in mediums in opening stint. Then small little errors cost him more time, and in the end, could not cut the gap enough end of the race. This is set back for last seasons champion, he is yet to win a race. He is still very much in title fight, but odds are getting smaller. Dutchman is hopefull for Brazil: ''Hoping for the first win off the season. Did some practice earlier and think I have the pace to win, will be an important race to get a win in before the finale in Le Mans and improve my 4th place as worst result''. TSR_Tomsoft is in better position championship wise, but could also do with a good result. But unlike his teammate, he is not optimistic: ''I hope that the weight won't kill my laptimes that much, will be difficult regarding tyre degredation though. Going to be very very very slidey''. Mazda is defending Manufacturers-champion, and is looking like real contender again.
Mercedes-driver TSR_JoeToGuy might have got his most important result of the season in Laguna Seca. Third place for driver that has won 3 times earlier this season does not sound a lot, but it has massive championship effects. Podium with by far heaviest car was very impressive and might had even more potential in Laguna Seca, but small accident with lapping car almost dropped him to 4th. If he was to get another podium, his position in Le Mans would be even stronger. 4th race win would all but confirm his championship: ''I'm hoping for a simple clean race. I'll try to prevent my title rivals from gaining much on me here before Le Mans''. Houdini Myers in other car is also looking to return racing after missing last race.
Porsche just missed out podium, when reserve driver NS_Zokeo_9 ran out of laps to make more for third. His impressive race got team lot good points, but y_bearr_ in other car suffered disappointing race. Podium was on the cards, but small mistakes dropped him all way to 7th place. This is no good for his championship battle, and now pretty much needs to win in Interlagos to have any chances in Le Mans Finale: ''I hope I'll have no traffic infront, this track is just like Laguna seca. Feeling good, the car will have only +3 ballast, I hope I'll be at the podium''. Last seasons surprise Gr2-winner in Interlagos was de-luck4. Driver for Denmark has done pretty well in his debut season in Gr3, but does not expect to be winning again: ''Well, good feelings after i remember my first win last season, but i wait for hard race, because was busy all week with work and did little preparation''.
Aston Martin got some good points, GTO250GTO finishing 5th, and amuda74 coming 6th. This was maybe their most competitive race of the season, but both were hoping for more, but were struggling in qualifying and then traffic in the race. GTO250GTO also had small accident in the race, and will start dead last in Interlagos, race he did well last season: ''Interlagos should be my best track of the season, but starting from the back will make it hard to get a good result''. amuda74 also ran well here last season, so you could see both challenging for top 5 result.
Audi's season is proofing to be hardest they have maybe ever had. VLX_CJohn was even challenging for win after great qualifying, but mistakes after mistakes and then small accident with other car left him 8th. With more luck and consistancy, you should see him be fighting for win: ''I need to perform better and avoid trouble unlike last race. I want to forget Laguna Seca happened. It'll be hard to challenge for a good result at Interlagos because it doesn't suit MR cars, but I have almost no ballast... I don't know, we'll see''. Ryslan Zharinov had very disappointing race in Laguna Seca, that ended in DNF. He is also set to miss next 2 races, so he season seems to be over.
Time has come to decide titles. For that we go to legendary Le Mans, with long straights but also some exciting high speed corners and couple slow speed corners that can trick you, and end your hopes. 1 hour long race will reward drivers with 1.5x points, so performance here is critical for everyone.
Since Le Mans Finale made its debut end of Season 2, every drivers-title been won here, and more often than not, champion in the end has been Le Mans-winner. Incredibly lowest position championship has been won in Le Mans....second place. Both championship-leaders have big enough lead to win title even if they finish 4th or maybe evem lower, but need certain things go their way.
Nils jumped back to Top Class this season for first time since Season 3, when he also drove for Honda in Gr2. He has more history with Honda than that, having won Gr4-title with Honda in Season 2 and Season 7. After winning Gr3-title in Season 9, German had some wins and great performances, but even though he had marginal shot for title in both Season 10 and Season 11 going in to Le Mans, he could not get good enough run of races to be serious contender. Returning to powerhouse that is Honda for this season and having a bit of a reset, has made him big time name again. Winning from pole in homerace in Germany to start the season, he has been in championship lead ever since. Along with second win of the season in Suzuka, his now well known qualifying pace has got him some very important podiums this season. If things are not going his way thing weekend in Le Mans, and he still walks away with his 4th-title, he can look back to those important points: ''This was by far the best Season I've had since Season 9 in February and it doesn't matter what's going to happen on Saturday, I'll be happy with it 2 wins, 1 of them at my home circuit, that is far more than I could've asked for. However, I don't think I'm in serious contention for Le Mans, my Honda isn't exactly made for this track and I've always had mixed results there. Sometimes good, sometimes below bad. I just want to stay out of trouble and have a clean race''. Nils is 3-time winner in Le Mans, and each time he clinched drivers title.
Nissan-driver sota59 still holds the record for most titles (5x), even though having not won one since Season 5 and he is still tied for most race wins (25), even though having only 1 win in last 16 races. Not known for his outright speed, consistency has won him several titles and wins, and this season has been all about consistancy. No wins, but Finnish-driver has been second 4 times this season, and being on podium almost every week means lot of points. Strong contender for Le Mans, having won there 5 times, and he almost has to get another win, or missed chances earlier to season will haunt him. Another second place could be enough, but would require extremely much luck: ''Having not won this season has been painful and now i am going to Le Mans to win. Even though i have not win and got couple silly penalties, i feel this has been my most complete season to date. We have been working hard every week, and i want that 6th title. I feel i have solid shot in Le Mans, wont be easy but i hope my experience will get me to the top''. sota59 has finished second in championship 4 times in past 5 seasons. Will he get to the 6x finally?
His teammate in Nissan is reigning back to back champion jonimestari91. Fin was close to his first title for couple times, but it always fell off in Le Mans. His growth was rewarded in Season 10, he finally won in Le Mans and did just enough to win Gr2-title by one point. And then he did it once again next season. Season 12 has not been easy for him, sometimes he has been struggling bit and some races he has made critical mistakes. But races like Spa and Laguna Seca he dominated, taking wins both times, and thanks to those points, he is looking for 3rd straight title. That would be feat only done by his teammate in past. Having won last 2 seasons, he is favorite for Le Mans-victory, and that would almost seal him the Gr2-title.
Spookyluki in Lexus has had interesting season. Missed first 2 races, he got Lexus their first win of the season in Round 4. Podium in Laguna Seca was critical to keep him in the fight, and then bit of a surprise win last week in Interlagos made him serious contender. Negative-effect of his late rise is success ballast, that makes him much heavier than his rivals. Also technical issues that cost him title shot in Le Mans last season, has been seen this season aswell, so just making to the finish in Le Mans would be feat on its own: ''Season has been surprisingly good, looking forward to LM, not expecting much''. Can he get Lexus their first title?
Lexus has two horses on the race, with Hatton93 fighting for title first time. That is incredible, as he is yet to win his first race, even after 13 races. He has been close, having 7 podiums, but lack of wins is haunting him. He is no stranger to performing in Le Mans though, as he was second there last season. Winning finally would go big way for his championship hopes, but would require championship leader having bad race. He also has very very small shot of winning title by even finishing second in the race, that would be incredible: ''Season has gone fairly well, disappointed the team didn't get a result at Suzuka so that pretty much puts us out of the teams championship, happy that we're both still in with a chance of the drivers title though going into Le Mans, it should be interesting what strategy people will go for as fuel is pretty marginal here''.
One of the favorites for this season was Season 9 champion G4 Rotary, after strong performances in past and now on second season in Honda. But it has been disappointments all season. Well not all season, win in Dragon Trail, podium in Interlagos and couple fastest laps has given him very very tiny chance of becoming 2-time champion, but he faces very up steep road. He would need dominating win with fastest lap and cars behind him finish in specific order. Race win might not be out of cards, having won here in past and he also has least ballast: ''The season definitely hasn't been my best, but it's still been a fun one, we have a light car, We go to circuit I really like and nothing to lose, cant wait for Le Mans''.
TSR_JoeToGuy was expected to be dominating on his first full season in GT-MES, and most of the time Mercedes-man has done that. 3 wins and two podiums has made him very very difficult to beat. Le Mans this weekend might not be strong race for him, with him struggling with car and ballast. But never count him out, and even if he was to miss podium, his title chances are decent, as his rivals almost need to get perfect result: ''Season has gone well for me with 3 wins. Shame I couldn't have gotten more wins earlier in the season so I'd have less ballast for Le Mans. I'm the heaviest Gr3, and also apparently the slowest. I don't think I can finish where I need to to prevent a Mazda winning the championship if they win the race, so I have to rely on others to beat them''.
Mazda-driver TSR_Tomsoft has done well in his rookie season and now is looking for Gr3-title. Pair of wins from Lago Maggiore and Laguna Seca has made his closest challenger, but that does not mean his chances are that great. He needs to win the race to have any chance of clinching title, but he also needs championship leader to finish outside the podium. In this super-deep field of talented drivers, win wont come easy.
His teammate RLH_Wesley faced very small odds last season coming to Le Mans, but he did just enough by winning the race to take unlikely championship. This season he has shown very good speed and talent, but has been unable to the win. Dutchman needs to do exactly what he did last season: Win and fastest lap. He will also need championship leader out of the podium: 'Not the best season so far. Should have won Lago and Laguna Seca, but a penalty for track limits and a bad qualli denied those wins. However, I am still having a shot at the championship and I have to repeat my Le Mans race from last season. So the aim is to win get fastest lap, and hope Joe has a bad day''. Positive ahead this weekends for race is that RLH_Wesley99 is favorite to win the race, after doing it last season, in same car.
Other Gr3-titles are out of title contention, but still looking for great result. y_bearr_ in Porsche has had good second season, and was looking like title contender after win and second place early on. That died out, as he mathematically cant beat championship leader anymore, but he is looking for Le Mans win, that slipped away from him last season: ''Season 12 has gone better than last season. Faster and more consistent than Season 11. Tom, Joe, CJ, Wes been fast since Round 1. I would say this season is more competitive towards Le Mans. I'm sure my car is fast and have advantage on tire life time, but last season showed that strategy is the main matter. So let see what I can do at Le Mans''.
Season 10-champion Ryslan Zharinov has had solid races in Audi, including two second places, but technical issues has cost him. He set Le Mans win as his main goal in preseason, will be exciting to see what he can do, if technical problems are sorted.
His teammate VLX_CJohn entered mid-season and has missed too many races to still be in championship-battle, but he is still threat for podium in Le Mans, after winning in Interlagos last week: "I wish i could do the full season but other commitments and events got in my way. I never expected to win at Interlagos, especially with the awful tyre wear we had. Sarthe is my favorite circuit so I hope I can finish this season in a high note''. de-luck4 made step down from Gr2 this season, but has been enjoying his life in Porsche, including one podium: ''This season was really competitive and i had to stretch out from my comfort zone what made me to make a lot mistakes, despite that i enjoy more in Gr3 cars than in Gr2 because less pressure and easier to cope with traffic. I was afraid that i will be dead last, but thats was not a case. So i am very happy about possibility to fight with super fast guys. Le Mans is one of worst tracks for me, but i will try to use other people mistakes if it will be any''. GTO250GTO in has made improvements this season, Aston Martin has suited him better than Ferrari. But he is still looking for first podium, and being unable to start in his favorite circuit, Interlagos, was heartbreaking. He does not feel Le Mans is one of his strongest circuits, but podium not out of reach.
His teammate amuda74 got his first podium last season in Le Mans, he even felt win would been possible. Rather than making step forward, this has been very hard season for him. But as Le Mans suits Aston Martin, he has least ballast and most importantly suits him, could he return to the podium, and maybe even win? ''Well GTO and I have had horrible seasons, both of us having problems adapting to the new car and getting it to work. This track really suits our car though so hopefully we can both get a good result for Aston Martin after a long season of last places''.