As the end of RACEONOZ's second season for the year comes to a close, it's time to highlight what our drivers are doing on the other side of the SimRacing world; iRacing. The Raceonoz iRacing team has grown from strength to strength and had some stunning race results as of late, Sam Blacklock continues to impress in the V8 SCOPS-Mega Team; Trans Tasman Racing whilst myself, Beau Albert and fellow Raceonoz member, Scott Lanarch (R0T0R-AU86) have joined the most dominant Australian SimRacing Team in GT Racing, and one of the most successful in V8 Supercars, Evolution Racing Team. Lets kick off this report however, with the boys who represent the official RACEONOZ site with a write up from Team Managers; Steven Latimore and Benjamin J Smith!
Raceonoz iRacing Team is forever growing, and in the past couple of months has seen an almost double in the number of drivers it has on its roster, with the introduction of Dirt a few months back and an always increasing interest in V8 and sports car racing.
Dirt team leader Daniel Gow, has taken on a few new drivers and is performing well with the Rooz sprint cars featuring up front in various series.
With new recruits Luke Muir, Jesse Varley, Bob King and Scott Butler, the dirt team is really gaining momentum, bouncing setup ideas and tips and tricks off each other. The dirt team new painter Bob King has also been busy coming up with new fresh paint designs using ideas from real speedway car designers.
The ever-growing sports car program within Raceonoz see’s us take on such world class events, such as the LeMans 24 hour on the 10 of June and the Watkins Glen 6 hour.
The team is also taking part in various GT3 and Porsche Carrera Cup events, with Matt Alison, Michael Kirkham and Ben Stensrud leading the way, performing very well with team owner Benjamin Smith trailing behind get the hand dirty in something outside of his Tickford FG Falcon.
Which brings us to our original bread and butter series, V8 Supercars.
Raceonoz is continuing to develop talented Supercars drivers through our OSR Development Team which has had a massive increase from our Season 1 2017 Championship win.
The team now consist of 5 drivers, in the #36 VF Commodore, Liam Jensen a well-established go-karter in his own right, racing for Too Deadly Racing and will also be taking part in the Aussie Driver Search pro comp.
In the #3 we have Ben Stensrud aka Spectre, well known driver within the Raceonoz.com forum.
In the #78 FG Falcon, we have Liam Tipping. Liam is an Apprentice Mechanic at Nissan Motorsport in Melbourne, where on race weekend you will find him in the tyre tent preparing tyre sets for Simona De Silvestro’s Nissan Altima Supercar.
In the #33 and #094 you have our dirt drivers, Jesse Varley and Scott Butler having a crack in the V8.
While in our main V8 squad we have Team owners Steven Latimore and Benjamin Smith along with Gt Academy contestant Tyler Blackburn, taking on the Australian Online Supercars Championship where the Raceonoz #91 is consistently Top 10 pace (broadcasted on RRTV on YouTube) and the V8 Supercars Online Premier Series where Benjamin scored the team’s first Top Split spot at Imola in his lovely presented Tickford Sponsored Falcon.
The V8 team is looking forward to some strong showings towards the end of the year with the V8 SCOPS endurance events.
Words from the Team owner Benjamin Smith:
With the 1 year anniversary coming up, I am very proud of what the team has achieved in such a short time, coming from a single car team of just myself competing in the development series to almost 20 cars and drivers taking on a multiple of different disciplines.
We have some exciting things in the planning including a league based around cars and tracks that come free with the base iRacing subscription aiming to give the Raceonoz forum members a chance to have a trial run of iRacing in the format they have come to know in other Raceonoz league events.
We are very exciting with what the future brings for the RaceOnOz iRacing Team, looking forward to some future livery releases with a new paint for our V8 Supercar coming soon and various others.
As team owner I would like to thank all my drivers for the effort they have put in to this team, if it wasn’t for them this Team wouldn’t be what it is today.
Thanks Benjamin Smith
Next up we move onto Sam Blacklock at Trans Tasman Racing. Sam is apart of TTR's development driver program, the "Rising Stars."
Sam has continued to impress the team with outstanding performances in the V8Scops championship, the most elite series of its kind for the Aussie V8 Supercars. When asked about how his last month in iRacing had gone, Sam had this to say:
"This last month had been tough, i have just finished building a new computer and re-designing my cockpit due to triple screens and my OCD, so the last month has been a lot about adjustment. My first event on the somewhat new setup was round 3 of V8SCOPS at Oran park. I showed some decent pace in Pre-Qual, but both races would not go to plan after getting involved in a lot of silly incidents. I then made an effort in the official series at Phillip Island and managed to win my first race of the week in a thrilling battle with ERT's Ian Ford.
After that it was all about preparing for round 4 of V8SCOPS at Sebring. Learnt a lot more about the car during Pre-Qualifying and managed to end up 10th, however after an error from 2 drivers behind me i was backwards at the first turn with massive damage, an unfortunate DNF was unavoidable. Now i look on to the 24h Le Mans and round 5 of V8SCOPS, it's gonna be a busy week!"
Finally we move onto Evolution Racing Team where two of the more recent iRacing newcomers have found their home. Coming off the back of an incredibly successful final PCARS season for Beau, and an equally successful final season of Assetto Corsa for Scott, the two have transitioned into Evolution Racing Teams "ERT Hornets" program where they can learn from mentors to help improve themselves and become even better Sim Racers. When asked about the ERT Program, Scott Lanarch had this to say!
" The biggest thing would be the team support and general morale. All of the lads have been so welcoming, and Brenton O'Brien did a great job with the intro into the team! For me I am still learning the Sim, but everyone has been awesome help, especially when I raced with the team in top split of the Nordschleife 24 Hour race in the 911 after only three weeks on iRacing! My plan though is to finish off the V8 Development series well, and then focus on the Porsche Official and Racespot Supercup series before giving the BGT Qualifiers a strong effort"
Since this interview however, Scott has indeed finished off the V8 Development series well, coming from behind to score the OSR Development series championship, following in the footsteps of Sam Blacklock.
Beau meanwhile, has also joined the ERT Hornets but has had a recent collection of disappointing results. From coming oh so close to his first podium, a drive through penalty and subsequently retiring from Sebring, followed next week by spinning out of 8th place at Mosport park, Beau is vowing to fight back at ERT's biggest event of the year, the 24 Hours of Le Mans!
"The last month for me has been all about adapting to my new team and trying to impress! A fantastic debut in the V8 SCOPS Support Race was perfect, coming home just off the podium in fourth. In the long break for me between races, i have been doing iRacing's offical races to get my iRating up, now exceding over 4.2k which is pretty insane for just 2 and a half months of track time! Couldn't be happier with that, and alot of that is down to my teams enormous support and wealth of knowledge. Carrera Cup Australia at Phillip Island went decent, qualifying just half a tenth behind Scott and managing to launch into 6th before Turn 2! Sebring the following weekend was less ideal and a real disappointment for me. Fourth in Qualifying, well ahead of both my teammates and fighting for third halfway through the race when i tried an overtake, it got a little messy, and a drivethrough penalty ruined my best ever chance so far of that elusive Podium... at least my teammate Scotty got the podium, but i'd be lying if i said i wasn't disapponted! Mosport was equally disappointing.
The whole team struggled to adapt to the track and a 16th in Qualifying wasn't what i wanted. A great opening few laps though meant i fired into the Top 10 pretty soon, however a lapse in concentration is all you need in these cars to end your night early, and i found that out the hard way, braking at the wrong time over a crest, losing the rear of the car and being greeted by Concrete! The 24 hours of Le Mans is the big one though, so i need to make sure i put my best foot forward and forget the previous few results! Never back down!"
Konnor McCluskey Young for Progression Racing Australia has also been making big strides lately as he continues to learn the Porsche Carrera Cup at his new team Progression Racing Australia after a few months at the RACEONOZ team. Konnor had this to say about his time on iRacing lately:
"I've settled in nicely with the new team and improving week by week, all a great bunch of guys who have a serious competitive side but also a banter side which is what ya want out of a team. My last month has been filled with bad luck due to missing out on the last scops round by 1 tenth of a second, 2 DNF in the first 2 races of the Porsche carrera cup due to other people mess. Aiming to have a much better upcoming month with another V8SCOPS round this weekend at Miami road course.....another new track for me so it's going to be a tough week!
Also will be hopefully competing in my first ever Le man 24hr in the Ferrari GTE which is also this weekend"
Next on the agenda for all 3 teams is the 24 hours of Le Mans, with TTR and ERT in particular gunning for outright glory in the biggest race of the year. Raceonoz iracing team are equally going for a great result at Le Mans, but are looking to learn and build on from this weekend for next year.
Until the end of the next Season of RACEONOZ, these boys will certainly be kept busy!