Qualifying at the Nurburgring Nordschleife was always going to be about getting around with a clean lap. However, no-one told Dan Craft who put his car on the front row in second place, behind Michael Schellbach. Colin Cunniffe was surprised to be in seventh place, with Ross Balfour taking a safety first approach, rounding out the top ten, admitting he probably could’ve been a bit quicker.
The lead up to race one was filled with confusion. The time limit set for the race meant that it was likely that three laps would be required rather than the two that was scheduled. With rules being hastily implemented, drivers were adding extra fuel just in case, with only seconds to go until the race start.
Once the lights went out, Craft and Cunniffe got away pretty well, however Ross had a nightmare. His car bogged down a lot, losing some positions, and once he got going again, got dive-bombed by Steve Hefford into turn one, pitching the Friction car across the inside of the corner, giving him a slowdown penalty. With the penalty served, and another few places dropped, the next corner he was to find the car had been damaged… By this time, the car was into the barrier and caused problems for the chasing pack. Stewards found Ross guilty and have served him with a back of the grid penalty for the event at Barber.
The slippy conditions also caught out Craft, who spun out from second place, with his car parked in the middle of the track. Luckily nobody hit him, and after a five point turn, finally got under way again. Craft's incident allowed Cunniffe to pass Swirydowicz, where he would stay until the end of the lap. With both caught up to Smolensky, it was a drag race along the big straight. Colin managed to pass Smolensky, but then Woj passed both going into the kinks before the end of the lap, leaving the Friction car in fifth. Further back, Dan was making progress through the field, eventually finishing in 13th place.
More confusion before the start of race two, saw the event change to two more races of three laps. However, quite a few drivers would struggle to make turn five. The overcast conditions and low temperatures meant the first few corners were treacherous. Genovski starting from pole was the first to spin, with much of the rest of the grid getting involved if they weren’t having incidents of their own, with Cunniffe being one of the victims being unsighted and ploughing into one of the pile ups, ending his race.
Craft somehow managed to somehow get through it all. With spinning cars in front getting hit out of the way by those around him, he was up to third by turn five from his grid spot of 11th. By Aremberg, Craft was in the lead! With Ross starting way back in 35th, he was aware of what was going on ahead and also managed to make his way through, with just a slight bump to the front of the car. He managed to get up to 17th by turn five as well, and up to 10th by the end of lap one.
All was going well until the end of the final lap, and showed why you never assume anything at this track. Leading a massive margin, the rear end of Craft's stepped out, making the driver clip the inside kerb, and pitching him into the barrier. With significant damage, Dan managed to limp home in eighth place, just ahead of Balfour.
Only two cars started race three, as Cunniffe decided starting from the pits would be a safer option. Unfortunately, with no others cars to use as a reference point, he managed to lose the rear end in the first few corners and hitting the barrier, ending his night very early.
Up front, Ross and Dan started alongside each other, and off the start kept everything clean and tidy. That was until the fast right hander of Flugplatz. With iRacing recently announcing they will introduce Rallycross, Ross decided to test the physics by sliding the car around the outside grass, just missing the tyre barrier. It looked spectacular, but it wasn’t fast, and lost some positions. With his teammate out of the way, this allowed Craft to set about after the lead of the race. Dan was cutting through the field, with the only blemish a mistimed attempt on John Roberts, which allowed the following Schellbach to force his way ahead of both drivers. Craft and Schellbach continued their assault on the rest of the front pack. Midway through the second lap, the pair had caught up to the leader of Kip Stephens, and Craft managed to surprise the German driver by throwing his car up the inside into a tight left hander. Schellbach turned in on Craft and the two came together. Both were then side by side for a few corners before Craft finally came out triumphant. Both then quickly caught and passed the leader.
Behind, Ross was following the battling duo through the pack, as was Woj Swirydowicz and Jack McIntyre, who were just in front going into the last lap. Some excellent defensive driving was keeping the Alfallatech driver at bay for the majority of the lap, but his luck was to run out again as going into the mini Carousel. A possible net code with Schellbach getting very close the Craft going in, it meant Craft missed the banking, pushing out to the barrier on the outside, allowing the following three drivers by. With just the long straight to go, it seemed fourth would be the best he would finish, but the three leaders battled away for the win. Woj braked to get into the slipstream of McIntyre, and it worked a treat, getting him past both cars by the final kinks. All looked done, except he out braked himself and cut the final corner, strangely not getting a penalty and keeping the win. Behind it was also kicking off. Schellbach hit a bump and half spun the car, McIntyre followed the exact same line and completely spun the car. This allowed Craft to jump back up to finish second, and Ross got up to fourth after the dramatic finish.
The evenings results see Craft jump six places to 13th, Ross climbed back into the top ten into eighth. Cunniffe's bad evening cost him and the team dear, with him dropping to seventh, and falling further behind in the Team Standing, although still in third place.