15129473_1268466069863306_8006723950558916281_oAfter a disappointing GES season start at Road America for both TFR Sunset and Raidillon, both teams were looking forward to showing their real potential at the second round at Imola. Throughout both Free Practices, both cars were seen close to the top positions, finishing out FP2 in the Top 3 of the Proto and the GTC class.

For TFR Sunset, drivers Jake Robson and Pedro Van Baelen went into the event optimistically, only to be given a damper shortly after. Due to an offtrack in his fastest Qualifying lap, Jake was only able to put the car into 8th position on the grid, far behind the place they were hoping for.

At TFR Raidillon, hopes were high, as team manager Georg Gruber got into the drivers seat for the first time this season, supported by James Ewens. In Qualifying, Georg put the car into 10th place, also held back by a mistake in qualifying.

At the race start Jake knew he had to be patient and work his way through the Proto field with the pace he knew he had. In the first stint he worked his way from 8th to 5th. However on lap 26 disaster struck as coming through Piratella a C-Spec which already had damage from a previous incident lost control trying to hold another car off and went into the wall. The wrecking car came back onto the track, leaving Jake no time to react, resulting in a race ending hit to the left front of the TFR Sunset C7 DP. Enough for 12 minutes of repairs.

Taking over the car for the start in the C-Spec, Georg quickly showed why he likes driving the starts. Gaining some positions through overtakes, and others through crashes and mistakes of the other C-Specs. After 9 laps, he was able to get into a great 5th place in the GTC class. Closely followed by the BerlinSimSport Ruf, he was able to avoid big mistakes for the rest of the stint, constantly having to watch out for faster traffic.

After the first pitstop, the fight with the BerlinSimSport car was going slowly heating up, and looking to turn out very competitive between Georg and the opposing driver Marcel Nolte. Until lightning struck for the german team, as they got hit by the Backmarker Racing C7 DP after a misunderstanding while getting lapped. The remainder of Georg’s second stint after that was once again dominated by keeping the car clean and traffic management, so James would have a clean car after the next pit stop.

For the remainder of TFR Sunset’s race Jake and Pedro knew they just had to keep the car running and try to pick up any positions they could. After finishing his section of the race, Jake handed over the Corvette to Pedro. Pedro did a great job of turning consistent laps with the beaten car, matching Sim Racing for Holland in the lead of the race.

The first driver change for TFR Raidillon saw James hopping into the car, hoping to show off the improvements he made since Road America. However, despite showing very competitive speed, he was off to a rocky start as he soon got hit slightly by the SRN Motorsport Ruf. Driving on without damage, James’ luck was only getting worse, when the CoRe SimRacing AMG GT3 hit the back of the Ruf into T4, sending James into a spin, and damaging the front suspension over the dreaded sausage curbs. Soon, the decision was made to put Georg back into the car for the last, short stint, the extended pitstop also being a chance to make much needed repairs.

The damage on the C-Spec didn’t seem to bother Georg too much. Driving almost as fast as during the early stage of the race, all he had to do was to maintain the distance from the other teams around their position, and bring home a stellar 6th place. After finishing 10th in the opening round, both James and Georg were happy about the good performance.

Glad they could finally show off what they’re capable of, TFR Raidillon are looking forward to the next round at the Twin Ring Motegi. Phil Roberts and Georg Gruber will be sharing the Ruf for the 4 hour night race.

Sadly, Jake and Pedro could only achieve 12th after the accident, a huge blow to their championship hopes. All eyes are now on to Motegi, finally hoping for the finish they know they can have.

 

The inaugural round of the 2016/17 GES Championship ended with a bitter-sweet 5th place in the Proto class for our TFR Sunset team of Jake Robson and Pedro van Baelen. And a tough 10th position in the GTC class for our TFR Raidillon team of Phil Roberts and James Ewens, with spotting help from Team Manager Sascha Lamp.lharjpy

Qualifying was a mixed affair with TFR Sunset qualifying in 5th, 5 tenths away from the pole sitter, Thrustmaster Mivano. Jake felt he nailed both laps and was pleased with his position on the grid, however couldn’t help but feel there was still some time to gain on the rest of the field.

The C-Spec of TFR Raidillon on the other hand ended up qualifying last in their class, 5 tenths away from the next car, James was disappointed but was confident to gain speed in the race.

The race started quite interestingly for the C7 DP, with Jake having to take evasive action leaving him millimetres away from both another DP and the pitwall after the polesitting Thrustmaster Mivano Corvette didn’t go on the green flag. After lap 1 Jake already made his way up into 3rd place following closely behind Simracing for Holland. After both Mivano and SimRC received penalties, a lot of pressure was taken off Jake, who was then able to battle with the SFH car for 2nd place.

Meanwhile, James in the Ruf C-Spec ran at the back of the GTC field, finding his rhythm and keeping out of trouble.

Briefly, Jake was able to get by the Dutch C7 DP with a quick pitstop, however made a mistake at turn 8 which handed the position back to them. Simracing for Holland soon after had a spin coming out of the penultimate corner, resulting in some damage on their car although they were still able to maintain position. Whilst all of this was happening Backmarker Racing with Niklas Hjelm were running away with a 20+ second gap from the battle behind them.

During James’ second stint, the SFH Corvette had an incident in traffic that caused them some more damage, whilst forcing James’ C-Spec into a spin. GES race control ruled it as a race incident, and both cars were able to continue, even though it cost James his 11th place.

With SFH now having aero damage, Jake decided to try and make a move on the Start/Finish straight. With the TFR Sunset DP now having a clear speed advantage it seemed like an easy pass, however the current driver of the SFH DP, Dennis Douna, made a move to block Jake’s passing attempt, resulting in them being given a drive through penalty for blocking.

James handed the C-Spec over to Phil for the final 3 stints. Phil quickly got into his grove and made some consistent lap times to move the TFR Raidillon Ruf back into 11th position again.

TFR Sunset now found themselves in 2nd, with SimRC.de hunting them down. The Austro-German team however were to suffer a spin coming through the penultimate corner resulting in a big loss of time.

After a stellar triple stint, Jake jumped out of the Corvette, handing over to Pedro for the final stretch of the race. During a fairly uneventful first stint for Pedro in the TFR Corvette C7 Daytona Prototype he pulled a gap of around 15 seconds to SimRC.de and their driver, Christoph Weitz. Pedro and Jake were looking set for an amazing 2nd place finish.

However heartbreak struck as the slow and damaged GT3 car of Black Adder Motorsport #266 was breaking into turn 8, Pedro misjudged the damaged cars speed and received a light front end contact. Due to the damage Pedro then made the same mistake Jake did coming out of Turn 8, however this time resulting in contact with the #323 C-Spec of Team Buchfink Racing Blue, putting Pedro into the tire barrier and causing some more damage.

The damage seemed to be slowing down the car significantly, with Pedro having to defend his positions aggressively, but sadly the other cars were too fast. With TFR Sunset being overtaken by SimRC, Mivano and SFH they found themselves back in P5, where they started the race.

Phil’s first stint in the TFR Raidillon Ruf was relatively uneventful and except for losing the iRacing spotter (a situation that would occur to the sister team in NEO the day after), the C Spec was running well. This all changed with 30 minutes to go when Phil had a spin in turn 1 and collected the Apex Academy C7 DP. With more cars piling into the melee, not slowing down sufficiently for the yellow flags, this ended up with the biggest crash of the 4 hour event. With some repair time Phil managed to get the C Spec back out on track and finished in 10th place.

The DP of TFR Sunset of Jake and Pedro would hang onto its position until the end of the race to secure a solid 11 points, keeping their championship hopes alive. At the end, both of them were still satisfied with the race even after the issues and heartbreak. They are now looking forward to the 3 Hours of Imola, this time planning to play a much bigger role in the fight for the overall victory.

d6gt1ekPhil and James of TFR Raidillon were both disappointed with their 10th place. But considering lots of scheduling issues which caused them to have to drive without the support of Team Manager Georg Gruber, and backup driver David Barraclough, a top 10 result was not bad in the end. The C-Spec team is looking forward to having Georg in the car, who will be racing hard with a vengeance at Imola.

Congratulations to all class winners, Pure Racing Team in GT3, and our friends of SIMRC and Team Buschfink Racing in Proto and GTC.

Thanks from the whole Torque Freak Racing Organisation go out to the Gathering of Tweakers team around Nick Thissen and Joep Willemsen for organizing this amazing series.

 

161017-221The first round of the NEO Endurance Series ended in a great 6th finishing position for our NES driver line-up of Alex Riebel, David Barraclough and Bram Reniers, with reserve driver Georg Gruber spotting, proving their worth between some of the best teams in sim racing.

After qualifying the TFR Aston Martin in a good 8th place on Saturday, our youngest team member, Alex, was already hungry for more. “Qualified 8, I’m so angry. I had the possibility to improve up to 5th spot in the last lap because a slower car gave me a draft on the back straight, but I ran out of fuel at the end of the last turn.” Nevertheless, qualifying in front of teams like Radicals Online and Pure Racing Team showed that we had the speed to surprise on race day.

On Sunday, it was Alex’s time to shine once again. Driving a great opening stint, he managed to maintain his position at the start, and stay with a fast pack, led by the Coanda Simsport Corvette C6 of Klaus Kivekäs in P4. Only when the lapped traffic was starting to appear, he lost contact to the group, and also made a slight mistake when overtaking a GT3 car, which resulted in a spin. Not hitting anything, Alex quickly got back up to speed again, and tried to make up the lost time, gaining back 2 positions in his second stint.

After Alex’s double stint, it was David’s turn to jump into the hotseat. He picked up right where Alex stopped, and quickly reeled in and passed the SRN Aston Martin. Several incidents put fast teams of Mivano, Rugaballine, and SimRC Crimson out of the race, solidified the hopes for a good finish. Getting ever closer to the Pure Racing Team GT1 Aston Martin, it was becoming clear that they were going to be another chance to pick up a position.161017-16

Taking over the car from David, Bram was mere seconds behind the PRT car when leaving the pits. Due to bad luck with traffic, and trying to keep away from any more incidents, Bram wasn’t quite able to keep up with PRT, slowly losing time to them over his first stint. But then, lightning struck for the Austro-German team during Bram’s second stint, as they got hit from behind by a lapping HPD and hit the tire wall at Tower turn. That gave Bram the chance to catch up and pass them for 6th position, even though they made it as hard as possible for him – a “beautiful move” as described by Racespot going into Sunset Bend.

It was David’s turn again to finish the race off with one last stint. With PRT electing to not change tires, he had to pass them once again, to guarantee the finish in 6th position. It only took the TFR Team Driver/Manager minutes to catch up and get by. Sadly, there was just not enough time left for David to catch up to the car in P5, the Coanda Simsport Corvette, which was about 25 seconds in front. The TFR Aston Martin finished without any more incidents, no damage visible on the car, and still on the lead lap of the GT1 field.

Georg was on hand throughout almost the entirety of the race, providing invaluable spotting calls when the iracing spotter decided to go on vacation for 5 hours of the race, and some great advice to keep our drivers focused along the way.

David summed up the result at the end: “What a brilliant race, congratulations everyone on one of our best finishes. To finish less than a lap down on the winners of a NEO race is a great achievement, and bodes very well for the season to come!”

Congratulations to all class winners, Team Chimera in Prototype, Pure Racing Team in GTS, and especially our friends at SimRC.de in the GT Class.

Once again, thanks go out to Egil Sandfeld, Niel Hekkens, and everyone else involved with making the NEO Endurance Series such a success. And of course to Team Chimera for the awesome pictures of the race, and Racespot TV for the broadcast.

 
TFR Aston Martin GT1 at the newly released Circuit de la Sarthe

TFR Aston Martin GT1 at the newly released Circuit de la Sarthe

Torque Freak Racing are delighted to announce that we shall once again be entering a car into the prestigious NEO Endurance Series, for the third straight year. In our first season after reorganization and expansion, this represents a great effort by Sascha & all others involved in leading the team forwards. The first step will be to achieve prequalification on 2nd October 2016.

Our hopes are pinned on running an Aston Martin DBR9 in the GT1 Class. The team are looking to improve upon last season’s result of 10th in class, during which the car finished consistently but lacked a little top end speed. This season, David returns and is leading an otherwise all new 4 driver lineup, including Bram, Alex and Georg. The entire team has committed to giving their all to finding more from themselves and the setup of the car, and prove their mettle in the same class as many of the top teams in online sim racing. They are already well attuned to each other, as evidenced by a 6th place finish in the second split of the Spa 24 Hour race earlier this year, and consistent top 5 placings in strength of field races of the gruelling iRacing VLN series.

Introductions:
David Barraclough: Driver & Team leader
David is the most experienced iRacer on the team, having also competed in the NES in the previous season, along with two GES seasons, and takes on the task of leading the other drivers through this season’s races. Known in the team for his speed and on-track fairness, he has had a lot of success in multi class racing already. His biggest successes this year so far have been, and multiple 2nd division titles, and overall season podiums in the C Spec and Ford in IMSA and ProtoGT, a 4th place in the 2nd split of the Sebring 12h with Bram, a great 6th place finish with the rest of the team in the Spa 24h, and numerous top 5 finishes in the top split VLN races.

Bram Reniers: Driver
Bram has proven to be a great endurance driver for the team over the last year, incredibly consistent through multiple stints and is known for his awareness and measured approach. As media manager he is responsible for the fantastic paints of our cars. This year he has proven himself with a 4th place in the 2nd split of the Sebring 12h with David, a great 6th place finish with the rest of the team in the Spa 24h, and numerous top 5 finishes in the top split VLN races.

Alex Riebel: Driver
Alex is a rookie drive on the team, known for his rigorous approach to setup, and he is looking to prove himself at the very highest level of sim racing. In his first season with the team he has already showed his talent throughout his first 24 hour endurance race (Spa), and has shown some further bursts of speed in GT3 and GT1 racing against established division 1 competition. It’s going to be interesting to see how he fares himself against the experienced NEO competition.

Georg Gruber: Reserve driver & Crew chief
Handling pit wall operation & setup work, Georg draws upon real life touring car race experience as a driver and team manager at the Nordschleife in VLN, Red Bull Ring, and Monza, amongst numerous other tracks. As the team’s reserve driver he will also be looking to drive with the team at the Le Mans round at the very least. Georg has shown to not be far of the main drivers’ speed as a part of the Spa 24h team, and the VLN team..

Sascha Lamp: TFR Team Manager
Sascha will be supporting the NES team throughout the season in the organizational areas. He was also responsible for the reorganization Torque Freak Racing went through, leading up to having this entry into NES.

Our thanks go out to the rest of Torque Freak Racing, who will be supporting the team leading up to and during the NEO Endurance Series, as well as all our friends in the sim racing community. Finally, good luck to all fellow competitors!

 

Sim-Racing

When did you start sim-racing and how did you get there?

What sim-racing experience do you have?

What are your goals for your career?

What are your goals for the current season?

What’s your most notable achievement in sim-racing?

Why have you joined TFR in the first place?

What is your favourite car in the iRacing service?

What is your favourite track in the iRacing service?

What is your favourite car/track combination?

Real life racing

What real live racing experience do you have?

What racing series you like to watch?

Who is your favourite driver and why?

What is your favourite racing moment?

Which tracks have you visited before and which do you visit regularly?

Off topic

How many games of monopoly have you ruined by not playing mercifully?

What is one song that you can’t get out of your head and hum occasionally because of it?

 

Sim-Racing

When did you start sim-racing and how did you get there?
Started racing around 2011 back on F1 2011 leagues, which sucked. I then did a few rFactor leagues in 2013 but quickly found iRacing back in August 2014 and have been there ever since. Found iRacing through the awesome iRacing twitch community!

What sim-racing experience do you have?
F1 2011, 2012 and 2013
rFactor
iRacing

What are your goals for your career?
Only asking of a few things 😉
1st in IMSA overall Prototype championship
Win top split Le Mans in class

What are your goals for the current season?
Top 3 in Division 2 and Top 5 overall in the IMSA Prototype championship.

What’s your most notable achievement in sim-racing?
Podium in the 2016 24 hours of Daytona

Why have you joined TFR in the first place?
Decided I wanted a new adventure in Sim Racing and TFR seemed to be the place to go, wanted a friendly community which will help make me faster, and that’s exactly what I have 🙂

What is your favourite car in the iRacing service?
For just having fun it has to be the RUF RWD, however for being competitive the Corvette DP

What is your favourite track in the iRacing service?
Really tough question.. So here is a few, Daytona Road, Sebring International, Laguna Seca and Long Beach

What is your favourite car/track combination?
Another tricky question. For having fun it would be the RUF RWD at Laguna Seca… However for racing and being fast I like the Corvette DP at Sebring

Real life racing

What real live racing experience do you have?
Not a whole lot really, some Karting and a few laps in a NASCAR (as a passenger)

What racing series you like to watch?
F1, WEC, Indycar, IMSA, Formula E, Blancpain and some NASCAR

Who is your favourite driver and why?
Lewis Hamilton, from being a kid I have watched F1 and always taking a liking to him, probably down to same nationality. Love the way he is chilled out off the track as well. Also a fan of Brendon Hartley.
What is your favourite racing moment?
From a wheel to wheel point of view it would have to be Verstappen’s move around the outside of blanchimont at Spa. However in terms of drama in a race it would have to be when Toyota broke down at Le Mans with a couple of laps to go.

Which tracks have you visited before and which do you visit regularly?
So far I have been to Silverstone, Spa.

Off topic

How many games of monopoly have you ruined by not playing mercifully?
Probably quite a few, my monopoly days are long gone 😛

What is one song that you can’t get out of your head and hum occasionally because of it?
I move on from songs very quickly… But for the pace lap of the Daytona 24 hour I had AC/DC Back in Black on and oh boy that gets you ready for it… Try it 😉

 

Sim-Racing

When did you start sim-racing and how did you get there?

What sim-racing experience do you have?

What are your goals for your career?

What are your goals for the current season?

What’s your most notable achievement in sim-racing?

Why have you joined TFR in the first place?

What is your favourite car in the iRacing service?

What is your favourite track in the iRacing service?

What is your favourite car/track combination?

Real life racing

What real live racing experience do you have?

What racing series you like to watch?

Who is your favourite driver and why?

What is your favourite racing moment?

Which tracks have you visited before and which do you visit regularly?

Off topic

How many games of monopoly have you ruined by not playing mercifully?

What is one song that you can’t get out of your head and hum occasionally because of it?