Tonight’s TMSA Monday Night Mayhem heads into what is anticipated to be an extremely close battle on the roughly 2km Tsukuba Circuit located in Shimotsuma, Japan. Most drivers obviously aren’t anywhere near Japan unless they have somehow managed to get onto one of SAA’s special flights out.
With the longest straight being only 437 metres, it’s going to come down to who can make the most of qualifying and ensure a good grid spot as overtaking is tricky around this tight and twisty race track in the land of the rising sun.
Where in real life this could result in a slightly boring affair where no drivers feel like footing the bill for a mangled vehicle, tonight’s race will probably be quite the opposite as drivers will need to virtually risk nothing but their pride as they throw Assetto Corse Abarths up the inside and around the outside in search of glory.
Round 1 was a true spectacle and saw numerous race fans enjoying a local virtual substitute. The venue may be some miles away this time around but you can be sure the drivers are firmly still the same South African household names you witnessed doing battle last Monday.
Jurie “Umpie” Swart (G-Energy/G Force Sim) came away with a slender championship lead after narrowly losing out to Troy Dolinschek (Makita/Simrace247) in race one before Dolinschek suffered a bad result in race two. The two will be favorites for the top step come lights out tonight. As impressive as the pace shown by these two at Killarney was, what was probably even more impressive was the fact that 0.4 seconds covered P3 to P10 in qualifying last time out.
Hilton Pieters (Sujean Property Investments), superbikers Kewyn Snyman (Simrace247) and Ryan van Eden (Speed and Sound Magazine), John-Henri Vaughan (Maps Racing/Simrace247), Carel van der Merwe (GT Graphics/Kings Customs), Chase Herholdt (Simrace247/Umpini Graphics), Andrew Thomas (Carbs and Coffee Media) and Clinton Bezuidenhout (Glenwood Zenex Bosch/Universal Health Care/Wingfield Motors) are all in there with a shot at mixing it up for podiums and possibly upsetting Swart and Dolinschek, while Kyle Wilshire (GAP Motorsport/Flatline/Ops) has shown solid improvement over the past week of testing.
Don’t count out oval star Daryyn Beighton (Southern Cross Services), Class A GTi Challenge racers Colin Meder, Brendon van Eden and Dillon Joubert (TAC Steel), Zachary Martin (J&P Hydraulics Racing) and the ever improving Mark Zeeman.
Tonight’s race sees the addition of a few superstars to the entry list, Local main circuit and karting ace Jason Coetzee (CK Coachworks/Cape Coast Flooring), Polo Cup drivers Dario Busi (Universal Motorsport/Team Red Racing) and Nathi Msimanga (ASEDA/VW Squadra Corse) , Super Drift sensation Chris Long and DD2 Masters National racer Andre Steenkamp (Carbs and Coffee Media) will be raring to go and establish themselves in the pecking order.
Commentary is once again provided by your favorite voices in motorsport, Gary Fleming and Franky Heunis are raring to wax lyrical as 22 virtual italian hot hatches go flying into turn one. It will be fascinating to see who emerges from the dust upfront and we can’t wait to see what unfolds from there.
Qualifying kicks off at 20:00 and lights out for race one 15 minutes after that.
Follow @TMSARacing for updates and the livestream of all the races.
Yours in simracing, TMSA and Carbs and Coffee Media.