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RLR BMW GT Challenge: Third podium in four races comes on American soil


An exceptional three-way battle for victory in the one-hour contest at Laguna Seca could have gone our way, were it not for a post-race penalty.


Practice ahead of the fourth round proved not only that the Aqirys Racing duo of Victor Nicolae and Alex Cascatău were on similar pace, but also that gaps at the top of the Racing League Romania 30+ pack were shrinking. Unfortunately, qualifying assignment made for an allocated slot in Group 1, where Cascatău set the fastest time but could only watch as the Group 2 front runners claimed the first row spots. He made amends on the inside line at the start to get back up into second, then kept the leaders honest by mid-race.


He attempted the undercut to no avail, eventually losing a place to the championship leaders as they pitted two laps later. Nicolae went wheel-to-wheel with both rivals afterwards, as everyone fould it difficult to keep the BMW M4 GT4 on the tarmac strip in the Andretti hairpin. Traffic became the defining factor in the latter stage, when Nicolae was caught in an incident in Turn 3 as he pushed wide a lapped car that proved quite reluctant to obey to the blue flags. Thus, crossing the finish line second behind a penalized car meant no victory, as Nicolae got a penalty of his own.

Cezar Toader stole the show in the first half of the race, as a tiny hesitation at the start kept him in battle with Cîmpean and Dumitrescu. His ACC safety rating should be sky high after so much time spent racing cleanly in parallel with other cars, a showcase of the etiquette that RLR demands from all participants. Mihai Rusu took over and settled the scores, leaving behind those opponents and attempting to slash down the deficit to P4. From 15 seconds, there were only 4 left as the flag dropped.


Aqirys Racing is now back to third in the standings with two second places, a third and a DNF. Textar eSports are fourth, with a fourth and three fifth places. Next round will take place at Kyalami (2 hours) in two weeks time.

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