Benson moves to NTESERIES lead after Golden Round

Thursday 07 July, 2022
Photos: DM Simtography
After two rounds of the NTESERIES Dry Season Cup, Maverick Benson leads the championship thanks to two consistent rounds and a haul of bonus points for clean driving. 

The Northern Territory based virtual series awards bonus points to drivers who complete an incident free race, with additional points up for grabs for drivers who complete an incident free round, also known as a Golden Round.

Despite leading the series courtesy of back-to-back Golden rounds, Benson didn't have too much success in round two at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve from a results point of view, but still enjoyed a podium and a top 10 finish.

The overall round two victory belonged to Chris Mitchell though, who jumped from eighth on the standings to third after winning the opening race and finishing fourth in the second race.

The first minor victory went to Tyson Broad, who steered his Porsche 992 on pole for race one of the evening alongside 2022 Shannons Insurance NTESERIES Champion, Jack Widdas. 

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Race One saw an exceptionally clean start as all 30 cars filed into the opening corner without issue, but it didn’t take long for the first high-profile driver to fall victim to the challenging Canadian circuit – an early mistake to Widdas on the opening lap saw him lose control and parked up in the middle of the track.

The incident promoted Sam Dicker into second who went on to battle with Broad for a number of laps before a late race incident between the two resulted in Broad to lose a number of positions and Dicker to be slapped with a five second post-race penalty for the incident. 

The post-race penalty demoted Dicker to second and promoted Mitchell to his first NTESERIES race win. 

When it came to race two, Mitchell and Dicker led the field through the opening corners and once again there were no major incidents at turn one. 

A key feature of the Dry Season Cup is the one compulsory pit stop (CPS) required at one point during each round’s two races – putting race strategy firmly in the hands of the drivers as to when they’ll activate their CPS.

Once again, the feature proved quite entertaining as there were a range of different leaders throughout the race and a great comparison of racing strategies.

As the CPS cycle commenced in race two, the revised and correct order began to filter to the lead, with John Bradshaw leading the field of cars that had completed their stops. 

Eventually, the race came down to the last lap and last corner with a late charging Widdas successfully completing his dive for the line and taking out race two as a result over Bradshaw.

Rounding out the podium was Ray Oliver.

Click here to view the full championship results here. 

Round 3 will see drivers head to Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya on Sunday, 10 July and fans can watch via SimSpeedTV’s Facebook and YouTube from 6:50pm ACST here.

For more information on the NTESeries, check out www.nteseries.com.au.
 

Top 10 after two rounds

1. Maverick Benson (484)
2. Jack Widdas (472)
3. Chris Mitchell (434)
4. Guy Leach (390)
5. Paul Mansell (387)
6. Ray Oliver (360)
7. John Bradshaw (309)
8. Jacques Swanepoel (306)
9. Dean Powe (287)
10. Zach Wendt-Smith (281)
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