Russian sim racer Vladislav Zenkov powered to the top of the timesheets to claim victory in the inaugural HSO Speedweek at Kyalami Hotlap virtual series run under the auspices of the Historic Simracing Organisation (HSO) using rFactor 2 as the simulator game of choice.
The first of the ongoing Hotlap competitions began on 5 March and ran until 20 March on the old Kyalami layout using the MAK-Corp Group C mod featuring the 1991 Group C mod includes the Mazda 787B, Porsche 962C and the Sauber-Mercedes C11.
The rules were simple: “The objective is to hot lap with all the cars as many times as you wish, however respect other drivers as you would in normal race qualifying conditions. Also note, not everyone is hotlapping as this is also set up for testing setups, team practice etc.”
After a slow start on the server, word got out and things really ramped up in the final week with Zenkov tackling the challenge when Michal Janak, Vadim Taciak and Paul Anstey broke into to 1:01s around a very believable virtual version of the iconic track.
With Taciak showing true sportsmanship by kindly sharing his setups, Zenkov made the best of the tweaks and powered round in a remarkable time of 1:01.321 (onboard above) which was a quarter of a scond faster than Janak in second and Taciak third.
“Thank you all! Great cars on a great track – really enjoyed it!” reported Zenkov after claiming the top spot. “My setup was far from perfect. And on March 17, I managed a 1:02.369. It was the best time then, but for this setup it was almost the limit.
“On March 20, I went back to the server and Vadim shared the setup with me. I managed 1:01.321 in a couple of attempts. This setup was wonderful, Vadim setup the car very well and it felt noticeably better. It’s possible to drive even better and hit 1:00, but need to spend more time on the track.”
The Porsche 962C variants of this superb mod allowed for running with the low downforce configuration, and/or the IMSA (2.5 litre) or WEC (3.0 litre) engine options, as well as a turbo boost that had the car tipping 350kph before the brakes at the end of the main straight.
Having said that, fully dialled up the engine starts to cry enough after a flying lap and detonates not long after. The luxury of the virtual world is that there is no cost for a messy blow-up and, of course, the pain (or worse) of crunching into a wall does not exist. Simply exit to monitor and get in again for another try!
Paul Anstey, Antonio Atzeni and Martin Adran ensured that the top six were all driving the beautiful but brutal Porsche 962.
Neither the Sauber-Mercedes nor the Mazda had the legs to match the Porsche around Kyalami but were both very satisfying to drive.
Mike Becnel was fastest in the Sauber with a 1:02.815 with Taciak a tad slower in second and Adam Hackman third. Paul Anstey was the quickest Mazda driver with a best lap of 1:02.892, followed by Taciak, Paul Velasco and Antonio Atzeni.
Points will be awarded to the ten (10) fastest drivers of each Speedweek series, as follows: 50-40-30-20-15-10-6-4-2-1. With additional, bonus points will be awarded to the five (5) fastest drivers of each available car, as follows: 25-20-15-10-5.