Karl Wittmer and Honda claimed their first victory in GT Rivals competition, taking a flag to flag win at Mount Panorama. Wittmer, the only other driver to finish in the Top 10 every single race not named Bryan Heitkotter, stormed to a pole position and led from the drop of the green.
In typical Bathurst 12 Hour fashion, the race began in the morning darkness as 32 GT3 machines raced up the mountain. Behind Wittmer, Bathurst bit several contenders on the opening lap, allowing the Honda to extend his lead.
David Perel and Kevin Boehm would come together in Quarry Bend, allowing Nelson Mason and Nick McMillan to move ahead. Moments later, Mason made contact with the wall in The Dipper and slowed up McMillan’s Aston Martin in the process.
Ferrari’s Perel and Boehm would pounce and set their sights on the fleeing Honda of Wittmer. As the race progressed, Perel matched Wittmer’s pace, looking for any advantage to get closer to the leader.
Five-time GT Rivals winner Bryan Heitkotter found himself farther back than usual, having started in sixth in his Nissan GT-R GT3 Nismo. As the race progressed, he kept connected to Bohem’s Mercedes-AMG.
As the sunrise shined over the Bathurst hillside, Boehm clipped the wall leading into the Esses. Forcing a spin that allowed Heitkotter through to third.
The pace and consistency on display between Wittmer and Perel was a sight to see. Neither driver put a wheel wrong throughout the 60-min contest. Unfortunately for Perel, that meant being regulated to second place when the checkered flag fell.
Wittmer dominated the Mountain, crossing the line 3.1-seconds ahead of Perel’s Ferrari, with Heitkotter holding onto third place for another podium finish.
CrowdStrike Racing’s Kevin Boehm survived for fourth place and Champion Motorsports sim racer JT Tami completed the Top 5 in his Lexus RC-F GT3 with a valiant drive to the front.
Shelby Blackstock brought home the Racers Edge Motorsports Honda NSX GT3 Evo in sixth place. Andretti Autosport’s Colin Mullan finished in seventh in the McLaren 720S GT3, his best finish in GT Rivals.
Aston Martin racers James Pesek and Kevin Anderson survived to finish eight and ninth respectively. With ST Racing’s Jon Miller bringing home his Porsche 991.2 GT3 R in the Top 10 to back up his podium finish a week before.
As our inaugural season of esports action comes to an end, we have one more race! The season finale and Championship round will take place this Sunday. GT Rivals will head to virtual South Africa to the recently renovated Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and home to the season finale of SRO’s Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli.
GT Rivals Esports Invitational utilizes Assetto Corsa Competizione, developed by Kunos Simulazioni and published by 505 Games, featuring the real atmosphere of the GT World Challenge powered by AWS series. Designed for esports, Assetto Corsa Competizione is bringing sim racers into an immersive experience behind the wheels of today’s top GT3 racers.
The SRO America GT Rivals Esports Invitational is in partnership with ASUS Republic of Gamers, ASUS TUF Gaming, Fanatec, Sim-Lab, Champion Motorsports, and SYM TV. Along with series partners AWS, CrowdStrike, Pirelli, Rebellion Timepieces, Total, Optima, Skip Barber, and 5.11.