Race report: Monza, 12 October 2021

Sent spinning off track in lap 1, Car 59 battles back to finish P9

Season 8 is back-loaded with a testing trilogy of iconic circuits – Suzuka, Monza and Spa – as AOR’s virtual GT3 series nears the end of its eight-race run. Last week’s laps of Suzuka certainly pushed drivers to the limit, but how about the sim-racing rigs? In the case of Copper Horse Racing’s setup, there were definitely some complaints from the pedal board, which started to cause throttle fluctuations in the closing stages of the event. 

For Monza, the issue has been dealt with by a squirt of contact cleaner – with the can kept handy for the mandatory pit stop, adding an element of real-world vehicle maintenance to the already impressive on-screen action. 

Tough driving conditions: traction loss was an issue in the wet at Monza .

Track knowledge 

Monza is one of Copper Horse Racing’s most-driven tracks, which bumped up the potential to deliver a good result – at least in the dry. However, the constant rain during both qualifying and race sessions nudged Car 59 towards a more cautious strategy. 

Not all drivers took this route though, as – like clockwork – a three-wide tangle between competitors on lap one of the main event sent cars spinning. Unfortunately for Copper Horse Racing, the casualties included Car 59 – with the white and green Lamborghini rejoining the track almost at the back of the pack, scrubbing out any gains made during qualifying. 

Moving up through the order: Car 59 passes the Audi of Spaniard Manu Prieto at the Variante della Roggia.

Trading places 

What followed was the most epic battle yet for Car 59 as it worked its way up the order and chased down the Lexus of A. Bayer – from the 9th lap right through to the end of the 90 minute race, trading places back and forth throughout. Both drivers showed the other respect, each leaving just enough space to avoid any incident and clearly enjoying the opportunity to practice their race craft.  

Inside line: A. Bayer in the Lexus goes through into Retifillio, but the battle with the white and green Lamborghini would continue.
Advancing again: the Lexus edges ahead once more as spray from both vehicles leaves a cloud of water behind. 
Yet another overtake: this time it’s Copper Horse Racing that gets in front with the Lamborghini finishing P9 ahead of the Lexus in P10 at the chequered flag – concluding an epic battle.

Rig updates 

As regular readers of our race reports will know, the driving rig also doubles as a vehicle hacking simulator and we’ve been making some upgrades to add to the experience and also help people feel safer when we’re out on the road at events, including the addition of a seatbelt. These additions also pave the way for us to further integrate other elements of the instrument cluster and other components – such as various cabin warning signals. With modern vehicles containing a raft of sensors, there are lots of options to explore on this theme as we build on our Secure-CAV work and continue to the develop the rig.  

Buckle up for the ride: a race-grade 4-point harness is the latest upgrade to the Copper Horse vehicle hacking simulator as we prepare to take the rig out on tour (stay tuned @CopperHorseUK on Twitter for more details on our whereabouts in November). 

Monza podium 

Teis Hertgers, third-place finisher at Suzuka last week, won in convincing style at Monza – leading the race from lap five. Steffen Bley came in second, followed by Matheus Martins in P3 to complete the podium. 

Dominant drive: Teis Hertgers led the race from lap five at Monza in a white and black Aston Martin.

With race seven complete, competitors have just one more event to bag points as season 8 draws to a close at Spa-Francorchamps. Look out for the next race blog to see if Car 59 can round out the calendar with a trio of top ten finishes.  

About the author 

James Tyrrell is a Threat Modelling Analyst at Copper Horse.