On September 23, the 4th stage of the Russian Endurance Racing Series (REC) took place at the Moscow Raceway near Moscow. The 2023 season finale saw a record number of entries for both the series and the circuit – for the first time there were 33 teams on the start line! In total, more than 50 crews and 110 pilots from different cities and even countries were announced for the season.
The last race weekend was not only characterized by a record number of participants, but also by summer-like warm weather. There was a festive atmosphere on the circuit; spectators and participants looked forward to the wonderful finale of the season.
Traditionally, the race was preceded by qualifying, in which the main contender for leadership, crew No. 26 of the G-Drive Racing team (Roman Rusinov, Vadim Meshcheryakov), experienced technical problems and found themselves at the tail of the pack. Pole position was won by crew No. 85 of the Blackthorn team (Efrosinin Georgy, Igor Mukhin) on a sports prototype Ligier 53 Evo.
Second place on the front row went to crew no. 48 of the Yadro Motorsport team (Viktor Shaitar, Rinat Salikhov) in a Mercedes AMG GT3. The second row was occupied by the equally experienced crews #63 (Spora GT, Lamborghini Gallardo) and #83 (MotorSharks, Mercedes AMG GT4). However, in endurance racing, speed isn’t everything, so positioning on the starting grid does not guarantee victory at the finish.
Once all 33 cars were on the grid, it was clear that the pack had stretched beyond the corner of the straight. The lights go out… the race is on!
Despite the large number of participants, a blockade at the start was avoided. The question remained whether Roman Rusinov would be able to break through despite the heavy traffic. The answer was not long in coming: the title driver only needed 40 minutes to get through the field and lead the race.
It became clear that all technical difficulties were left behind, and the only participant who could seriously compete with the world champion in long races (in 2015 Roman and the G-Drive team took 1st place in the WEC in the LMP2 class) is crew No. 48 YADRO Motorsport 48 on a powerful Mercedes AMG GT3.
But even after the driver change, G-Drive managed to maintain a good pace. The best lap also belongs to Roman Rusinov, which lasted only 1 minute and 33 seconds.
There were also some unfortunate glitches and glitches. Unfortunately, the #83 crew of the MotorSharks team left the race on lap 66. And the St. Petersburg team “Grace Auto” (crew No. 8, SEAT Leon Cupra) could not solve the problems with the engine for a long time, so they drove only 33 laps, thus adopting the last line of the protocol.
BlackThorn’s Ligier prototype, which led qualifying, also retired due to engine problems. However, it can be said that the race was uneventful, despite the large number of participants and the exciting positional battle for class leadership.
An hour before the end of the four-hour marathon, Roman Rusinov confidently remained in the lead and crossed the finish line first. The team and spectators were happy! A beautiful unconditional victory in the CN Pro class and in the final classification of the final stage of the REC.
Anastasia Bendikova, director of sports club ASPAS, the general organizer of the series: “The 2023 season is over. We will soon announce the winners and runners-up of the series based on the results of the four stages of the competition, and hold an awards ceremony. The final was lively and unique, setting the pace and raising the bar for us. Today we already live in the future season; the provisional calendar was already announced in May.
We initially planned four dates at the Moscow Raceway, a stage in Sochi and at the Igora Drive circuit as part of the Garage Fest festival. The calendar will be updated in February next year. I am happy that next year many teams will already be purchasing and preparing equipment specifically for our series.
We will also consult with the class teams to ensure we meet their expectations as best as possible. We need to pay more attention to the teams’ comments on the championship rules for next season. There is great interest in the series from Russian motorsport.”
RESULTS OF STAGE IV REC – CAR RADIO GRAND PRIX
LEADER OF THE ABSOLUTE CLASS
No.26 G-Drive Racing, G-Drive G01
Roman Rusinov Roman, Vadim Meshcheryakov
CN Pro class
1st Place – Crew #26, G-Drive Racing, G-Drive G01
Roman Rusinov Roman, Vadim Meshcheryakov
2nd Place – Crew #99, Team Garris, Mitjet 2L
Semyon Kharchenko Semyon, Nikita Frolov
3rd Place – Crew #85, Blackthorn, Ligier JS 53 Evo
Georgy Efrosinin, Igor Mukhin
1st Place – Crew #43, Alex Racing Team, Shortcut
Daniil Zhuchkov, Alexander Shutemov
2nd Place – Crew #100, ZORRO SOTKA RACING, Shortcut
Yuri Sunyaev, Alexander Zheltov
3rd Place – Crew #44, “Race and Point”, Shortcut
Vadim Vereshchagin, Tatyana Dobrynina, Ivan Pugachev Ivan, Dmitry Solovov
1st place – crew #33 YADRO MOTORSPORT 33, Mercedes AMG GT4
Maxim Kizilov Maxim, Victor Shaitar
2nd place – crew #98, Time4BMW, BMW M4 GT4 F82
Oleg Semenov, Vladimir Atoyev
3rd place – crew #37 Iskra Motorsport, Toyota GR Supra GT4
Andrei Solukovtsev Andrei, Kiril Kirakozov
GT Pro class
1st Place – Crew No. 48, YADRO MOTORSPORT 48, Mercedes AMG GT3
Rinat Salikhov, Victor Shaitar
2nd place – crew #63, SPORA GT, Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 LF
Alexander Vartanyan, Michael Belov, Mikhail Simonov
3rd Place – Crew #7, IYengineering & Mospolytech, Marussia GT
Vitaly Larionov, Konstantin Tereshchenko
GT Light class
1st place #53, MAZDA KARTING ACADEMY, Mazda 3
Valery Smirnov, Sergei Baldin, Alexey Gribanov
2nd Place – Crew #23, X-Rays Motorsport, Mitsubishi EVO 9
Maxim Elizarov, Andrei Lukin, Roman Manuilov, Andrei Bosmanov
3rd place – crew no. 92, Classic Car Racing, BMW E92
Maxim Gordyushkin, Roman Ovsienko, Vsevolod Prakhov, Konstantin Kvashnin
GT PRO SEAT standings
1st place – crew no. 10, DRteam, SEAT Leon Cupra
Evgeny Chikinev, Anastasia Mikhailus, Alexey Denisov
2nd Place – Crew #72, VMP AUTO AK Racing Team, SEAT Leon Supercopa
Andrei Averkin, Dmitry Savateev
3rd Place – Crew #19, Speedway Rancho, SEAT Leon
Dmitry Shishko, Victor Damut, Rodion Shushakov, Pyotr Plotnikov
Source: F1 News
I am Christopher Clyde, an experienced journalist and content writer with a passion for sports. I have been writing about Formula 1 news for the past five years and am currently employed as an author at athletistic.com, one of the top sports websites in the US.