Track Tec Racing’s Jaden Ransley has narrowly missed out on a maiden ARG eSport Cup victory in round six of the virtual series contested at the picturesque Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.
The round was the first in the competition to feature two different cars across both races, with drivers having to jump out of the Audi TCR after the opening event and into the disparate Formula 3 machine for race two.
The evening was headlined by wildcard Cody Burcher who made a sterling start to his series campaign by clinching a second in race one followed by a dominant victory in race two.
The Australian Formula Ford race winner was one of a handful of drivers eligible to compete in last night’s event courtesy of a pre-race qualifying race. However, the 17-year-old came alive once in the main-event qualifying on the third row of the grid.
A frantic start to race one saw Burcher jump into the lead into the Doohan Corner while BTCC regular Ash Sutton and Ransley followed in tandem.
Having qualified on the front row, Garth Tander was in the mix for the lead early but came unstuck at turn one when Harley Haber forced the three-time Bathurst 1000 champion off the road.
The incident left Burcher, Ransley and Sutton to dual it out over the remaining few laps, the young kiwi searching in vain all race but ultimately had to settle for third as Sutton lead Burcher home across the line by a mere two-tenths.
Race two was an entirely different affair as Burcher dominated from the front to cruise to an unravelled victory by an incredible 12-second margin.
Nic Carroll and Nathan Herne provided the entertainment of the race as the TransAm pair duelled over the second. Carroll ultimately held onto his second-place finish with two-tenths separating the duo.
Ransley once again proved to be handy in the F3 hardware, finishing the race in seventh after falling outside the top-20 in a lap-one incident at MG.
The Canterbury-based racer now sits tied for second in the point standings, 19 points adrift of Harley Haber.
The virtual field now heads to the defunct Oran Park Raceway with a pair of races in the Audi TCR on Thursday 14 May.