Round 2 of the P1LMS Championship takes the teams and drivers north from Malaysia to Japan, to traverse the treacherous figure-8 layout of the Matsusaka (a.k.a. Suzuka) circuit. Matsusaka was designed in the early 1960s as a Honda test track. That legacy carries over into the modern era, with its original and highly technical layout only slightly altered in the interest of safety. Every team and driver will be tested for the duration of the 12 hour event. At last month’s 8 Hours of Sepang, the #106 Black Hawk Racing took the overall win, with the #88 Me Myself and I alone and the #69 RevolutionSimRacing LMP2s rounding out the podium. In GTE, the #77 TeamRGPL Porsche 911 RSR took the initial win in this year’s championship, followed by the #74 MRS eRacing II BMW M8 and the #30 Raceland de BMW M8. Qualifying In LMP2, the #69 RevolutionSimRacing Oreca 07 took pole with a top time of 1:43.23, outdueling the #106 Black Hawk Racing LMP2 by 0.06 seconds! #88 Me Myself and I alone followed with a 1:43.68. Overall, the field was separated by 3 seconds from 1st to 17th. In GTE, Black Hawk Racing claimed the pole, the #81 Porsche rampaging the track with a 1:55.09 time. The #911 YourNameHere Racing Porsche followed closely with a 1:55.26. 25 cars in total hit the track, and 4 seconds was the overall time spread. Race At the front of the field, the starting order quickly changed. The #69 RevolutionSimRacing LMP2 had difficulty early on, handing over the lead to the #88 Me Myself and I alone on lap 8. The #88 would have a stranglehold on the race lead until lap 94, when Drace Motorsport would wrest away the lead. Shortly thereafter, the #106 Black Hawk Racing LMP2 claimed outright control of the event. Black Hawk took the lead on lap 106, and barring one exception (an incident with a lapped LMP2) held onto that lead up until the event was red flagged at lap 238. At this moment, Me Myself and I alone, Drace Motorsport, and Hansa Racing were trailing the Black Hawk car, all on the same lap. Soon after the track returned to green conditions, Drace Motorsport and Me Myself and I alone had a collision into Degner, taking both out of the battle for the lead. The Hansa Racing Oreca 07, however, took the fight to Black Hawk! The cars swapped the lead during pit stops on laps 259, 266, 284, and 289! However, it was not the track duel that would decide the race, but Mother Nature’s intentions. Black Hawk’s pit scheduling brought them into the pits earlier than Hansa Racing, pulling off the track on lap 328 for fresh tires and a new driver. The rain arrived on lap 330, two laps later. Black Hawk had to make a second pit stop to switch to rain tires. Meanwhile, Hansa Racing made its scheduled stop at lap 330 to change to rain tires, avoiding the double stop scenario. With the above events, Hansa Racing cruised to the win, one lap ahead of Black Hawk Racing in P2. Me Myself and I alone completed the podium in P3. In GTE, the top three qualifiers continued their dominance once the green flag dropped. The #911 YourNameHere Racing Porsche 911 RSR, the #81 Black Hawk Racing Porsche 911 RSR, and the #77 TeamRGPL Porsche 911 RSR drove away from the rest of the field. Their positions remained at this status quo for much of the first four hours. It took until lap 124 for Black Hawk to take the lead from YourNameHere. For the next 20 laps, these cars were inseparable, with mere seconds separating their bumpers. On lap 145, however, Black Hawk wrecked in 130R, and lost a lap to YourNameHere. Things settled down for the lead group until lap 181, when TeamRGPL suffered a server disconnection, losing four laps and falling down the order. When the red flag hit for the GTE field at lap 219, YourNameHere continued their lead pace, with Black Hawk Racing one lap in arrears, and Drace Motorsport taking up the P3 mantle, three laps back. Once the race resumed, the #666 SimRacingTeam BMW M8 made an immediate move to get by the Drace Motorsport car. Fortune did not favor the bold move, however, as SimRacingTeam would lose their podium spot afterwards. YourNameHere Racing took home the win, with Drace Motorsport in P2 and Black Hawk Racing completing the podium. TeamRGPL gets an honorable mention, coming back from their earlier struggles to finish P5, four laps behind the lead. Standings In LMP2, Black Hawk Racing leads the field with 45 points, on the strength of their win at Sepang and second place here at Matsusaka. Me Myself and I alone follows in P2 with 36 points. Hansa Racing takes over P3 with 25 points, despite not scoring any points at Sepang. In GTE, YourNameHere Racing leads with 38 points, TeamRGPL follows with 36, with both teams claiming a win thus far. Drace Motorsport lies in P3 with 29 points, MRS eRacing II with 20, and Raceland de and Schubert Motorsport are tied for P5 with 19 points. Next Race Race 3 of the P1LMS Championship traverses the globe, returning to Europe for the 8 Hours of Silverstone. April 13th is the meeting date. Credit to Jon Uyan for the screenshots.