Nissan Primera GT (BTCC) – Donington Park GP Hotlap Guide & BMW 320i Comparison
Time to bring another SRS BTCC championship to conclusion at another British race track: Donington Park GP.
Here’s a decent offline hotlap that I haven’t been able to put together during an SRS session:
The track is relatively forgiving on the tires which helped me to exploit the grip of the softs during a 20min race. Primera can also use the kerbs quite aggressively on this track. I later improved the S1 time of this lap by nearly two-tenths of a second but couldn’t manage to beat the overall lap time. The final sector, especially T9 chicane, was very close to the limit.
I have been so jealous of Alex Geier’s BMW 320i livery since they unveiled it earlier in the season. So after last night’s race, I sneaked into Thunder Crew garage and stole Alex’s car! It already had a fantastic setup dialed in, so even though I have been away from the RWD-life for a loong time I was still able to do the below hotlap before the Polizei appeared on my rearview mirror.
After my escapade with the car, I have to say that I now have a much higher respect for the guys who sticked to the BMW 320i throughout this series (Jason and Alex, yes I’m looking at you). Compared to her Japanese (or some could say French) sister, the Bimmer is naughty, she hates kerbs and always wants to turn around a look back. This makes it so hard to drive at the limit, especially when I compare it with Primera. I’m not even mentioning trying to be consistent near the limit… I can do consecutive high 1.32s somewhat comfortably with Primera whereas I gotta be 110% focused to do sub 1.34s with the Bimmer while living at the edge of a spin.
The below comparison shows the speed (km/h) at various key points of the track (this should have been a telemetry speed graph comparison, please excuse my laziness) for the above hotlaps. Although I’m not very comfortable driving the Bimmer and I’m by no means fast driving it, the comparison still gives me an idea about why BMW struggles against Primera. As a matter of fact, the T9 chicane was quite a bit of an issue for 320i. Not only I cannot carry much speed over the kerbs of this chicane, it also causes to lose a lot of straight line speed into T10. It’s also important to point out that my (?) stolen Bimmer is almost always struggling to carry midcorner speed.
I never thought I’d share a BMW 320i hotlap here, thanks for Thunder Crew guys for pushing me 🙂