Greger Huttu made it four-for-four in iRacing Drivers World Championship competition with a flag-to-flag victory at Watkins Glen, coming home 21.6s clear of Ben Cornett with Luke McLean taking the final podium spot a half second adrift of Cornett.  The victory not only kept Huttu’s virtually perfect iDWC record intact (the only laps he hasn’t led came during a pit stop shuffle at Zandvoort), he headed a 1-2-3 sweep for Team Redline.

Even lapped traffic and a bent wing didn't prevent Huttu from taking his fourth iDWC win.

Even lapped traffic and a bent wing didn't prevent Huttu from taking his fourth iDWC win.

But if the race appears to have been a walk in the park for Huttu, remember appearances can be deceiving.  Destined to finish fourth, Richard Towler made Huttu work-up a sweat with a two stop strategy that saw the Englishman apply serious pressure to the leader at mid-race.   What’s more, the single-stopping Huttu actually made a couple of mistakes at the Glen.  Not only did he spin in qualifying, the iDWC leader showed his human side when he nerfed the wall on Lap 33 after stumbling over Andrea Baldi’s lapped Dallara.

“I had one scary moment with Andrea in the left hander after the Carousel,” Huttu said.  “I was planning on passing him on the following straights and was surprised when he slowed down more than I had thought. I locked up the LF and ran into the back of him.

For a while I thought I had lost the race because I hit the wall slightly too. The damage wasn’t bad though. In the end it was my fault, I should have braked earlier so I’m sorry for that Andrea.”

Huttu shook-off that fright, quickly came to grips with the resulting tweaked front wing and continued on his merry way to his second home, the top spot of the sim racing podium.

With Towler falling away after his second pit stop, Cornett and McLean were left to complete the Redline podium sweep.  The Aussies had qualified sixth and fourth respectively and, after fifth starter Dom Duhan planted his car in the Bus Stop sand trap on the opening lap, ran fourth and fifth behind Huttu, Towler and third qualifier Bastien Bartsch.

As Huttu was conserving fuel as part of his one stop strategy, Towler – who had been unable to make good mileage in practice and qualifying – remained within a couple of seconds of the lead with Bartsch slipping back by about a half a second a lap.  When Towler peeled-off for his first pit stop on Lap 16, Bartsch moved-up to a temporary P2 – temporary as he abruptly disconnected after a wholesale Team Redline pit stop at Lap 21.   Nor was the Frenchman alone in suffering some misfortune:  Regular front-runner Shawn Purdy was a Watkins no-show thanks to a power interruption and now McLean ran shy of fuel while preparing to pit.

“Luke had pulled away initially, however towards the end of stint one I calculated that I had saved enough fuel so started to push,” Cornett said. “On Lap 20, Luke ran out of fuel and started to sputter. This resulted in him entering the pits very slowly, allowing me to catch-up massively from about six seconds behind, to right behind. In the pits I hit my marks and got out in front of Luke.”

Towler gave Huttu some anxious moments, but had to settle for fourth.

Towler gave Huttu some anxious moments, but had to settle for fourth.

Having run at a rapid pace on fresh tires and a light fuel load after his first stop, Towler latched-on to Huttu’s gearbox when he exited the pits.  Over the next ten laps Towler harried the leader, jinking out as if to pass on the approach to the Bus Stop on a couple of occasions but always falling back in to line, his maneuvers more of a distraction to Huttu than a serious bid for the lead.

After the first stop I was all over Greger after making a quick change on what fuel I was going to run the second stint,” Towler said. “But (I) was losing too much time in the final two corners even with a lighter car.”

Entertaining as the lead dice may have been, it was somewhat illusory as Towler was locked-in to a two stop strategy.  The time to pay the (fuel) piper ultimately arrived on Lap 32, with Towler diving into the pits for eight laps worth of virtual ethanol, promoting Cornett and McLean to a distant second and third.

Towler resumed in fourth, within striking distance of Cornett and McLean but well clear of Ryan Murray and a heated scrap for sixth featuring Matt Sentell, James Andrew and Bryan Heitkotter.  Murray had driven splendidly in recovering from an early incident that saw him collect a wayward Derek Wood exiting the Boot on Lap Eight.

“I was racing (Derek) as close as I could to try and make a pass whenever he possibly bobbled,” Murray explained, “except that he bobbled in the corner I hate the most at this track and I had nowhere to go but into his car.

“The initial impact seemed small and inconsequential, but the secondary hit, when his car rolled into mine, slammed my RR wheel into the outer barrier . . .  The damage slowed me down about three to four tenths, so I just settled-in behind Tim Holgate until he spun coming into the final corner, and I tried to hold off my other two teammates in Bryan Heitkotter and Matt Sentell.”

Murray recovered from an early incident to get within site of a podium finish.

Murray recovered from an early incident to come within site of a podium finish.

Perhaps as a result of his slightly slower than expected pace, Murray saw his chance to make it to the finish on just one stop and went for it, running to the checkered flag on fumes alone.  In contrast, Sentell and Heitkotter both made second stops in the closing laps, with single-stopper Andrew splitting the two Podium Assault teammates en route to a seventh place finish while Dion Vergers and Gerd Hoefferer rounded-out the top ten ahead of Ray Alfalla, the final driver on the lead lap.

Huttu thus crossed the line after scoring another decisive victory, with his remaining teammates coming home just ahead of Towler.  The results leave Huttu firmly in the iDWC lead with Towler consolidating his runner-up position ahead of Bartsch, Darren Marsh (who disconnected after a Lap Two incident) and Purdy.   The next chance for Towler — and everyone else — to spoil Huttu’s perfect season, comes at Road America in two weeks time.

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Great race report, thanks :)

Francisco Costa
April 5th, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Just give the World Championship To GH he is so much better than anyone else. :-)

The Watcher
April 5th, 2010 at 3:33 pm

NO!! Don’t call it!!!!!!!!!!!! I want to see if Huttu can win every race 😀

Erin Skeer2
April 5th, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Nice one Greger:)

Hey, just to let you know I went off at T1 on the 2nd lap with a tyre on the grass, not at the chicane!:)

DomD
April 5th, 2010 at 5:23 pm

If it was in real life Huttu would have had to pit to change the front wing this shows iracing has some flaws!

Don
April 5th, 2010 at 5:39 pm

way to nit pick

Whiner McLame
April 5th, 2010 at 6:00 pm

lol@Don and Whiner McLame

I’m loving the Alien! Go Huttu!

I hope iRacing will be able to get a decent video interview at the end of the season…

Frank Herfjord
April 5th, 2010 at 8:11 pm

I didn’t make a second stop. Heitkotter did.

Matt Sentell
April 5th, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Maybe a good addition to broadcasts would be if there was a deal that drivers who retire during race would pick a replay of the incident and send it quickly to people doing the broadcast. As now what we see is, if I´ve understood correctly, prediction coded image that just doesnt look as good as the “actual footage”.

T
April 5th, 2010 at 9:11 pm

That was the best broadcast of the season so far. Nice race report and broadcast. Now if someone could just match Greger’s while on the same pit strategy! Another impressive win for Greger and a very interesting race overall. It’s not over by a longshot. Greger’s proving to be slightly human and he could make an error and finish far back in the pack. Anything’s possible, but 4 wins in 4 races is hard to top, that’s for sure.

Lincoln Miner
April 5th, 2010 at 9:33 pm

love reading these, thanks Dave,

Aussie Aussie Aussie!

Scott U’Ren
April 5th, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Nice write up Dave Cheers 😉

The streams are starting to come together the only real spoiler well more of a joke really was the number of cars running with no nose cone at all still being able to run very fast laps go to be something wrong with the physics there ?

hopefully come week 13 :)

Shaun Lees
April 5th, 2010 at 11:18 pm

@Shaun Lees that was my point if wasn’t nit picking Huttu is an amazing driver to this data I’ve seen only 3 drivers that can match him and they all race at R2P Conner Eduardo and Tristan it would be amazing to see Huttu join them and battle it out!
Some drastic changes has to be made to make these Dallaras more realistic!

Don
April 6th, 2010 at 7:27 am

First of all – brilliant coverage iRacing. Keep it up. Love it.

@Don

I think you need to consider the difference between visual (graphic) realism, and physics realism when making such observations. Some consider NFS more realistic than iRacing because of pretty graphic effects, but they have a different perspective on realism. For example:

– A hit that the physics engine calculates as ‘small’ damage to wing, should only have minor performance impact (many Indy races have been won with damaged wings). Whether the visual representation of this damage is accurate or not is a moot point; yes it would be ‘nice’ to have 5000 different damage images for every type of crash impact, but would this add to the racing, and is this the most improtant aspect for those of us who are here for the pure racing experience? Many would rather a new telemetry tool than nice looking crash damage…

– On the other hand, if the incident was/should have been significant enough to cause major damage to the wing, and the visual representation of the damage was accurate then the more likely scenario is the latency/lag/position prediction issue that we face in ALL online racing. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose with lag/phantom damage. Yes, some titles do it better than others, but we know they are working on it.

Ben Styles
April 6th, 2010 at 8:15 am

@Don, I guess you didn’t know it, but those top R2P guys race at iRacing too…. Tristan Bayless has 19 wins in 56 Road starts at iRacing and is ranked 1st in R2P and 341st in iRacing. Eduardo Prado has 22 wins in 43 road starts and is ranked 280th in iRacing and 2nd at R2P. Yes, he’s an iRacer too… He’s a good driver and yeah he’s on top at R2P, but Greger Huttu has 72 wins in 76 starts and is ranked 1st or 4th depending on which ranking you look at…. No disrespect to Tristan, but I’d say you’re handicapping of sim drivers needs work… :-)

I think you underestimate the quality of the drivers in the iRacing IDWC… by a longshot. This series has the best collection of top sim drivers in any series by wide margin. There are other very good drivers in some sim leagues, but no league has this quality top to bottom. Having said that, I don’t think anyone believes there is a better sim driver than Greger anywhere. In fact, I’m not sure you can do much better than Towler, Bartsch, Haapla, Purdy, McLean and others either. There are still drivers out there that could make it in this league, but the very top is crowded. Max Dell ‘Orco and others currently in iRacing will be in this next year and it will be even tougher. I hope the quality gets better each year, but it’s unrivaled even now.

Lincoln Miner
April 6th, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Does anyone know if Huttu has any ambition to drive real race cars? Someone please get this man a ride!

Chris Brinson
April 6th, 2010 at 7:29 pm

@Lincoln Miner
As far as I know their main cup of tea is R2P and iRacing is totally different from those sims over there here it’s starting from ZERO. Eduardo has been a member for less than 1 month actually 2 weeks so hes still learning and as you see the number of races Eduardo has had in 2 weeks and the number of races Huttu has had to this date I would say Eduardo’s numbers are more impressive as hes learning while racing where as Huttu practices and practices and occasionally race!
Mind you Eduardo is racing with a down shifting problematic G25 Fanatec could step in and sponsor the guy as I can assure you he won’t lay to rest until hes in the top here as hes down in every and each league he has raced to date and hes still only 22! Looking to some Huttu and Prado racing in the mid future!

Don
April 7th, 2010 at 12:48 pm

does anyone knows who has the most number of wins in iRacing?

Don
April 7th, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Shawn Haverly with 2227 starts and 845 wins, that’s a 39% win ratio.

Shaun Lees
April 7th, 2010 at 9:02 pm

thanks Shawn! win ratio imo is important but not when you race once each 2 weeks!

Don
April 8th, 2010 at 8:05 am

Top guys at R2P aren’t anything special compared with the top guys here. They would basically be mid pack in the pro series at best. Tristan doesnt race here because he likes being a big fish in a small pond.

Vaughn
April 8th, 2010 at 3:04 pm

send the top guys here to race there rFactor and GTR2 leagues and let’s see what they do here they’re all one dimensional. do you seriously expect someone to come to iRacing and dominate from the go? how long these vets are racing here? you need to give R2P guys the same time only then you can judge!

Don
April 8th, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Don, you think Greger’s not the best, because he races once every week or two? You need to do a bit more research. He’s been on top for years….

And if you’re really using the excuse for Tristan and Eduardo, that they’d challenge Huttu, but haven’t had WDC type success in iRacing, because they are new to it? Tristan has 56 races and averages 108 pts a race. Eduardo has 56 races and averages 114 points a race. That ranks Tristan 139th and Eduardo 92nd.

There are a ton of iRacers who’ve had more races and less races with higher points per race average. The iRacing DWC are close to the top 50 iRacers. There are new iRacers who are worthly now and a few like Volker Hackman, who could be in the series, but chose not to participate in the Pro Series to qualify.

Greger averages 172 pts per race. Towler 175. There are 5 guys who average more than 150 pts per race.

Again, I can’t speak for Tristan and Eduardo, but they might be a bit embarrassed by your claim they’d challenge Greger. They’re very good sim racers, but R2P doesn’t have the depth of top drivers like iRacing. I’d like to see Eduardo and Tristan in the iRacing Pro Series this season, but it’s not going to be easy at all just gaining entry into next year’s iRacing DWC let alone challenging Greger.

There are a ton of existing and new iRacers who will be trying to do the same. This level of competition is much tougher than you realize watching these events on the web.

Lincoln Miner
April 8th, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Don, one thing I forgot to say. There are still many very talented drivers not yet in this championship, that could be. They’re scattered amongst some top rFactor, LFS, GTR2 and even Gran Turismo leagues. In most cases it’s 1 or 2 in the very top leagues that are capable at making a run at this championship. No one league has 25,000 drivers in a single pool to gather into one series, so this is the top league anywhere, but I’d hope some of the these other top drivers would add iRacing to their resume and compete at this top level.

Having said that, the guys at the top are truly big big names in sim racing and have been for years. Led by Greger, guys like Luke McLean, Bastien, Richard Towler, Ilka, Dom, Ben, etc are veteran dominate drivers. I’ve heard of another 5 to 10 top drivers I’d like to see in this series, but none that I know of are at Greger’s level. Some are close to or at that 2nd tier though.

And all the guys are slowly closing the gap with Greger. This level of competition is what’s needed to push everyone to better performances. If I were one of the top drivers, I’d want to push myself to be in this series to see how far I could go.

Lincoln Miner
April 8th, 2010 at 8:41 pm

@Don, “send the top guys here to race there rFactor and GTR2 leagues and let’s see what they do here they’re all one dimensional. do you seriously expect someone to come to iRacing and dominate from the go? how long these vets are racing here? you need to give R2P guys the same time only then you can judge!”

Don, you do know R2P only hosts other sims…. Every single one of the iRacing DWC guys started with other sims or still race other sims. They’re a collection of the best drivers from rFactor, GTR, GTR2, NetKar, LFS, Gran Turismo (Marc Payne), GPL etc. Many of these guys still race these sims at times, they just don’t do much if any R2P.

Some of the stuff you’re coming up with is very uninformed….

Lincoln Miner
April 9th, 2010 at 1:18 am

And yours is awfully presumptive. Don is just putting in a good word for R2P, I think. Maybe off-base a little with the Huttu claim, but I think his intention was just to alert iRacers to talent elsewhere. You already knew it seems, so it’s all fine.

I am way late to the party here. I feel, with adequate and equal practice between us, Conor Eduardo and I may (**MAY**) be able to challenge Huttu. I view him as the very best sim racer out there. I would love a challenge with him but fear it may only ever happen in some exhibition or pick-up race. I currently have no interest in the iRWDC because Gran Turismo is keeping my attention! I sim race mostly for fun and only occasionally with full commitment or seriousness, like at RDLMS or for R2P special events.

iR is amazing in many ways. So is R2P. It’s all just sim racing, anyway. No need to kick up a fuss.

“Tristan likes to feel like a big fish in a small pond.” Ouch :-( You must know me pretty well.

Tristan Bayless
January 20th, 2011 at 9:27 pm

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