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by Patrick Guerin on April 18th, 2011
V8 Supercar sim racers were invited to join the newly-organized Thursday night time slot this week. Not only did this race count as official, but it also had so many interested iRacers, there was a race split. In total, 21 cars took the green flag at Canada’s Mosport International Racweay, known for high speed turns and tricky elevation changes.
The first split had a strength of field of nearly 3000, with pole position going to Brazil’s Eduardo Prado and Paul Hesla joining him on the front row of the grid. Patrick Guerin and Chris Damron Jr. filled Row Two with Tristan Bayless and Patrick Spence in Row Three. Casey Carpentiere was alongside Jeffrey Detrick on Row Four, with Adam Brodziak and Ian Wat taking up positions nine and 10, and Jason Simmerman rounding-out the starting grid of the upper split in eleventh.
Prado took advantage of pole position, had a great start and never really looked back. leading all 25 laps for the win. Behind him, things were not so certain. Damron immediately gained a position off the start from Guerin and, after three more laps, moved into second place ahead of Helsa. Bayless was next to get by Guerin in the opening lap on the exit of the final turn. Both cars got loose trying to get the power down as Bayless put his car up the inside for the drag race down the main straight into Turn One. leaving Guerin no chance but to concede the position.
Watching all this was Patrick Spence, and he decided to get into the mix. He pushed his car as hard as he could over the next several laps, closing the gap to Guerin until he was on his bumper. Unfortunately for Spence just as he drew within striking distance, the grip level in his tires evaporated and he could no longer keep the pace. Now, instead of making a pass for position, Spence found himself defending his own spot from his Empty Keg Racing teammate, Jeffrey Detrick. After a few tense laps, Detrick took the spot when Spence clobbered the wall exiting Turn One.
Back up front, Damron and Bayless found their own way into trouble, spinning while running in the top five. Bayless would go on to disconnect, while Damron returned to the track and reclaimed fifth place. The top five for the race were Prado, Hesla, Guerin, Detrick and Damron. Jason Simmerman easily was the hard charger of the race in sixth, up five spots from his eleventh place starting position.
Split number two saw Darren Smith start on pole, with Marc Robillard beside him. Eventual race winner Niall Geoghegan started in third with Stefan Hojnowski in spot number four. David Toro and Tony Bargardo took their places in the next row, and Jerry Buza, Shawn Maier, Ray Butcher, and Claude Rouleau rounded-out the top 10.
Darren Smith made use of his pole position to lead the race early. In contrast, Robillard botched his start and dropped from second to sixth place, leaving Geoghegan to chase down the race leader. Robillard’s Empty Keg Racing team mate, Stefan Hojnowski also encountered problems early in the race when he caught a tire out on the grass and spun, pushing him to the back of the field.
The lead changed hands on Lap Six. Smith had trouble navigating Moss Corner and Geoghegan crested the hill in second spot, he followed the Australia/NZ driver off track and made contact. From there, Geoghegan took over the lead for good while Marc Robillard managed to fight his way back from his bad start to take second place. Smith rebounded to take the last podium position and David Toro along with Jerry Buza completed the top five.
Both V8 Supercar races were exciting and fun for all of the participants, who are already looking forward to next Thursday at 8:45pm EST. Please see the V8 Supercar forums as well as the race planner for more information.