by Tim Dembowski on August 17th, 2010
The iRacing.com Skip Barber Race Series made its way to the seventeen turn North Course configuration of Virginia International Raceway this past week for its first visit to the track of the online racing season. Drivers new to the series who found Lime Rock familiar and inviting were thrown into a beautiful, green, yet alien world full of blind apexes and technically challenging corners with colorful names like “Hog Pen,” “Roller Coaster” and “The Horseshoe.” VIR would prove daunting even for veteran sim racers with what was seemingly acres of runoff to punish the slightest dropped wheel or loss of control.
A total of 594 drivers took to the grid this week and 87 different winners took top honors in 129 races. It was a persistent Division Four driver, Benjamin Lindsay of Club West, taking to the top step of the podium more often than anyone else with six wins in his fourteen starts this week. Marlon Williams of Club England quite fancied the North Course at VIR making a series high twenty six starts, fourteen of which he finished in the top five.
Before the first green flag fell though there was the matter of qualifying where Club DE-AT-CH had a stranglehold on the top two spots with Marcus Jirak and Frank Hermann posting the best times of the week followed close behind by Club France’s Samuel Libeert.
It was International Club’s Dániel Sinka though who took home the biggest win of the week on Monday for 199 points ahead of Club Italy’s Dario Frattini and Club England’s Simon Hulbert in a tightly contested battle with only five seconds separating the three at the end of their eighteen laps of racing. The win helped move Sinka closer to Hermann who still holds a fairly commanding lead with 399 points compared to Sinka at 363 points. Behind them is the first American driver of Club Massachusetts’ Ryan Field at 358 points and Frattini slightly further behind at 344 points. At the end of two weeks of racing the series has a distinctly international flavor with five different clubs represented in the top five.
|8.||Alexey Dronov||New York||309|
While much of the attention in a race is typically focused on the front of the pack, it’s usually somewhere in the middle that you can find the best racing. The iRacing.com Skip Barber Series is no exception and this week we will focus on Division Nine where the top six drivers are separated by a mere twenty three points. As the virtual trailers make their way down to Charlotte Motor Speedway for Week Three, Club International’s Alexandr Chernavin holds a scant one point lead over Club Carolina’s Ed Benson. Coming into the week Chernavin held a comparatively huge four point gap over Benson. However, a solid sixth place finish in a full sixteen car field on Sunday night helped Benson close in and Chernavin has to be feeling the pressure. Behind this great battle we find a quartet of drivers themselves covered by only nine points. Lukas Macedo of Club South America leads the second Club International driver involved in this tussle, Sergey Zakharov, by four points while Zakharov finds himself only two points ahead of Club Italy’s Carlo Bellini. Three points behind Bellini we find Club Plains driver Bill Murphy who, with a solid week at Charlotte, could theoretically jump from his sixth position all the way to the bottom step of the podium behind Chernavin and Benson. We’ll surely need to keep an eye on this division as the next ten weeks of racing will certainly reshuffle the order.
Over the course of seven days 164 different drivers took to the track alone in the race against the clock that is the iRacing.com Time Trial Championship. VIR demanded five laps of flawless, flat-out driving and it was the second time in as many weeks that Club DE-AT-CH’s Frank Hermann edged out Club England’s Simon Edwards. Over his five lap and eight plus minute run Hermann managed to gap Edwards by .305 seconds at the line to take home the 100 points that were up for grabs.
|7.||Alexey Dronov||New York||1:37.844|
|8.||Tim Dembowski||New Jersey||1:38.003|
With that we wrap-up this week’s review and invite you to join us again at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course from August 16th-23rd followed by a trip to the Circuit Park Zandvoort club circuit August 23rd-30th.