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  • David Phillips
    Editor And Chief
    David Phillips is a long-time contributor to print and electronic publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Racer, Autosport, AutoWeek, Motor Sport and, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for
  • Wil Vincent
    Contributing writer

    Wil is a 25 year old student, town planner, and sim racing commentator, most well known for his work as the lead commentator for GlacierTV. Wil got into commentating through his college student radio, where he also worked as a journalist and interviewer, covering gigs and festivals within the UK, and joined GlacierTV in February 2012, becoming lead commentator a month later. His work culminated in him commentating on the 2013 World Championship Grand Prix Series, iRacing Indy 500, and iRacing All Star Race. When he gets in the virtual cockpit, you'll normally see will taking on the thrill of IndyCar Oval racing, or trying his hand in GT action

    Outside of iRacing, Wil's an avid IndyCar fan, having watched the sport since the late 1990s, and always looks forward to the Month of May. He also enjoys watching NASCAR, Formula 1, and V8 Supercars.

  • Jeff Jacobs

    Jeff Jacobs started autocrossing with the SCCA in 1990 while a student at the University of Florida. He has competed in the SCCA's National Tour and ProSolo series since 1995, winning a ProSolo National Championship in H-Stock in 2011 driving a 2010 MINI Cooper. Jeff completed his SCCA Club Racing drivers' school in 2012 at Roebling Road in a Spec Miata. He currently writes a column for the SCCA's Northeast Division in SportsCar Magazine and is the Region Executive of the Philadelphia Region SCCA.

    Jeff joined iRacing in October 2012. After starting with the MX-5 and SRF cars, he has been concentrating on the Ford Mustang FR500S, competing in the Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Cam Stark
    contributing writer

    I began taking sim racing seriously about a year ago, but have loved motorsports from a young age. I began following Formula One first, then realized there are a huge variety of motorsports to watch. iRacing has opened my eyes even more to the diversity and volume of “real world” motorsports, let alone on the sim itself. With the huge varieties of series to choose from, you're spoiled for choice!

    Ever since I began iRacing, I wanted to improve on my ability, be it road or oval. Having not really heard about oval racing prior to November last year (blame the UK press), my mentality towards it has totally changed from what it would have initially been - it's awesome! I recently began road racing again - in the Star Mazda - and have been having a blast ever since. On top of racing the series I have the privilege of writing the articles for iRacing News.

    In all honesty I have surprised myself on iRacing. From being a fairly casual gamer/racer, it's been a world of difference, but it has far exceeded my expectations. I had a very brief stint driving in rFactor leagues, but I found my place of sim racing on this service, and I can't see myself stopping anytime soon.

  • Justin Sutton
    series contributor

    Justin is 29 and lives in Texas with his girlfriend and three dogs. Although always a fan of road racing growing up, Sutton never got the chance to participate in Sim-Racing until 2012 and didn't join iRacing until 2013. The son of a writer, and former resident of Connecticut and Philadelphia, his interests vary. Currently Sutton is a co-owner of YouTube channel focused on racing games and simulators and more specifically Formula One along with his partner Mikko from Finland (BoxBoxBoxGaming). Currently Sutton writes the Skip Barber F2000 and Lotus 49 articles (and the occasional F1 article) for iRacing News, and doesn't get nearly enough time to race the cars he writes about.

    Gaming is a big part of Sutton's life as well as he is both viewer and broadcaster on Twitch along with his girlfriend of seven years. In addition to being an aspiring writer he is a skilled speaker with a focus on commentary of races and hopes one day to do commentary for road racing of some kind.

  • Matt Holden

    Matt Holden began his involvement in motorsports at an early age, moving to Charlotte, NC when he was 6 months old. Growing up next door to a NASCAR TV personality, racing has always been a major part of his life. Currently studying Mechanical Engineering at UNC Charlotte, Matt works for US Legend Cars International as a technical inspector and race official at local tracks such as Charlotte Motor Speedway and Concord Speedway. Within iRacing, Matt is the Crew Chief for Gale Force Racing's #05 car in the NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series, as well as Chassis Engineer for the team's R&D program.

  • Paul Slavonik
    iRacingNews Series Writer

    For all intents and purposes, Paul Slavonik was a late-bloomer to racing. Growing up watching NASCAR drivers such as Davey Allison and Earnhardt Sr. was the furthest extent of Paul’s racing aspirations at the time. Fast forwarding 20 years, Paul began watching the UK show Top Gear and thus ensued a fascination with all things fast. Soon after, Paul stumbled upon and has been hooked on racing ever since.
    A United States Army Veteran, Certified Audio Engineer and aspiring author, Paul spends his time hanging out with his wife and working on his first book. Currently residing in Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), TX, his favorite racing series is the Australian V8 Supercars (go FPR!) and he has recently joined a local ChumpCar racing team. Paul began writing news stories for iRacingNews in January of 2014 and currently covers the GT3 Challenge Series and the V8 Supercars Series.

  • Thiago Izequiel

    Born in 1985 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Thiago Izequiel is a graphic and web designer, go kart racer, aiming to get a career in motorsports. He started racing in 2007 and joined iRacing in 2010. Thiago lives in Maricá, a little town located in Rio de Janeiro state, around 60km far away from Rio de Janeiro city. In 2014 he started to write for iRacing News and also started to design layouts for racing cars.

    Working as a freelancer today, he started working as a designer in 2006. After a few years working in web design agencies, Thiago decided to follow his dreams and quit his job to work with a racing driver named Suzane Carvalho in 2011, on her driver's school. Things didn't worked out as expected and Thiago, after getting jobs as a front-end developer and social media content developer, went back to the dream path as a freelancer so he could have more time to focus on his driving career.

  • David Moulthrop
    NASCAR Contributor

    David Moulthrop is an award winning motorsports photo journalist and has covered auto racing since the mid-seventies. While he is most well known for his NASCARimages he has also covered F1, American Road Racing, and IndyCar on a regular basis. He has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers and online news sites including, National Speed Sport News, Area Auto Racing News, Auto Racing USA, Stock Car Magazine, Sprint Cup Dateline, and Jayski. David joined the iRacing team in 2004 as a contract photographer and became iRacing's Laser Scan Project Manager in 2005.

  • Jack Davidson
    Staff Videographer

    Jack is a recent grad from Boston University with a passion for filmmaking as well as racing. He grew up playing games such as the Need For Speed series, Gran Turismo, and more recently, the GRID and DIRT franchises.

  • Jason Lofing Series Writer
    Jason is 21 years old and was born and raised in Elk Grove. California. A big time NASCAR fan, he hasn’t missed a race on Sunday in years. Lofing is also a huge San Fransisco Giants fan and tries to take in at least a couple games a year. Other than sim racing, his biggest (and far more expensive!) hobby is photography. Although he is rather new to sim racing, Lofing has already accomplished some pretty impressive results, qualifying for the 2011 iRacing Oval Pro Series in Season 1, 2011, winning the inaugural Landon Cassill Qualifying Challenge and finishing runner-up in the second one.
  • Katier Scott
    Contributing Writer
    I am a veteran sim racer who first started racing way back in 1993 on the SPRTSIMS section of Compuserve with a league who can trace themselves all the way to the present. Within that league I act as Chief Steward and try to bring the unique viewpoint that this experience gives me into my articles.
    I have a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Editorial design and have been writing for seven years and currently cover the Lotus 79 CTC and Radical series alongside my freelance work. Living in the UK, as well as motorsports I love Photography, Arts and Crafts and reading.
  • David Ifeguni
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1988 and moved to Midland, Michigan when I was two years old. I stayed there until third grade when I moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan and now I currently live in Naperville, IL where I'm attending Metea Valley High School as a 9th grader. In the past, I have participated in soccer and this year I plan on joining swimming or water polo. My family includes my 15 year old sister, a 7 year old sister and my mom and dad. I have been writing since 6th grade and have participated in many writing contests in my school and have received several awards for writing.
    My fascination for motorsports began when I was nine. The first NASCAR race I watched on TV was the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, won by Kasey Kahne. My favorite NASCAR drivers are Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson. I have watched all the races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series since 2010. I currently have three wins on iRacing, two of them in the Nationwide car at Daytona and one in the Street stocks at Charlotte. My favorite car and type of track on iRacing is the Nationwide Series (B Class) car and superspeedways.

Wide Open

by Chris Hall on May 1st, 2012

A dramatic 83 laps of the virtual Okayama International, saw Hugo Luis claim his second victory of the season in the fifth round of  the World Championship Grand Prix Series. With erstwhile championship points leader Greger Huttu crashing-out in the early stages of the online race, the battle for the 2012 title is now wide open, with My3id’s Luis atop the standings by a slender six-points.

Luis grabbed the lead at the start and never looked back en route to his second win of the season and the iGPWCS lead.

Team Redline’s Huttu arrived at Okayama looking to continue a rich run of form that saw him win three of the first four races of the season.  Although he took pole position with a time of 1:05.739, the 2010 World Champion faced problems from the moment the green flag dropped. Dealing with a handful of wheel-spin, the Finn could only watch as he was swamped by the surrounding cars from the get-go and dropped to fourth spot behind Luis, Atze Kerkhof and Luke McLean by the time the field reached Turn One. From here, things only got worse for Huttu, as he struggled to find a way past McLean.  Running just a few car-lengths from his teammate’s rear wing, Huttu had nowhere to go when the Australian devoured too muc kerb exiting the final turn on Lap 11.  McLean’s car snapped loose one way, then the other and the resulting collision was more than enough to send the pair tumbling to retirement.

Code Red: Team Redline's McLean and Huttu head towards their early exits at Okayama.

Whilst all this was happening, Luis was looking to make a break-away at the front even as Redline’s tenacious Kerkhof remained a fixture in his mirrors for the opening quarter of the race. However, Kerkhof saw his hopes of an inaugural iWCGPS victory start to evaporate when he made his first of three total trips to pit-lane on Lap 21 and it became apparent that a two-stopper was the strategy of choice.

“Before the race I was in a big dilemma. I mostly tested three stops, but starting to realize more and more that this could be an issue,” Kerkhof confessed post race. “Soon it appeared that Hugo was on a two-stopper, but due to the dirty air I couldn’t get within 0.7 seconds. His pace was strong and consistent and any attempt of overtaking would’ve been impossible/foolish.”

Handcuffed by a three stop strategy, Kerkhof didn't try anything impossible or foolish in his pursuit of Luis.

Once Kerkhof had taken fuel and tyres on his digital Williams-Toyota FW31, the Dutchman was faced with a fleet of cars which who had still to take service. It wasn’t until Lap 30 that the championship rookie was able to start making in-roads on Luis’ lead, which was up to three-seconds once he’d exited the pits. Although Kerkhof did find himself in the lead as he made further visits to pit-lane out of ‘sequence,’ his final stop inevitably handed the lead and a clear run to the chequered flag to Luis, who took victory with 17 seconds in his pocket.

“Greger didn’t have a good start, handing me the lead and falling to fourth,” Luis said. “When Atze did his first pit-stop, I noticed he was on a three-stopper and that showed I had a big chance to win the race. I tried to do my best to avoid any mistakes and try to play it safe, especially when behind back-markers. After then I could relax a bit and bring the car home since Atze would still have to do an extra pit-stop. Everything worked quite well!”

“I had a big chance to win the race. I tried to do my best to avoid any mistakes and try to play it safe . . .” — Hugo Luis

Securing his first podium finish of the season, Ben Cornett charged his way from ninth on the grid, to a third place finish ahead of Martin Kronke. The Australian trailed in the wake of Radical Racing’s Jeremy Bouteloup for the opening third of the race, but leap-frogged past the Frenchman during the first round of pit-stops. A few laps later, Cornett was into third, when an unforced error sent Kronke into a slide at Turn Eight, allowing the Team Redline sim-racer to make up two-seconds and poach the position.

“In the second stint I had a little moment without grip on the rear exiting the first hairpin of split four which caused me to half spin the car handing third position to Ben,” Kronke told inRacingNews. “I couldn’t really do anything after that.   Passing Ben wasn’t really an option as I could barely close the gap, even though I think I might have been slightly quicker if I had some clean air.”

Despite Kronke occupying his mirrors for the next 50 laps, Cornett was able to manage the gap of around one second to the iGPManager entry until the finish line to score his best result of the season so far.

Cornett came out on top of this race-long battle with Kronke.

After losing ground in the early stages, Bouteloup mounted a late charge to trail the Cornett and Kronke by less than two-seconds at the finish, and earn his first top-five placing of the 2012 season.

“Even though I had less fuel in the last stint, I couldn’t close the gap enough and challenge Martin,” Bouteloup explained.  “It wasn’t a big deal because of my top-five which makes me really happy. Hard training with the Radicals team paid-off and I’m also pleased to see that I was not the only one to do a good race.”

Although Jake Stergios battled with Cornett and Bouteloup for the opening stints, the American sim-racer was another finisher to be bitten by a three-stop pit strategy. Each time Stergios left pit-road, he found himself amongst a swarming pack of cars, slowing his progress to the flag which he eventually took ahead of My3id’s David Williams. Williams’ 83 laps of Okayama were relatively serene, although the Englishman did have a scare when he slid wide on the exit of Turn 8 on Lap 32. This allowed Radicals’ Pablo Lopez to latch-on to the tail of the My3id entry, but Williams soon regained his composure and powered away from the Spaniard once again. However, whilst Williams did secured seventh position, his earlier mistake cost him a chance to challenge Stergios, who struggled with his three-stop plan.

Collecting the chequered flag behind the eighth place Lopez for his his second top-ten of the season was Blake Townend, who charged his way through field from eighteenth on the grid. In fact the Englishman had dropped to twentieth by the end of the opening lap, but with some tidy overtaking and just two visits to pit-lane, the Radicals racer was able to finish in the slipstream of his team-mate, Lopez.

Townend carved his way from 20th to eighth, finishing in Lopez' slipstream.

Just when it looked like Matthias Egger would finish eleventh, the Italian sneaked past My3id’s Andre Boettcher for his second top-ten finish of the year. With just four-laps to go, Boettcher held the advantage.  But as the German slowed to let Kerkhof lap him approaching Turn Two, Egger saw his chance, and used the momentum to steal the tenth spot before the My3id car got back up to speed.

Luis’ victory, coupled with Huttu’s early exit, leaves the World Championship Grand Prix Series title fight wide open. What had seemed like a healthy advantage for Huttu, has become a six-point deficit, as the recent change to no dropped results in a season starts to bite. Despite his retirement, McLean holds onto third in the standings table, just five ahead of Roland Ehnström (13th at Okayama) who finds himself just one in front of Stergios on 109 points.

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  1. Rafael Sanque
    May 2nd, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Great job Hugo! Congrats man! The champion is back to your place!