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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 SPEEDtv.com, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for inRacingNews.com.
  • David Judson
    Contributor

    29 years old, Dave Judson lives in Mentor, Ohio. Dave has grown up with racing, watching his father win races and championships at the local go-kart track as a youngster and continuing his love of racing while watching NASCAR, Indycar, Formula 1 and sports cars.
    Judson has enjoyed a successful sim-racing career of his own in the IZOD Indycar iRacing Open and Fixed Setup Series. He has race wins to his credits as well as the Division 1 Championship of the Open Series in Season 1 of 2013 and the Overall Championship of the Fixed Series in Season 3 of 2013.
    Dave has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State University and is looking to expand his horizons by writing for inRacingNews.

  • Matt A Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Kingsbury lives in Fairfield, Connecticut where he currently attends Sacred Heart University. He is a fan of any form of racing, from NASCAR to IndyCar, Formula 1, and especially endurance racing. The summer of 2013 saw Kingsbury attend IndyCar's return to Pocono Raceway as well as the ARCA race at Pocono which Corey Lajoie won and got some pictures (including the accompanying mug shot) in Victory Lane thanks to his aunt!

  • Raymond Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Ray Kingsbury is a motorsport enthusiast and full-time university student, born and raised in Connecticut. He started his own racing career in BMX, riding bicycles competitively on the state level. In eight years he claimed the state championship and was ranked nationally before moving away from the sport. This void of activities led him to rediscover sim-racing in the form of NASCAR Heat. After a championship in the game's most competitive league Kingsbury started focusing full-time on his involvement in Live for Speed. There he founded Last Lap Motorsports which today has more than 20 members worldwide.

    When a few Last Lap Motorsports members decided to give iRacing.com a chance to feed their desire for more oval racing, Ray teamed with his brother Matt, Nathan Lamothe and newcomer Jimmie Jones to enter the ETV! Live Team Series and claimed the title after a dominating performance at Watkins Glen. To this day the team continues in both Live for Speed and iRacing.com and Ray still takes much delight in his own sim-racing career. A reporter for his high school newspaper before moving to university, Kingsbury keeps-up his writing activities by contributing to iRacing News.

  • Jeff Jacobs
    Contributor

    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 iRacing.com Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Jordan Hightower
    Contributor

    Jordan began sim-racing in 2005 with the NASCAR Racing 2003 Season sim and then joined the iRacing community in June of 2008. He hails from Fort Smith, Arkansas where he is currently enrolled at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith, after which he plans to attend the University of Arkansas to earn his MBA. Although he enjoys watching and playing basketball, most of Jordan's focus is on motorsports, particularly NASCAR: "Anything that burns gas and goes fast, I like."

  • Scott Kelly
    Contributor

    Born and raised in the greater St. Louis, Missouri area, Scott Kelly has had a love for motorsports ever since his father did the right thing by introducing auto racing into his life. No longer able to quench his need for speed by spectating NASCAR races on TV and watching dirt track stars slide around local tracks, Kelly eventually picked-up sim racing in his teens, wheeling cars found in Ratbag Games' "Dirt Track Racing" and "World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars" while also becoming introduced into multiple Papyrus sim-racing series. Joining the iRacing ranks in late 2011, Kelly set his sights on the short track racing he was familiar with, focusing on the sprint car, while also driving the Legends and street stock in multiple iRacing.com leagues.

    Kelly brings not just his enthusiasm for racing to the highest-rated motorsports simulation, but also his B.A. degree in English; he covers the action seen in the iRacing.com Sprint Car Series, while also placing the spotlight on various leagues within the service. Enjoying his start to a career in motorsports journalism, Kelly also doesn't mind visiting victory lane from time-to-time.

  • George Wood
    Contributing Writer
    After beginning his racing career with go-karts at age seven, George then turned wrenches on street stocks until he could finally turn the wheel. Following the successes of his friends and family, George has since retired from real-world racing, where he is now a science and mathematics faculty member for several local community colleges. When George isn't grading laboratory reports or iRacing, he is performing at bluegrass festivals in the Northeast, making fishing lures, playing golf, and rooting for his beloved Baltimore Orioles.
  • Chris Hall
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Chris Hall has been writing since the nineties and moved into motorsports reporting in 2005, covering series such as ALMS, British GT, FIA GT, Le Mans and 2CV racing for Full Throttle magazine, Motorsport.com, The-Paddock.net, GTGateway.com, L' Endurance and, of course, inRacingNews. During 2008 and 2009, he worked with the RSS Performance Porsche Carrera Cup Team (and former British GT(C) champions) as a data engineer for a variety of drivers and models of 997s.
  • Jason Lofing
    iRacing.com 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.
  • Dylan Sharman
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in Adelaide and we moved-out for Angle Vale for a few years until I was about 7 years old, when we moved to the Barossa Valley where I live now. I'm 19 years old and currently traveling back and forth weekly as I'm studying for a Diploma of Furniture Design and Technology.

    I've always had a love for racing as my close family did some racing and we were always out at the local dirt track. I joined iRacing back in 2010 and slowly but surely got the hang of it as this is my first experience with sim racing and am loving it each time I race. I've won two SK Modified titles (almost had three in a row but finished P2 in 2011 S4), an iRacingNews Challenge championship (2012 S1 Mazda) and was also an AustralAsian Intel GT Series Finalist.
  • 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 iRacing.com 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 iRacing.com 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!