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April 2014

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The Team

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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.

Plenty to Play for in Penultimate Race

by Justin Sutton on April 16th, 2014

105
Maycock v. Lambert and Rabsztyn v. Swirydowicz

With the championship already in Marc Mercer’s pocket the UK&I Skippies headed to Sonoma Raceway for the penultimate round of the first 2014 season.  Following Blake Townend’s DNF last time out, the battle for “best of the rest” was still very much in play, with only eight points separating Townend from Wojciech Swirydowicz (in Woj’s favor).  Marcus Hamilton was in fourth (and highest scoring driver who had yet to win a race) and within a mathematical chance of snatching second, as well as multiple race winner George Streetley.  A little farther down and you’ll find a four-way battle for sixth as Jonathan Maycock, Tom Ward, Stuart Adcock, and Rob Green were separated by only 11 points. In qualifying Mercer held provisional pole for a while before Townend stamped his authority [...]

GT3 Challenge Week 11 Recap

by Paul Slavonik on April 16th, 2014

206
Motorsport Simulation

As we enter the final racing week of the iRacing.com GT3 Challenge debut season, let’s have a quick rundown on the action which took place at Phillip Island for Week 11. Italian driver Mario Bertolotti made his presence known when he completed the hat trick with his dominating performance during the Australian Strength-of-Field (SoF) race. After taking pole position, Bertolotti won the race with a 7.5 second margin over runner-up Bruno Barbugli, and also set the fastest lap time of 1:26.560. In addition to his hat trick performance, Bertolotti also finished the race cleanly by not acquiring a single incident point. Tony Autridge  completed the podium after he starting P6 and moving through the field to finish in third. There were plenty of movers and shakers in this online race [...]

Southern Fried NASCAR

by Jordan Hightower on April 16th, 2014

103
Week 10 Darlington P1

The NASCAR iRacing Class C Fixed Series approaches the conclusion of Season One with a tight battle shaping up for the championship. After spending Week Nine at Martinsville Speedway, 3,522 sim racers made the virtual trip to Darlington Raceway and Atlanta Motor Speedway for the tenth and eleventh weeks of action in the series. Darlington (Top Strength of Field) Under clear skies, with temperatures in the mid-70s, NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series competitor Brandon Kettelle (Florida) drove his No. 3 Chevrolet Silverado into Darlington’s famed victory lane. After starting from the third spot and leading just six laps in the event, Kettelle was able to hold off fellow NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series competitor Josh Berry (Mid-South) to take the victory by just 0.347 seconds. Berry was able to lead seven laps [...]

Behind the Scenes – NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series – Texas Motor Speedway

by Matt Holden on April 15th, 2014

209
Tyler Hudson (#01) and Nick Ottinger (#05) make contact

Let’s face it:  There are some who have been waiting a week for this article to hit the website.  I, on the other hand, have actively avoided writing it because revisiting last week’s race seems like a step backwards, nothing that would provide any kind of progress towards the next race.  However, this is easily a way to close the door on an “event” that most of us have forgotten about already. I knew we were in for a long race when Nick left Turn 2 on the opening lap.  He said just two words before trying to settle into a rhythm:  “We tight.”  He’s very good about waiting for a car to evolve throughout a run, and as a result can immediately tell if the car is going to [...]

Mustangs Break Road America Records, Set Exciting Season Finish

by Jeff Jacobs on April 15th, 2014

113
Chris Damron Jr (#4) exhibited an amazing pace to move up from fourth in the opening lap to make this late-race pass to take over the lead from Kevin Ford (#1), with Kester Baird (#2) in chase.

Five drivers will battle for the final podium spot in the overall points standings for Season 1, 2014, in the iRacing.com Mustang Challenge as the series wraps this week at Mid-Ohio. The Season 1 Championship appears to be a lock for Patrick Bieri, who holds a 154-point advantage over Todd Honczarenko. In turn, Honczarenko holds a 141-point advantage over Kester Baird, who currently sits in third. But from there things get exciting. Baird leads Patrik Runald by just 43 points. Runald leads Mike Baures by 13 points. Baures leads Nicholas Bailey by just eight points. The next step to Kevin Ford in seventh place is 89 points, who is a threat to move into the top 5 but not likely to challenge Baird for the final podium spot. However, eighth-place [...]

iRacers at Long Beach

by David Phillips on April 14th, 2014

207
iRacers

Ten lucky iRacers from as far away as Chicago and Salt Lake City enjoyed a special tour of the Target/Chip Ganassi Racing paddock area on Saturday afternoon at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.   The first to respond to a post on the iRacing forums, the iRacers got an inside look at the TCGR operations including a guided tour of the team’s transporters and paddock work area hosted by TCGR vice president of communication John Olguin.  Our thanks to Target/Chip Ganassi Racing for their hospitality!

Get to Know: Jake Hayes

by David Ifeguni on April 14th, 2014

89
Hayes

From Commerce, Georgia, iRacer Jake Hayes has not even celebrated his one year anniversary on iRacing. Although he only joined iRacing in June of 2013, he has already started 344 oval races and 212 road races, and has recorded 14 and 19 victories respectively. On ovals, he got his first career win on his second day as an iRacer, in the iRacing Street Stock series at USA International Speedway. Twelve days later, he went to victory lane for the first time on a road course at Summit Point Raceway in the iRacing Mazda Cup Series. Although he has more victories on road courses than ovals, he primarily races on ovals, with an iRating of 3578. There is more to Jake Hayes than meets the eye and you can learn more [...]

Pahkala Leads Finns’ Road America Domination

by Wil Vincent on April 14th, 2014

454
Luis and Huttuka got off to the better starts, but Pahkala was in front when it counted.

The 2014 iRacing.com World Championship Grand Prix Series rolled into Road America in a state of flux. The four mile race track in Elkhart Lake, WI has traditionally been Team Redline driver and three-time series champion Greger Huttu’s playground, and he was hoping to reignite his championship charge after a tough start to the season.  Meanwhile Foracer 3id Motorsports’ Hugo Luis – the only man to ever beat Huttu to an iWCGPS title — was leading the championship, new contenders in the form of Glacier Racing‘s Aleksi Uusi-Jaakkola and Olli Pahkala were the centre point for attention . . . and Foracer 3id Motorsports’ Martin Krönke quietly sat second in the standings. As always, before drivers go racing, they have to qualify, and the 15 minute session saw provisional pole [...]

Peterson Goes 3-Wide to Win at Thompson

by Stan Bragg Jr on April 14th, 2014

101
ScreenHunter_01 Apr. 14 12.28

Week 11 of the NASCAR iRacing.com Super Late Model Series traveled east to Thompson Connecticut to race at this tight 0.625 mile track. With 26 degrees of banking, a high groove that’s the only fast way around and a handling-nightmare of a bottom groove that sees cars pushing up in the center and killing exit speed, the track was a challenge to say the least.  Of the 18 sim-racers who took the green flag, only 10 would actually cross the start/finish line when the checkered flag dropped, with just a handful on the lead lap. In the 1904 Strength of Field race Scott Howell led the field to the green with Chad Peterson to his outside, but b y the time they came back around to the start/finish line the [...]

SuperGT Season 2 at BLMS Ends

by Thiago Izequiel on April 14th, 2014

97
These guys took home a very good looking trophy.

Versão em português abaixo The ride is over. After two months of championship sim-racing, five online races done bi-weekly, and hours of hosted sessions, we already knew the champion Renato Silva.  But there was still one race to go, on April 9. Only after Bathurst, Mt. Panorama,would we know the whole story of SuperGT. Renato Silva had dominated the series, winning the title one race before the end, with four victories, five pole-positions and three fastest laps. The only race that Renato would not make the pole position, would be this final one, achieved by Andrew Lauret who, in contrast, earned his first pole of the series. Andrew is also the only driver who had won a race besides Renato, and things would keep that way. Having the pole, Andrew [...]

Mission: Mercer

by Justin Sutton on April 14th, 2014

127
Rabsztyn heavy on the curb.

Three races remaining.  45 points separating Marc Mercer from Blake Townend.  253 corners from lights-out to checkered flag.  Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, Australia could be the place where Mercer clinches the championship.  With his current lead all he needs to do is outscore Townend by six points, and not get outscored by Wojciech Swirydowicz, to put the nail in the coffin since those two are the only other competitors with a mathematical chance of winning still. In qualifying Swirydowicz grabbed pole with a 2:30.321 ahead of Mercer, Townend, Wojciech Rabsztyn, and Sebastian Job.  As the cars lined up and started to rev there was an immediately visible gap in the grid where Townend’s black and red F2000 should have been, and as the lights turned green it became painfully [...]

Kusheba’s (PEAK) Dreams in Sight With Irwindale Victory

by Brian Tate on April 11th, 2014

96
Matched Kusheba's points haul at Irwindale.

Monroe, Connecticut’s Paul Kusheba held serve in week 10 of the PEAK Stock Car Dreams National Series and moved one step closer to the coveted season-ending prize of a spot in the 2014 PEAK Stock Car Dreams Challenge driver combine conducted by Michael Waltrip Racing.  Although Kusheba’s points for the tenth week won’t count toward his overall total, it did him no harm as his closest pursuers in the championship skipped the week’s sim-racing at half-mile Irwindale Speedway. Kusheba entered the week with a 66 point lead over Ray Alfalla and an 87 point advantage on third place, Byron Daley.  Although many of the top drivers were missing for the week, Kusheba could not take advantage.  Despite winning the week’s top race, the 131 points he earned at Irwindale represented [...]

Overland and Alfalla Collect the Points at Texas

by Tom O'Leary on April 11th, 2014

103
racing simulations

Texas Motor Speedway was the racetrack to over 1200 sim-racers as they race towards the halfway point in the NASCAR iRacing Series. The ‘Great American Speedway’ provided some close sim-racing at high speeds, with the virtual track incorporating features of Talladega & Bristol – and with the tarmac renowned for its slipperiness — being precise with the driving controls was the key to finishing up the field in Texas. In the first race of the Fixed series, NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series driver Danny Hansen took the lead towards the end of the race – and stayed there to take the checkered flag in style, finishing ahead of some of iRacing’s best oval sim-racers. Hansen took over the lead from Ray Alfalla with 22 to go and rose above the pressure [...]

RUF Cup Races Through Zandvoort & Spa

by Harrison Widelitz on April 11th, 2014

150
Diego Comuni charges through Eau Rouge.

As iRacing.com’s RUF Cup series approaches its inaugural season’s finish line, the battle for the points championship continues to heat up in what has been an incredibly competitive season. The last two weeks have seen plenty of sim-racing, with the RUF drivers first visiting the Netherlands’ Circuit Park Zandvoort before heading over to Belgium’s Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. As we have entered the ninth and tenth weeks of the twelve-week schedule, with the drivers’ best eight races counting to their season-end point total, the points standings has changed dramatically with “drop” weeks finally coming into play as over 2,500 drivers look to see who will end up where in the final standings. In the RUF Cup’s ninth week of competition, nearly 500 sim-racers made starts at Circuit Park Zandvoort. Like many [...]

Lichtenberg Wins Big in Michigan

by Seth Eggert on April 11th, 2014

61
Sim Racing

Week Ten of the 2014 Season 1 iRacing.com IndyCar Oval Series sent the series to Michigan International Speedway. A season high 123 sim-racers participated in online races throughout the week. Fuel conservation and fuel strategy were the stories throughout the week. Brandon Traino (New Jersey) started on pole with Terry Matthiensen (California) starting on his outside. Brad Sanford (Texas) qualified on the inside of Row Two along side Troy Eddy (Atlantic), with Randy Crossno (California) rounding out the top five starting positions. Traino had an excellent start as Crossno spun his tires, holding-up those behind him. Matt Cooke (Canada) also had an excellent start as he jumped from sixteenth to eleventh by the time the field reached the back stretch. The race quickly became a single-file, follow-the-leader freight train up [...]

Sansone Gains Ground in Kentucky

by Brooks Westfall on April 11th, 2014

25
Vinnie Sansone cruises to victory after the 1-lap shootout.

With the first Season of iRacing’s 2014 year quickly coming to a close, the iRacing.com Silver Crown Cup stormed into the virtual hills of Kentucky for a 100 mile contest. The Thursday night sim race featured thrills and spills, as the points battle for the overall championship tightens-up with just two weeks of sim racing left in Season 1. Three cautions were waved on Thursday, accounting for 12 of the 67 lap race, one of which involved two championship contenders.  Drivers such as Ian Seely, Ryan Steele, and Bristol winner Brandon Buchberger all finished outside the top ten, limiting their point count for the week. Many benefitted from their misfortune, however, race winner Vinnie Sansone and runner-up Paul Williams in particular, both of whom gained a lot of ground on [...]

Majeski Wins (Again) at Richmond

by Stan Bragg Jr on April 10th, 2014

57
sim racing

Richmond Virginia played host to the iRacing.com Super Late Model Series Week 10 action.  The largest track the Super Late Model visit this season showcased high speed and great sim-racing.  Coming in at .75 miles with 14 degrees of banking in the corners, center roll and speed off the corner were key to success here.  In the 3180 Strength of Field seventeen sim-racers took the field, with Ty Majeski leading the field to the green with Casey Pierce to his outside. Majeski would be contested but lead majority of the laps, Pierce would take himself out of contention on Lap Two by over-driving the exit of Turn 4 and snapping loose, correcting it and finding the outside wall.  Fast forward to Lap 51 when Majeski slipped-up exiting Turn 2 opening [...]

Gentleman Jim 24 Laps of Daytona

by James Prostell Jr. on April 9th, 2014

50
008

DAYTONA, FLORIDA – After eleven weeks of pulse-pounding racing, the Red Sox Racing League RUF Track Challenge makes its way to Daytona for the season-ending Gentleman Jim 24 Laps of Daytona. Whether taking place on the super speedway or utilizing the infield road course, the Daytona International Speedway is best known for kicking off racing seasons in grand style, but in this case, the venue will serve as the last chance for drivers and teams to make their mark for the season. And what a season it’s been – through all the twists and turns that the series has taken though some of the best known tracks one can drive in North America and abroad, the final showdown sets up to what could be the most dramatic in league history. [...]

King Wins Texas Calamity

by Jason Lofing on April 9th, 2014

256
King (29) heads to the win from Conti (5) and Laughton (26) as Alfalla (2) exits stage left.

In a race at Texas Motor Speedway that saw crashes and tempers take half the field out of contention, Kevin King kept his nose clean just long enough to score his first win of the 2014 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series Powered by iRacing. King, who had a fifteenth place car by his own admission, made a late gamble on pit road, then took advantage of contact between Ray Alfalla and Chad Laughton to squeeze by into the lead just as the caution flew to end the online race. Michael Conti finished second while Laughton settled for third after his run-in with Alfalla. Trey Eidson led late before fading to fourth and Adam Gilliland rounded-out the top five. With six laps to go, King was sitting in third just a couple [...]

Mustang World Records Continue to Fall in Week 10 at Spa

by Jeff Jacobs on April 9th, 2014

76
Patrick Bieri earned the top spot in the season points battle by taking key wins in high strength-of-field races in Week 10 at Spa.

Favorable weather conditions and a new tire model produced the third week of world record breaking performances in 2014’s Season 1 of the iRacing.com Mustang Challenge. Coming into Week 10 of 12, Todd Honczarenko was the championship points leader and looked to be in position to dominate at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps when he set a new qualifying lap world record of 2:43.976. He even bested that time by setting a new race lap world record of 2:43.797. None of the 98 other sim-racers who set a qualifying lap at Spa were able to break into the 2:43’s. Just as impressive, of the 204 Mustang drivers who entered an official race in Week 10, only two others turned a race lap in the 2:43’s – with Patrick Bieri and Kimmo Suominen [...]