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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.

Road Warriors Off and Running at 2.4 Hours of Daytona

by Andrew Pinkerton on January 27th, 2014

1,336
Wyatt Gooden hustles the RUF RT-12  through the infield in the 2.4 Hours of Daytona, the inaugural event in the new iRacing.com Road Warriors Series.

The inaugural round of the iRacing.com Road Warrior Series was held at the Daytona International Speedway under the lights for a two hour and 24 minute endurance challenge. Across the four race time slots there were 67 splits with 2,024 drivers participating. Of those drivers 1445 scored their best points in the RUF RT-12 Track, and the remaining 579 scored their best points in the Riley Daytona Prototype. The speed difference between the two classes was not all that great. This made for some interesting traffic as the RUF was fantastic under braking and early throttle application, while the two cars were fairly even through the infield and Turn One due to the RUF’s capabilities. Now let’s move on to the highlights of the weekend. In the Daytona Prototype the [...]

Down Does it Again

by Shane Gilfeather on September 25th, 2013

218
Down, Muggleton, Ruggier and Golan lead the opening lap of the iRacing Race to Reality competition,

Madison Down has taken out the honours in Racecentre’s “Race To Reality” iRacing Final. He has now advanced to the Grand Final in the chance of winning a real race drive in December this year. Madison was looking the goods through practice and qualifying but was pushed along from his TTR Team mate Josh Muggleton and other drivers like Blake Coppo, Justin Ruggier and Dylan Gulson, the top ten all qualifying with a second. The green flag dropped on the sunny scape of Oran Park and it was Josh Muggleton who got the dream start over Madison to grab the inside line through The Kink and into Turn Two. Down however held his line on the outside and got the next run into T3. Over the bridge and it was [...]

Bäckman, Inniss, Raileanu Prevail in Grand Touring

by Austin Hartenfels on May 2nd, 2013

177
Parrish, Raileanu and Ryan Field had some fantastic racing and close moments throughout 2013 Season One.

Season One of the 2013 iRacing.com Grand Touring Cup has come to a close. The champions from each class emerged victorious after dueling with the best in some of the most compelling sim-racing on the Internet. The Grand Touring series showed iRacers what it’s like to compete in true touring car racing. Week 12, however, proved to be most difficult, racing at a track that is quite possibly one of the hardest on iRacing. VW Jettas, Mazda MX-5s and Pontiac Solstices flew around Suzuka Grand Prix Circuit to close-out the season. In the Solstice class, none other than Joni Bäckman (Finland) emerged victorious and took the the championship crown, edging Andrey Loginov (Central-Eastern Europe) by 61 points. 175 points back, Joni Hagner (Finland) placed third in front of Paul Clark2 [...]

Touring Cars Continue Spa Heritage

by Austin Hartenfels on February 28th, 2013

228
Parish catches air off of Raileanu’s rear tire while attempting a pass for the lead for the VW Jetta TDi win.

In eastern Belgium lies a track that any racing fan likely knows: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.  The circuit has been hosting races since 1925 and features its picture perfect Eau Rouge-Raidillon uphill corners that lead to the long Kemmel Straight.  With tons of configurations and 4.352 miles of race track, it is known as one of the greats in the world of motorsports. On iRacing though, it’s known as four miles of fun sim-racing, but a massive killer for driver’s Safety Rating as there is little room for mistakes, despite the massively wide racing surfaces. The iRacing.com Grand Touring Cup visited this historic track (virtually of course) for week four of the first season of 2013. The Volkswagen Jetta TDis pulled out in front on the starts and brought the field [...]

Racing Royalty

by Austen Hartenfels on February 22nd, 2013

199
A clutch of Mazda MX-5s head into the daunting Paddock Hill Bend.

Elevation changes, high speed sweeping corners and virtual touring cars battling through 25 minute online races all describe the iRacing Grand Touring Cup on Week Three of 2013 Season 1. The location is Kent, England where a 2.301 mile track known as Brands Hatch lies east of London. The course, with nine turns in all, is full of speed and challenges, none more daunting than Paddock Hill Bend, a right hand corner that absolutely dives down off a hill. When racing with the best touring car drivers on iRacing, the action can get hair-raising at times. In the Volkswagen Jettas, Alexandru Raileanu, Ryan Field, Kevin Parish and Mika T Savonen continue their impressive performances. However, Italy’s Enzo Bonito ran the Grand Touring Cup for the first time this season, competing [...]

Vintage Sim-Racing

by Austin Hartenfels on February 14th, 2013

389
iRacing's eye in the sky captures a bird's eye view of Kevin Parish (5) completing a pass on Ryan Field (1) for the lead as with Alexandru Raileanu (3) watches the action from third place.

Another week of sim racing means another week of the thrilling Class D battles in the iRacing.com Grand Touring Cup. This time though, it’s a little different.   For Week 2 the series shifted to a track where the sun seems to endlessly shine on the slick black asphalt: the great Sonoma Raceway. The 2.53 mile track hosts NASCAR, IndyCar, NHRA, various club racing organizations and, for the first time this year, the FIA World Touring Car Championship. However, this week, the virtual iRacing version of the famous twisty turns in California served as the temporary home for the VWs, Mazdas and Pontiacs of the Grand Touring Cup. The Jetta battles were incredibly fun to watch unfold. Kevin Parrish handed it to the competition at Sonoma, starting in three races and [...]

Grand Touring Cup Season Debuts at Daytona

by Austin Hartenfels on February 6th, 2013

412
Life -- and the iRacing.com Grand Touring Cup -- is a carnival at Daytona as the field throttles out of Turn One on the start.

Undoubtedly among the most prestigious race tracks in the world, let alone the United States, Daytona International Speedway hosted the first week of iRacing’s exhilarating Grand Touring Cup racing.  The vehicles in contention? The FWD, 170hp German Volkswagen Jetta TDI cup sedans, the classic Japanese 170hp Mazda MX-5 Cup cars and the popular 177hp American Coupe Pontiac Solstices, guaranteed to produce plenty of action from flag-to-flag. With cars this close, the racing was as unpredictable as Florida’s weather. The famous 3.56 mile road course used in the running of the Rolex 24 offers some unique and challenging corners; 12 to be exact. Most challenging of all for the sim-racers in Week One seemed to be the Bus Stop chicane on the backstretch, and Turn One, which flows down into the [...]

Continental Endurance Sports Car Series Set for February 2

by Tim Brokaw on January 24th, 2013

258
Continental Endurance Sports Car Series Set for February 2

Season 3 for the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series is set to launch again on February 2 with the 2.4 Hour race at Daytona International Speedway road course featuring the Mazda MX-5 in the Street Tuner Class and the Ford Mustang FR500S in the Grand Sport Class. Historically the season opener at Daytona is the most highly attended event of the season which had, in the past, resulted in some sim-racers getting locked-out of the event. To ease this problem the race administrators have come up with system to reserve pit stalls for both classes for returning drivers to the series, 14 pit stalls for each class to be precise. The first seven pit stalls will be reserved for each class based on “Mr. Clean” standings from the prior season [...]

You only Brake Twice… The sequel!

by Nathan Aljoe on January 15th, 2013

482
driving games

A belated Happy New Year all! 2013… where does the time go? Here’s the plus side – only two more years until hover boards are invented! Whoop!  I just keep these bad jokes coming don’t I? Anyhow, let’s kick off where we left off – my last blog post (http://www.iracing.com/inracingnews/iracing-news/you-only-brake-twice). Over the Christmas period a chap by the name of Jorgen Petterson dropped me a message on iRacing regarding my views on only braking twice at Lime Rock Park in the Mazda MX-5 Cup. Turns out… he only brakes once! “Craaaazay Sucka! I pity the foooo who only brakes twice!” Only joking. When you think about it, it’s pretty obvious that T1 is the only corner where Jorgen brakes. So what? He’s probably really slow, right? Wrong! His personal best [...]

You Only Brake Twice!

by Nathan Aljoe on December 15th, 2012

396
racing games

It’s been a while since my last post and those of you who read it will know that I’ve recently moved into a new house. All I can say on the matter is that if an estate agent (realtor for you US guys) says any of the following phrases to you…. run! Run for your life and don’t look back! -    It’s a fixer upper -    It has potential -    It’ll make a good project -    There is plenty of scope for improvement I’m not gonna spend much long telling you about how my recent purchase has consumed my life. Let’s just say, the last couple of months have been… emotional. Moving on, I really wanted to start by talking about the 2012 season final Grand Prix race in Interlagos. [...]

iRacer Profile: Diego Rodriguez Alonso

by David Phillips on November 17th, 2012

455
racing games

With a surname like his, Diego Rodriguez Alonso had some pretty lofty standards to meet when he joined iRacing at the end of July.  And while he still has a fair way to go before becoming motorsports’ most celebrated Alonso, he could hardly have enjoyed a more impressive start to his iRacing career.  As a rookie, he drove his Mazda MX-5 to an impressive championship in the 2012 Season 3 inRacingNews Challenge, taking 19 wins in 24 starts – and going a perfect 24 for 24 in poles – to best Christoph Schön and iRNC stalwart Chris Hughson; this while grabbing the S3 Nvidia Cup with eight wins in 12 races and, you guessed it, a dozen poles. Alonso’s secret?  At least one of them is practice, practice, practice. (Click [...]

Loss Of Spec Racer Ford Doesn’t Take the “Challenge” Out of iRNC

August 18th, 2012

368
Image via David Phillips

Season Three of the 2012 inRacingNews Challenge brings a major change to the series: the elimination of the Spec Racer Ford class, which has been spun off into its own series. That leaves only the Pontiac Solstice and Mazda MX-5 Roadsters to contest the 12-race schedule, which begins once again with a trip to Okayama’s short course. But that doesn’t mean that the racing will suffer any for it, as iRacing’s own Kevin Bobbitt proved in a Week One race at Okayama. Bobbitt beat Patrick Gallagher by .004 seconds to take the Solstice class victory in a July 31 race. (Fellow iRacing employee Sean Siff finished fourth in the Mazda class in the same race.) Many top names will be sticking around as well, even without the SRF competition. In [...]

iRacer Profile: Justin Hamilton

by David Phillips on August 18th, 2012

378
motorsport simulations

Justin Hamilton’s learning curve on iRacing has been a steep one.  Since joining iRacing in January, he’s made steady – and rapid – progress up the charts, particularly with his Mazda MX-5 in Nvidia Cup competition.  A credible but “distant” 66th place finisher in S2, he moved up to P17 in Season 2B on the strength of 22 wins in 31 starts, then took sixth place in Season 2C with a nearly perfect 13 wins and 14 top fives out of 15 races. Although the Brisbane resident is an F1 aficionado – Ferrari in particular – he has his sights set on iRacing’s upcoming foray into the British Touring Car Championship and the Honda HSV-010 GT for the future.  Small wonder, given the fact that he used to race a [...]

Season 3 Rookie Series Shake-Ups

by John Bodin on August 6th, 2012

685
SpecRacer Ford has a series all its own in S3.

The Season 3 schedule features some significant shake-ups for the Rookie and Advanced Rookie series, with one car leaving the inRacingNews Challenge Advanced Rookie road racing series, a shift in license level restrictions for the entry-level Mazda Cup and iRacing.com Street Stock Rookie series on both the Road and Oval sides, and cars that were previously only used exclusively in the rookie ranks “graduating” to new series at advanced license levels. The biggest change involves a shift in license requirements – or, more correctly, restrictions – for the Rookie road and oval series.  Previously, the Rookie series were open to all iRacers with license levels from Rookie through Pro, but as-of the start of Season 3, only sim-racers with Rookie through D-Class licenses can compete in the Rookie road (Mazda [...]

Mazda MX-5 Cup Track Guide: Okayama International Circuit (Short Course)

by Nathan Aljoe on August 2nd, 2012

3,878
1:02

What’s that? A track guide for the Mazda MX-5 Cup? That’s right guys and gals, when David Phillips asked me if I could put something together for the Mazda MX-5 Cup series I thought, why the heck not? So, this week I’m gonna give you lucky folks a corner by corner guide to getting round Okayama International Circuit Short Course. To start with let’s manage some expectations: If you can drive this track circa 1:02, there’s probably not much point reading this as you’re good enough to find the rest of your speed on your own. If you can put together a mid 1:01, you’re quick; take satisfaction, go forth and prosper. If you can break the 1:01 barrier (I’ve seen this) you’re probably reading this in binary code and [...]

iRNC Crowns Three New Champions

by Christopher Leone on July 31st, 2012

173
Photo credit: Niccolo Cedrati

The seventh season of the inRacingNews Challenge is now in the books, with three new champions crowned: Bryan J. Miller in the Pontiac Solstice class, Chris Hughson in Spec Racer Ford, and Daniel Schon in the Mazda MX-5 Roadster. Miller was the fastest driver in Solstice week in and week out, totaling 1209 points in his eight best weeks of the season. In those 40 races, he scored 32 wins and 40 poles to take the title by just under 100 points. For Hughson, this is his third iRNC championship, after winning the first two Solstice titles. He scored 1499 points, best of any driver in all three classes. Hughson also finished second in Solstice standings with 1126 points, and third in Mazda points with 1097, completing one of the [...]

SpecRacer Ford “Graduates” for Season 3

by John Bodin on July 30th, 2012

405
Back to the future: the SpecRacer Ford has its very own series . . . again.

The Season 3 iRacing schedule brings something old back into the fold again as the SpecRacer Ford Challenge series re-emerges as the newest and most affordable series at the D-Class license level. Long-time iRacers may remember the SpecRacer Ford Challenge as the Advanced Rookie series prior to the formation of the current inRacingNews Challenge.  The SpecRacer Ford has been an iRacing staple for years, serving first as the lone Advanced Rookie car in the SpecRacer Ford Challenge series, then later paired with the Pontiac Solstice to form the Advanced Rookie inRacingNews Challenge series. The MX-5 Roadster was added to the inRacingNews Challenge series in late 2011, which made for an interesting three-way multiclass series that ultimately became rather crowded for fans of the smaller and slightly more fragile SpecRacer Ford, [...]

Taming Jefferson

by Christopher Leone on May 24th, 2012

196
The iRNC + Jefferson Reverse = close racing.

Summit Point Raceway is one of the more identifiable locations for inRacingNews Challenge competitors, as the series’ Pontiac Solstices, Spec RacerFords, and Mazda MX-5 Roadsters attempt to tame its various layouts several times each season. Week Two of 2012 Season Two featured the first Summit Point visit of the schedule, a slate of 20-lap races on the tricky Jefferson Reverse layout. With one win in two starts, Oleg Predko led the Solstice class with 148 points in a low-scoring week that saw only ten sim-racers break the 100-point barrier. But the other two classes featured high-scoring leaders: Mitch Weatherly posted a huge week in SRF, scoring 231 points by taking the victory against a loaded field in his lone online race of the week. Meanwhile, Petr Dolezal posted a particularly [...]

Charlotte Show

by Christopher Leone on March 14th, 2012

86
Charlotte Show

The fifth round on the inRacingNews Challenge schedule unfolded on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s 12 turn, 2.25 mile road course. While sports car racing might be the last thing that you’d expect from a track renowned for its stock car events, the Pontiac Solstice and SpecRacer Fords of the iRNC have never failed to put on a good show here. Now, with the Mazda MX-5 Roadsters added to the mix, the three-class series was bound to put on even more of a show in its lone visit to the Tarheel State in 2012 Season 1. In Mazda, Daniel Schon put on the week’s best showing, scoring 161 points on the strength of a win from the pole in his lone start. Mogar DG Filho put on an even better show in [...]

Points at a Premium

by Chrisopher Leone on March 1st, 2012

92
motorsport simulations

Week Three of the first 2012 season of the inRacingNews Challenge saw the three-class series visit Summit Point Raceway for the second time of four on the schedule. Using the Jefferson course, sim racers in Pontiac Solstices, Spec Racer Fords, and now Mazda MX-5 Roadsters would try to best each other and establish their championship hopes as reality. It wasn’t a particularly high scoring week for anybody, as the highest point total was only 167; Roope Turkkila put that up in SRF by winning three of his five starts. In Solstice, Ralf Janiak scored 152 points by winning both of his starts. But in the still wide-open Mazda class, Elmar Eriekotte put up an absolutely dominant week, not only scoring the most points (146, on one win in two starts), [...]