After a dominating win by Philip Leybaert at Lime Rock, the 2k Cup moved on to Philip Island this week. This was expected to be a much different race due to Philip Island’s long straights and wide corners. The championship standings are still settling after starting the season at the Motegi oval. Philip Island should add more clarity to who the contenders will be for the rest of the season.

Standings, results and links to video replays can be found at http://2kworldcup.com/.

Qualifying:

The first lap of qualifying saw previous league champion, Mikko Nassi, return and set the pace with a 1:47.541. He was followed by Ricardo Faria and Paul Malokas. The critical second lap saw some changes to this order. Nassi improved his lap time and captured pole position, behind him Juha Norolampi jumped into second place and Faria fell to third. The rest of the top ten was Philippe Leybaert, Fahim Antoniades, Thibault Soubeyrand, Brian Doell, Paul Malokas, Arjan de Vreede and Ricardo Ferreira.

 

Mikko Nassi in pole position.

Race:

At the start, the field got away cleanly, however by the exit of turn two positions started to change. Faria was able to get a run on both Nassi and Norolampi. By the exit of turn four he had passed Norolampi and was closely following Nassi. Behind them the order was also changing. Antoniades was involved in an incident with Soubeyrand and was forced to pit. This slowed Soubeyrand and he was overtaken by Malokas. This all lead to a gap opening to the lead four of Nassi, Faria, Leybaert and Norolampi. On the second lap the second group was still battling and saw another incident. This incidents involved Soubeyrand, de Vreede and Doell. This opened another gap and left Malokas alone in fifth chasing the lead four.

Mikko Nassi and Ricardo Faria fight for the lead on lap one.

The leaders ran clean laps for the next section of the race, with only occasional changes in position. With the pit window opening the order was Faria, Leybaert, Nassi and Norolampi with Malokas chasing a few seconds behind. Behind them was a group containing Frank Winter, Lionel Gamet, Matt Dafoe, Rob Read and Angelo Celurra. The first of the leaders to pit was Faria, who came in on lap ten. The other leaders pitted together on lap 13. Nassi was leading, followed by Leybaert and Norolampi. Nassi came out ahead and Norolampi passed Leybaert. However, on exit Norolampi went off track and fell out of the lead group. Nassi and Leybaert rejoined with Faria and were clear of the rest of the field.

Mikko Nassi leads Ricardo Faria and Philippe Leybaert on the final lap.

Behind the leaders Malokas and Norolampi had formed a second group and were being chased by Dafoe and Read. The final spots in the top ten were held by Cellura, Winter and Will Fisher. Until the final few laps these groups maintained position. Nassi was still leading and was defending hard at the end of both straights. Faria was challenging at every opportunity. It appeared that Leybaert was patiently waiting for a mistake or incident to make his move. They came out of the final corner on the penultimate lap in this order but by the end of the straight were three wide with Nassi defending the inside, Faria in the middle and Leybaert on the outside. Nassi charged aggressively into the corner and touched the gravel on the inside. This upset his car and sent him into the path of the other two. Faria just missed the sliding Nassi and Leybaert had to take evasive action and touched the dirt on the outside. This sent Leybaert off track and ended his opportunity for the win. Faria came out of this ahead and defended the inside on the run down to turn four. However, he and Nassi touched wheels just before the braking zone and Nassi was able to get ahead. Faria chased through the rest of the lap, and was able to come along side Nassi on the final straight, but wasn’t able to get past. Nassi took the win by 0.043. Behind the leaders, Leybaert had rejoined the track just ahead of Malokas and Norolampi and was able to hold on to the final podium position. Malokas and Norolampi finished in fourth and fifth. Dafoe and Read finished closely with Dafoe holding on to sixth and Read seventh. The final positions in the top ten were Winter, de Vreede and Cellura.

Mikko Nassi and Ricardo Faria at the finish line.

Nassi’s return and win add a lot of interest in the championship. If he returned to start the season he would have been the favorite, however he has already used two drop weeks and will need to be very consistent to have a chance. With his third place finish, Leybaert maintained his lead and has a gap to Malokas in second. Yann Laprevotte is in third followed closely by de Vreede in fourth. Faria jumped all the way to fifth and Nassi joins the race in tenth place. The championship moves on to Road Atlanta on Sunday.

Race Results:

Pos Name Location Delta Pts
1 Mikko Nässi Finland 52
2 Ricardo Faria Iberia -0.043 48
3 Philippe Leybaert Texas -5.84 44
4 Paul Malokas Northwest -5.95 39
5 Juha Norolampi Finland -6.973 40
6 Matt Dafoe Canada -8.803 34
7 Rob Read UK and I -8.993 32
8 Frank Winter DE-AT-CH -13.182 30
9 Arjan de Vreede Benelux -13.254 28
10 Angelo Cellura Italy -13.763 26
11 Lionel Gamet France -19.351 24
12 Paul F Grillo UK and I -20.126 22
13 Greg Seitz Northwest -20.992 20
14 David Stefanini Italy -21.786 19
15 Will Fisher West -24.101 18
16 Barry Morrison UK and I -24.191 17
17 Aurelien Bonnet New York -24.548 16
18 Brooks Lyrette Canada -29.032 15
19 Gavin Marsden UK and I -35.159 14
20 Neal Kemp California -35.858 13
21 Fahim Antoniades UK and I -37.463 13
22 Peter Classon Scandinavia -37.714 5
23 Mike McCormick Texas -38.413 10
24 Rob Adams Canada -45.839 9
25 Rich Jones UK and I -46.681 8
26 Edward Cavalier Texas -48.099 7
27 Collin van Raam Benelux -49.192 6
28 José Manuel Esteban Iberia -50.166 3
29 Mickael Lamoureux France -00:01:02.93 4
30 Ryan Devlin New England -00:01:13.50 3
31 Thibault Soubeyrand UK and I -3 L 0
32 Tuan Tran Benelux -6 L 0
33 Brian Doell Canada -6 L 0
34 Chris McGowen Northwest -18 L 0
35 Ricardo Ferreira Iberia -21 L 0
36 Yann Laprevotte France -22 L 0
37 Daniel Nogueras Carceller Iberia -22 L 0

 

Championship Standings:

 

Pos Name Points Points-1
1 Philippe Leybaert 108 100
2 Paul Malokas 85 76
3 Yann Laprevotte 69 69
4 Arjan de Vreede 77 67
5 Ricardo Faria 66 66
6 Paul F Grillo 64 64
7 Greg Seitz 72 59
8 Chris McGowen 58 58
9 Brian Doell 55 55
10 Mikko Nässi 52 52
11 Juha Norolampi 52 52
12 Aurelien Bonnet 52 50
13 Collin van Raam 56 50
14 Neal Kemp 47 47
15 Tuan Tran 46 46
16 Clarke Williams 45 45
17 Rob Read 44 44
18 Will Fisher 56 44
19 Brooks Lyrette 58 43
20 Matt Dafoe 43 43
21 Peter Cowan 39 39
22 Barry Morrison 53 39
23 Frank Winter 43 37
24 David Stefanini 34 34
25 Thibault Soubeyrand 33 33
26 Karthik Pai 32 32
27 Peter Classon 36 31
28 Christopher Crome 30 30
29 Martin Peck 30 30
30 Luis Quintela 29 29
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