The tenth round of twelve in the GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series paid a visit to the tricky and tight virtual-corners of Lime Rock Park, as the Riley MkXX Daytona Prototype and Ford Mustang FR500S continue to battle in the mixed class championship. With the inaugural season drawing to a close, the fights for divisional honours are intensifying in the GRAND-AM-sanctioned series that bases its scores on an entrant’s best eight rounds. The online-racing championship that is open to members of the iRacing.com Motor Sports Simulation service has proved to be a roaring success with nearly 1500 sim racers entering the series in its opening season.
Riley MKXX Daytona Prototype
With only two weeks of the GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series remaining, Wyatt Gooden has established a commanding lead of 117 points in the pinnacle division of the championship. Although the Ohio-based racer failed to make an appearance at the Lime Rock circuit, by virtue of his best eight rounds so far, Gooden continues to hold the advantage over season-long rival, Jaro Honzik. Claiming the plaudits for the division’s top-score during Round Ten was PJ Stergios, who bested Tim Resciniti, both on track and in the standings.
“It was great to win at my ‘home’ track this season in the Sunday race.” shared the New Hampshire based sim-racer, who occupies fifth-spot overall. “I didn’t think that my move was going to work as Tim [Rescintini] could have easily slammed me out of the way, but he raced me clean. This place is a constant traffic jam, and it seemed like we were always catching cars in the wrong places.”
Although John Mallia only collected the sixth highest score of Division Two at Lime Rock Park, the American finds himself at the top of the standings, with just two rounds remaining. However, Mallia’s new-found status as divisional ‘top-dog’ looks set to be short-lived, as Henrick Carlsson, who secured the division’s top score for Round Ten, is just 20 points behind, with only seven weeks worth of results to his name.
By claiming the top score of the week in Division Three with a top five finish, Ilker Estefania has moved back into the lead of the divisional championship ahead of Matthew Davis, who had been setting the standard for several weeks. Lurking in the shadows 141 points off the lead (and having registered just seven rounds of results) is Steven Rousseau, who will be looking to make it a three-way divisional fight when he reaches his quota of races.
In Division Four, Kjell-Einar Svendsen looks certain to claim the divisional title, with the Scandinavian now carrying a 274 point lead ahead of Jacob Demarias, as the GRAND-AM iRacing Online Sports Car Series moves into its final rounds. Likewise, Tyler A. King continues his reign at the top of the Division Five Prototype standings following a brace of victories at Lime Rock Park. King’s lead is now extended to 94 points over Frenchman Damien Capelani, as the championship heads to the virtual Brands Hatch for the penultimate round of the season.
Whilst Todd Martelle remains at the head of Division Six, his position is looking precarious as the GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series draws to a close. Martelle’s lead in the standings is now a mere 27 points following his absence from proceedings at the digital version of Lime Rock, handing the initiative to Ed DeVoe to close gap and set up a thrilling finale. By claiming the week’s top score in Division Seven, Alejandro Bernabe has narrowed the margin to the divisional leader Scott Bennett to 63 points, but the European has a fight on his hands with Samuel Shinakis and Jim Davey a mere two points behind him.
The Prototype battle in Division Eight is set to go to the wire, following the promotion of Jeremy Burris to the top of the standings table. The Carolina-based online-racer earned top marks on the 1.5 mile circuit to snatch the divisional lead from Don Davis, who had occupied the spot for most of the season. Sylvan Delpech had his worst finish of the season so far, but by virtue of drop weeks the Frenchman continues to lead Division Nine, as does Joshua Friedrichs, who carries a healthy 107 point lead in Division Ten as the championship heads into its twilight.
Ford Mustang FR500S
As the GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series enters its final rounds, it’s Marcus Jirak who heads the Ford Mustang top division’s standings, 98 points ahead of Scott Michaels and 190 clear of long-time leader Samu Snabb. With Michaels collecting the best result of the week at the virtual Lime Rock Park, the American has narrowed the Championship gap; whilst Snabb has still only registered seven rounds of racing, meaning the Scandinavian should be in contention when his eight weeks of results are counted.
Reclaiming his position at the top of Division Two, Chris Keogh’s top score of the week sees the American leap-frog his way into the divisional lead ahead of Mathieu Gagnon. After leaving Lime Rock with just 50 points in his pocket, Gagnon will need to make up a further 20 marks over the next two rounds if the Canadian is to claim the Division Two title and hold off the likes of Steven McGarvey, who is a further 40 behind.
Sharing the honour as Division Three’s top points scorers on the full Lime Rock circuit were Dimitar Stefanov and Uwe Vass, who both bagged 116 points with podium finishes. The result sees Stefanov maintain his position at the top of the standings, 26 points clear of Andrew Bakke. Following his first-ever win in the GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series, Mitchell Cornett earned a whooping 153 points, to make him the highest score of Division Four during Week Ten. As it was only Cornett’s second round of the Championship, the American’s top finish had little effect on the divisional table, which is still led by Jasper Groeneweg who is 59 points ahead of Eric Miller.
The battle for the Division Five crown has intensified following Thomas Christian’s maximum haul at Lime Rock. Christian’s top-five finish sees the Floridian step into the divisional lead, 14 points clear of England’s Robert Lawrie and 67 ahead of fellow American, Mike Nachtigal. The 117 points that Paolo Ghibaudo collected for a podium finish, puts the Italian into a solid third place in the Division Six standings, 75 away from the leader Alexander Khalkin, who is 46 marks clear of Patrick Lindsey.
With just two rounds of the GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series remaining, Brian Labode will have to put in some of his best performances of the season if he is to catch Division Seven leader, Ryan Cowley. Although by way of the ‘drop weeks’ system Labode made a ten point gain on the divisional top-spot, Cowley claimed the highest total of the week with a podium finish. In Division Eight of the Ford Mustang class, Hal Kermite continues to dominate the standings table, with a margin of 111 points over Travis Fischer; whilst the ninth division sees Petr Lysec also maintain his status at the top of the standings with a substantial lead. Following several weeks at the apex of Division Ten, Scotland’s Mike Hogg was unable to resist the sustained pressure from Evgeny M. Garanin, who moves into the divisional lead with a 20 point advantage.