While Kelvin van der Linde scored his first overall victory of 2011 Season 3c at Okayama International Circuit, it was Jan Coomans who took away his second consecutive championship in the NVIDIA Cup. While this is Coomans’ second straight title, he has finished in the top two spots in the last four seasons, solidifying Coomans as one of, if not the top Mazda MX-5 sim racers on the service.
What is not to be overlooked in all the championship celebration is van der Linde’s win. The 166 points he earned to best the other 1,800 drivers during Week Four were obtained during a 2651 Strength of Field (sof) race on Monday. The International Club driver led 21 of the 25 laps of the race after taking the lead from the pole-sitting Coomans, who finished ninth in the race. Yan Lapchin was second at the completion of the race, followed by Juseok Jeon, Laszlo Moscan and Sam Liao.
Coomans captured the second spot overall for the week, cementing his championship run with 147 points in the final round. Coomans made four starts, winning in three of those races during Week Four. His biggest win in the race following van der Linde’s win on October 24th, when he led wire-to-wire in the 25 lap event, defeating Jeon, Mocsan, Dave Newman and Sabastian Hampf at the line. The race was rated at 2439 sof.
Third for the week belonged to New York’s David Jaques. The NASCAR iRacing Modified driver took home a pair of wins in his two starts during the NVIDIA Cup finale, including Sunday’s 2220 sof race. Jaques led all the laps in the race and finished a half second up on Jonathan Keer at the finish. Third in the race was Kyle Young, followed by Robert McManus and Stefano Schivari. The victory was worth 138 points for Jaques, who has 109 road racing wins to his credit as of press time.
Two drivers amassed 137 points on the week, which put them each in the top five overall for Week Four. Ander Estefania started six races over the seven day competition and took home five checkered flags to the Iberia Club. The biggest point total of his six starts came in his first of the week by the way of a win in a 2343 sof race on Tuesday. Estefania led 21 laps after taking the lead away from Joan Morales, who sat on the pole and led the first four laps before coming home in second. Reuben Bonnici, Ryan Ingle and Paul Linek completed the top five in the race which aided Estefania in taking home fourth place overall for the week.
Also taking home top five honors in the final week of 2011 Season 3c was Shaun Kelly. Kelly’s path to his 137 point total was just a bit easier than that of Estefania as he started just one race and brought his car home in first in that event. The race was rated at 2195 sof and saw Kelly lead every lap while building up an over five second cushion on second place Jack Stoner at the line. Michael Popper was third, ahead of Rob D Harris and Brett OBrien at the checkered flag.
Alexander Ernst made the most races with 40 starts on the week while Lapchin was victorious in the most with nine wins over the seven days. Coomans was the fastest in qualifying of 728 drivers in the final round at Okayama. Coomans lapped the track in just over one minute (1:00.725), over a tenth quicker than Max Dell’Orco and van der Linde. The top three in qualifying put down laps under one minute, one second in their efforts. Eduardo Molinares was the topped the Time Trials competition at Okayama as his run was better than Dell’Orco, Graham Sinclair, Ian Davidson and Jean Marc Laine. Mikko Nassi had previously wrapped-up the Time Trial championship with three perfect weeks leading into Round Four. Laine, Moscan, Sinclair and Stoner took home top five honors behind Nassi in the 1,461 driver Time Trial field.
When the dust settled to determine a racing champion, Coomans was the man to beat, besting Nassi 491-467 to claim his second 2011 title in the NVIDIA Cup. Dell’Orco edged Marcelo A Neiva in a nail-biter, taking third by a scant two points, 446 to 444. Daniel Schon was fifth with 432 points in his best three weeks which counted toward the title chase. Morales (422), Mogar DG Filho (421), Laine (402), Moscan (399) and Alexandre del Rio (395) rounded-out positions six through ten out of 4,127 sim racers who took to the course in 2011 Season 3c.
The NVIDIA Cup races on next season to crown three more champions in the twelve week period. Can Coomans continue his run to the top or will someone be able to unseat the defending champ? Find out here, next season at inRacingNews!
Until next time, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!