With the start of Week Ten in the third season of the World Cup of iRacing, three races for the regional championships are coming down to the line. The Northeastern Region has seen back and forth fights for the top spot between New England and New York over the past week. In the Southeastern Region South America has taken over the top spot from the Mid-South. The third regional battle that will be neck and neck at the end of the 12 week season is the Central European Region, where Italy is currently holding-off the DE-AT-CH Club (Germany, Austria, Switzerland).
In the Northeastern Region, New England holds the top spot by 83 points; the narrowest margin of all the battles for the Regional Season Club Championships (RSCC) in Season Three. One race could decide if New England earns a spot in January’s Regional Annual Club Championship (RACC) or if they will have to try again during the fourth and final season championship of 2009. Their impressive 10.27% winning percentage has brought New England this far in Season Three, but New York is making a hard charge by running almost 2000 more races in their pursuit of a three-peat. The two have focused on different cars to get to the top with New England dominating the short tracks in the Late Models, SK Modifieds, and Advanced Legends, while New York has outscored them in the Impala A and B points and the Silverado points. New England is being led by Justin Trombley, who has earned 942 club points and currently sits in third place within the iRacing Late Model Tour. PJ Stergios, John Miller, David Oliver, and Levi Poland round out the rest of the top five club points earners for New England.
The Southeastern Region is led by South America going into Week 10. The Mid-South club held the top spot midway through Week 9 but has been passed by South America with their huge 12.08% winning percentage. This has led to a 451 point lead and a chance at the RSCC starting in late January 2010. Club South America has been dominating the Spec Racer Ford Challenge, Skip Barber Race Series, and Star Mazda Championship this season, earning over 17,000 more points than the Mid-South in those three race series. Bruno Melo leads South America with 825 club points and 17 top five finishes in the Star Mazda Championship this season. Christian Schegtel, Felipe Zanon, Rick Duarte, and Gabriel Bechtold join Bruno on the top five charts for South America.
Italy is trying to wrap-up a third consecutive regional title but DE-AT-CH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) is fighting strong to take away the Season Three championship, gaining 300 points over the last week to cut Italy’s lead to 749 points. The two clubs are evenly matched, as both sport winning percentages of around 9%. Italy leads the region in seven of the fourteen series, with their biggest points coming from the Star Mazda Championship. Italy is led by Alberto Baraldi with 630 club points, Alberto currently leads the Star Mazda Championship, and is third in the Classic Lotus Grand Prix. The other four drivers to join Alberto in the top five for Italy are Giacomo Bugini, Max Dell’Orco, Paolo Prestipino, and Matteo Bortolotti.
In the other four Regional Season Club Championships the Great Plains hold a 2218 point lead over the Midwest who is slowly closing the gap, both are still looking for a spot in the RACC as Texas won both Central US Regional Championships the last two seasons. Marc Wulf leads the Great Plains with 650 club points and sits 29th in the Chevy Silverado Championship.
The Celtic club has a 2524 point lead over Benelux in Western European Region, and is looking to join France and England in the RACC. Ken ODoherty leads the Celtic Club with 545 Club Points, and has 14 top fives out of 19 starts in the Impala SS Cup.
Ohio is looking to secure their second RSCC in the Mid-Atlantic Region with a 3783 points lead over the Atlantic Club. Ray Schmidt leads Ohio with 638 club points, with 91 starts in the Chevy Silverado Championship, 37 of those resulting in a top five finish.
The West has the biggest lead of any club, heading Australia in the Pacific Region by 4705 points. The West is looking for their first Regional Season Club Championship after finishing second to California the last two seasons. Jason Burstein leads the West with 681 club points, and sits 22nd in the Chevy Silverado Championship.
Over the next three weeks each spot on the track will be one step closer for the clubs to earn a spot in the Regional Annual Club Championship competition . . . or wait until Season Four as their last hope at a shot for the World Cup.