The start of Season 1 of the 2015 iRacing.com V8 Supercars Series marked not just a new beginning, but also a fresh start for a category which was in need of an upgrade. Formerly racing in the previous generation’s outdated Ford Falcon FG01, the recent addition of the Car of The Future (CoTF) chassis brought with it a new set of challenges as well as a new crowd.
However, for many who have already spent several years ‘taming the beast,’ those certain sim-racers seem to have a bit of a home field advantage. A prime example of this Team TTL driver, John Emerson.
Catch me if you can
Currently leading the hunt for the 2015 Season 1 championship, Emerson has established himself as the man to beat and seems to have taken-up permanent residence on the top step of the podium.
Such was the case for Round 6 which featured 27-laps around the historic Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. Starting on pole position with a time of 1:24.537 (the only driver in the field to break into the 24s), Emerson once again worked his magic by not just winning the race, but doing so by leading every lap and also setting the fastest lap with a time of 1:25.015.
Emerson wasn’t without competition, however, as notable drivers such as Michael Fulcher (SDC Motorsports), Ian Ford (Evolution Racing Australia), James McKnight and Martin Carroll (both from SDC Motorsports) were keen to pounce on the leader should he make a mistake.
Although this proved to not be the case for Emerson, there was still plenty of action going on in the field.
Movers and Shakers
For Fulcher, Brands Hatch is considered a special place.
Says Fulcher, “I absolutely love this track with the V8. It was probably the most competitive I have been since Week 1 but (I) couldn’t stop making mistakes.”
Although Fulcher did indeed run strong, the mistake in question came at the end of Lap 18. Ford was hot on Fulcher’s heels when the pair made the long sweeping right-turn into Clark Curve.
As noted in Emerson’s hot lap video posted in the V8 Supercars forum, there’s a slight bump about halfway through Clark Curve which, if hit just right (or wrong, depending on your perspective), could cause the vehicle in question to unexpectedly lose traction.
Unfortunately, that bump proved to be the nail in the coffin for Fulcher. Although the SDC driver seemed to be on track for a podium finish, the horrific crash put an end to such hopes.
Miraculously, however, Fulcher’s Ford Falcon was still drivable. Deciding to not give up, Fulcher did the impossible and remained on the lead lap despite the heavy hit which saw his car get airborne. Although he continued losing positions, Fulcher would finish the race inside the top-ten.
Further up the field, a new-comer to the top-split, Ethan Grigg-Gault, was on the move. Starting in tenth position, Gault mounted a stellar offensive which saw him overtake some tough competition to finish fourth. Gault’s race stats tell the tale of a sim racer who seems to be the real-thing. With two recent V8 wins to his name, we can expect to see more from Gault in the future.
With Emerson taking the win and Fulcher taking the bin, Ford and McKnight snatched second and third, respectively, with Gault claiming fourth and Carroll finishing where he started in fifth.
This Australian Strength of Field (SoF) race had a strength of 3527 and was split three times. The top-five finishers from the other splits were as follows:
|Split 2/SoF 1880||Split 3/SoF 1165|
|1-Paul Gorrell||1-Luke Betts|
|2-David Baxter||2-Jake Calaisz Schmidt|
|3-Isaac de Figueiredo||3-Yuujirou Maruyama|
|4-Sanjin Delalic||4-Tony Clarke|
|5-Gavin Pendergrast||5-Peter Goodwin|
To The Mountain
Round 7 of the iRacing.com V8 Supercars Series takes us home to New South Wales, Australia for 33-laps of fury around one of the world’s most challenging and legendary tracks. Known to many as simply ‘The Mountain.’ Mount Panorama is always home to some of the most exciting racing action around.
With the season now officially halfway over, it’s downhill from here for the championship contenders as only 41 points separate the top-three drivers. No doubt that Emerson will be looking to further secure the championship with a Bathurst win. Rest assured, however, that the ERA team (Ford and Beau Cubis) will have something to say about it.