Very little (and sometimes less) separated Emerson (left) and Down at The Glen.

Round Ten of the iRacing.com V8 Supercar Series headed to Watkins Glen International Raceway. With a majority of the sim-racers returning from the Christmas/New Year break, it’s back into the seat and ready to start the run to the championship.

Qualifying was led by Madison Down with Michael Fabian alongside him on the front row. John Emerson, Matthew Hill and Vail Riches filled-out the top five starters ahead of Justin Ruggier, Shaun Kelly, Rens Broekman, Mitchell McLeod and Jarrad Filsell.

Down out-gunned Fabian, Emerson, Hill and Riches for the pole.

For the whole first stint there was a breakaway group which included the two championship front-runners Down and Emerson with Fabian separating the two. The second group saw Riches, Hill, Broekman and Kelly battle it out for most of the stint, even going two by two into the Carousel on Lap 23!. Brad Ryan broke away from the third group and caught the foursome ahead to make it a five car battle for fourth place. With The Battle continuing between the second group, Filsell, McLeod and Leigh Ellis closed-in right before the pit stops took place.

Lap 26 came and the drivers flooded pit lane with Emerson scoring the biggest gain and taking over the lead from Down.  Michael Fabian missed his pit stall but still managed close the gap to Down but Madison would quickly drive away and start chasing down Emerson who had gapped him by a couple of seconds. Ellis was one of the biggest gainers in the pit stop cycle, moving into the top five while the night went from bad to worse for Ruggier.  After an early spin dropped him to P15, he was coming back through the field when he suffered brake problems and eventually had to pull back into pit lane, ultimately finishing well down the field.

The ferocious battle for fourth between Riches, Hill, Kelly, Broekman, and Ellis was a highlight of the race.

An amazing finish to the race saw Emerson and Down make contact on the second to last lap.  Luckily for Emerson, he was able to continue in first place while Down went through the grass and continued on in second, albeit with a bit of a bent car.  Nevertheless, he brought it home in P2 a second ahead of Fabian who rounded-out the podium.

Riches finally prevailed in the fierce battle for fourth, just ahead of Broekman in fifth with Ellis earning a superb sixth place from 15th on the grid.  For the seventh-placed Hill it was a case of what might have been as a few mistakes early on when running inside the top five put him behind the eight ball for the rest of the race.  Ryan managed to move up four spots to finish in eighth place ahead of McLeod and George Maris, who started P22 and moved all the way up into 10th place at the checkered flag.

Filsell, Chad Chastain and Beau Cattell all finished within a second of McLeod’s ninth place car, while Kelly’s brushed and battered TT-R Falcon finished 14th ahead of Ian Ford, Marlon McMullen and Tobias Czerny.  Dean O’Brien, Ruggier and Michael Schreyer rounded out the top 20 and the lead lap cars. Andrew Casey and Wayne C Bourke completed the 22 car field.

Other Split Winners
Split 2 – James McKnight
Split 3 – Timothy Hancock
Split 4 – Tony Clarke
Split 5 – Trent Bishop

Championship Standings
1 – Madison Down – 2145
2 – John Emerson – 2089
3 – Rens Broekman -1877
4 – Michael Fabian – 1679
5 – Dean O’Brien – 1646

Broadcast done by the crew at www.v8sonline.com.au

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