Week Five brought the iRacing.com GRAND-AM Sports Car Series to the grassy hills of Brands Hatch, located in Kent, England. The 2.301 mile (3.703 km) circuit consists of 9 turns on the “Grand Prix” configuration which was utilized. In the prototype class, 223 drivers entered a race, 144 placed qualifying laps, and 47 completed a time trial. In the McLaren MP4, 325 drivers entered a race, 187 placed qualifying laps, and 59 completed a time trial. The pole speed for the prototype was 1.17.381 by George Sandman (California), and for the McLaren MP4 was 1.22.809 by Norbi Kiss (Central Eastern Europe).
Riley Daytona Prototype
On the top of the board for week 5 was Kiddhy Engström (Scandinavia) with a score of 214 points. Engström started from the second position in the 3522 SOF race. He moved into the first position on the first lap with the retirement of the leader, George Sandman (California). This gave Engström clear track to set the pace, which he did, stretching out to a 14.747 second lead over Jarno A. Matikainen (Finland) by the end of the race. This was Engström’s only race of the week.
George Sandman (California) held the runner up position this week with a score of 185 points. Sandman started from the pole position for his 3137 SOF race, and continued in dominate style leading every lap and coming home to a 2.699 second victory over Sebastian Cron (DE-AT-CH). He also competed in two others races throughout the week, scoring one more victory and suffering from a DNF as mentioned above.
Capturing the final step of the Riley podium was consistent front runner, David Ward, (England) with a score of 173 points. Ward started from the inside front row in his 2845 SOF race, obliterating the field to take the victory with a 24.896 second margin over Juha Pyy (Finland). This was the only race which Ward competed in throughout the week, well explained by the uncommonly high (16) incidents he scored in his first race.
Kimmo Suominen (Finland) came out of Brand Hatch victorious as he scored 204 points. Starting from the pole position in the 3341 SOF race, Suominen never looked back as he led every lap on route to a 9.342 second victory over Martin Vanhove (Benelux). He ran one other race throughout the week and was able to score another victory.
Tapani Linnaluoto (Finland) was the second most successful throughout the week with a score of 190 points. Starting from the second position in the 3103 SOF race, Linnaluoto moved passed last weeks winner Csaba Volyka Jr (Central Eastern Europe) to take the first position. He never looked back on his way to a 11.569 second victory over Mikael Hellén (Scandinavia). This was Linnaluoto’s only race of the week.
Martin Vanhove (Benelux) concluded the podium with a score of 185 points. Starting from the second position in the 3341 SOF race as mentioned above, Vanhove pushed hard to stay with Suominen but was unable to keep him in sight, although, he was able to maintain the second position. He also competed in two other races throughout the week where he scored two victories in lower ranked fields, meaning fewer points.
Next week the iRacing.com GRAND-AM Sports Car Series will head to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, located in Monterey, California, USA. The 2.238 mile (3.602 km) historical circuit has hosted many races throughout its 66 year lifetime, the first being in 1957. This track will be tight for the high speeds of the Riley and McLaren, forcing the drivers to be aware at all times to avoid disaster. Be sure to check back next week to see who can master the sandy dunes of Laguna Seca!