Season 4 week 2 of the iRacing V8 Supercar Series by Bigpond Sport moved to the hills of Sonoma and the undulations of Infineon Raceway
For race 1, series leader Madison Down took pole by barely 1/100ths of a second from his shadow Mitch McLeod for Tatts.com Racing. Rens Broekman in turn was another 1/100th back in third. Real world racer Scott McLaughlin was back into the sim world for another go, nabbing fourth. Next was the improving Richard Hamstead, and behind them, making a welcome return to the “main game” was XSG’s Michael McCabe.
Filling out the top ten was Cal Whatmore, Michael Clark, Down’s TTR teammate Beau Cubis and Lewis Dodimead.
Down lead the early laps as expected, but Broekman did him a huge favour by trumping McLeod for second, putting them in a hearty battle, with Hamstead in tow looking very racey. Further back there was contact galore, with Jason Madigan and David Hingston the biggest losers, so to speak after contact with Scott U’Ren.
McLeod’s woes compounded on Lap Nine when Hamstead stuffed it up the inside of the hairpin, making it stick, with a bit of virtual paint swapped in the process.
Two laps later McLeod returned fire at the same place, diving under Hamstead, the move also blocking Hamstead’s Speedy Refrigeration teammate Whatmore, who was looking interested in doing the same to McLeod. All three were within a shot of Broekman in second, and McCabe was shadowing the lot of them.
Just when McLeod looked like claiming second from Broekman, it all ended with disaster. As McLeod drifted to the right crossing the line on lap 13, Hamstead had a headlight alongside McLeod’s right rear and tagged the Tatts.com car into a spin. McLeod was into the wall and out of contention. This series has had it all, now it has controversy. McLeod says “hit”, Hamstead says “squeezed”, and never the twain…
The conflagration left Broekman, Whatmore, a damaged Hamstead and McCabe to fight out second place. Broekman had no rest, with either or both Speedy Refrigeration cars all over him, the hairpin proving to be the epicentre of the action. Clark joined in the fun, and McLaughlin was not too far back in the Hyper Stimulator NZ car.
Cubis was eighth, while Dodimead and Stuart Wood fought out ninth and tenth. Almost ten seconds back were Scott U’Ren in the surviving Tatts.com car, then Nfinity’s Anton Stratiev, Simon Black and Bigpond’s Vern Norrgard locked in mortal combat with the occasional body contact, then Paul Larkin, Kelvin Van Der Linde, David Hingston, Colin Boyd and Kevin Duwel.
And Madison Down? No such excitement, the winner by 17 seconds. Broekman survived the Fridge onslaught to retain second from Hamstead in third.
The other split winners were Brad Ryan and Spud Gibson.
In Race Two, Madison Down was again uncatchable, but McLeod’s evening steadied somewhat with a solid second place, well clear of his race one nemesis Hamstead, third. McCabe was fourth while Dylan Sharman, McLaughlin, U’Ren and Whatmore were nose to tail for all but the entire race. Dodimead and Wood rounded out the top ten. Broekman was out early, pitting from Lap One damage.
Split One of Race Two yielded a seismic reading of 4022 SOF, and there were four splits. The other winners were Paul Larkin, Brad Ryan and Tod Gibson.
New faces, extra talent, massive numbers, and the same veteran heavy hitters- the final season of 2011 will be a cracker.
OVERALL DIVISION STANDINGS
|26||Wayne G Hewitt||3||Australia/NZ||205||-283|
|32||Alexander Chailytko||2||Central-Eastern Europe||196||-292|