Ford and Holden win??.. How can this be so??
Ian Ford driving the Evolution Racing Australia HoldenCommodore scored his first win of the new season for Round 2 od the iRacing.com V* Supercar Series, at Oulton Park International Circuit.
Under cloudy skies with a track temperature that was condusive to fast lap times, qualifying was dominated by Ford in the Demidov Innovations Holden, leading last week’s winner and championship leader Ethan Grigg- Gault in the SDC Motorsports car by three tenths of a second.
Twenty-four cars greeted the start of qualifying which ran seemingly without interruption. The field was spread over the first five positions; however, things certainly tightened-up from positions six through to 20th with just eight tenths covering the field.
Last week’s runner up, Vail Riches in the TTL Falcon maintained his consistent start to the season in third place whilst Mitchell McLeod in the 4Motorsports Commodore, after a strong previous night in the Premier Series, came in fourth position. Other notables in the grid included Michael Cracknell who would have been disappointed in his 12th position and Sam Sutton, running the wrong setup down in 17th place.
21 laps of a mix of fast-flowing and slow turns greeted the sim racers, no fuel restrictions for the week meaning that as a sprint race no pit stops would be required.
This made the start of the race for position crucial throughout the field.
The question at the start was how clean Ian Ford would be able to get away. After leaving the issues of constant disconnects the week before Ford had struggled all week with his getaways off the start line. Grigg-Gault on the other hand has been very adept at getting the heavy V8 away cleanly from the green light.
With the start of the race Ford got away cleanly, albeit with a bit of wheel spin changing to second gear whilst Grigg Gault made an attempt to capitalise on this. At the first turn, Old Hall Corner; it was Ford holding onto the narrow lead in front of Grigg-Gault and Riches.
Behind him, in the mid pack, however, there was carnage involving the two ERA cars of Benjamin Smith and Marcello Rivera. Smith, going for an ever closing gap that soon disappeared cut in front of his team mate causing him to roll numerous occasions in what was a spectacular end to his race. Others sustained damage to their vehicles, however, the two ERA drivers they were able to have an early shower and pack the cars away, both with significant damage.
Riches dropped a spot on the opening lap to McLeod where he then ran a fairly lonely race to eventually finish on the podium in third place.
Behind Mcleod and Riches, the two Synergy cars of Beau Cattell and Wayne C Bourke were prominent in the chase of Riches. Eventually Cattell would be able to overtake Riches where the pair would finally finish in fourth and fifth places.
The battle of the race was with the return of previous series Champion Beau Cubis, Aaron Hamilton, James McKnight and the Dayco drivers of Jake Burton and Sam Sutton. For over 12 laps these drivers battled for ninth position and beyond. This exhilarating battle release David O’Brien who had a quiet race until being passed late in the race by a hard charging McKnight.
At the front however, Ian Ford, after opening up a lead of around 2.7 seconds was staring to be challenged by Grigg-Gault, who by lap 20 had narrowed the gap to about half a second. Ford, however, ensuring that his corner entries and exits were tight was able to hold off the series leader and grab his first win of the season with a narrow two tenths of a second win. Grigg-Gault in a satisfying second position with McLeod a further 16 seconds down the road in what was a good drive to third.
The series now moves on to the very challenging Spa circuit, which should be a handful for the drivers over 22 fuel restricted laps of sim racing.
Two different drivers winning from two starts. There are many new challengers that are pressing hard, and with the popularity of the series continuing to expand, the likelihood of another race winner is almost certainly on the horizon.
Results – Round 2 Oulton Park, International
Split 1 Split 2
Split 3 Split 4