April 6th, 2016 by Paul Malokas
The Formula Renault 2k World Cup kicked-off with at Phillip Island, with a huge and deep field. There were 115 qualifiers with the top 50 making the top split. The top 50 were separated by only 0.68 seconds. The rest of the qualifiers were split into two lower splits. The second split was separated by only 0.38 seconds. The top 83 racers were within one second of the pole time. Freek Schothorst took pole position with a time of 1:26.408. Wyatt Gooden and Cam Stark qualified second and third, 0.116 and 0.142 behind Schothorst. Schothorst’s time was well clear of the rest of the field.
Phillip Island usually provides great racing with some very challenging sections and a couple of longer straights. The race started with the most of the top ten getting away cleanly, although Arjan de Vreede jumped the start from seventh place and had to pit at the end of lap one. Gooden and Stark immediately started to battle opening a gap up to Schothorst. Behind the leaders there was a huge accident that slowed the entire back of the field and ended the day of multiple racers.
By the end of third lap, Schothorst was first with a gap of almost two seconds back to Gooden and Stark battling for second and third. Then there was a small gap back to a group of Simon Povey, Riley Preston, Maarten van Loozenoord and Philippe Leybaert. These groups battled among themselves over the next few laps. The midfield was also having a great race. There was a group of racers from positions 13 through 25 who were all running together and constantly battling within the group.
Leybaert fell off of his group and back into the group battling for the final positions in the top 10. At the front, Schothorst continued to slowly inch away from Gooden and Stark. Behind them were van Loozenoord and Preston with Povey running alone behind them. They were followed by the group of Leybaert, Klaus Ellenbrand, Lionel Gamet and Vinicius Rocha.
Heading into the pit window, the only change in the to ten was Rocha spinning and falling down the order. He was replaced in tenth by Sai Andra. Schothorst, Gooden and Stark all pitted on lap 17. Schothorst and Gooden had clean stops, but Stark lost a couple of seconds and fell off of Gooden’s tail. The rest of the top ten were in similar positions to where they entered.
This setup the run to the finish and Schothorst continued to run clean laps and held his lead at around three seconds. He easily came home with the wire-to-wire win. The battle between Gooden and Stark was settled in the pits as Stark was never able to get back up to Gooden, thus they finished in second and third well clear of a lonely Preston in fourth. Then there was a great battle in the closing laps by van Loozenoord and Povey for fifth and sixth. They traded positions multiple times but van Loozenord appeared to run out of fuel in the final corner, letting Povey capture fifth without a race to the line. The final places in the top ten were taken by Leybaert, Ellenbrand, Gamet and Justin Brunner, who had gotten past Sai Andra in the closing laps.
In the second split, Lukas Jestadt just held off Marc Elkermann to take the win. Rob Read finished seven seconds behind to take the final podium position. In the third split, Antonio Santos Jr. took the win in a good battle over David Soranzo. Jason Marechal took the final podium position.
With the dominating win and pole position, Schothorst takes the series lead at 99 points. Gooden is second with 87 points and Stark is in third with 81. The sim racing championship moves on to Road Atlanta on April 17th at 20:00 GMT. The race can be seen on iRacingLive. Replays and stats can be found on http://fr.2kworldcup.com/
Race Results (Top Split)
|6||Maarten van Loozenoord||-13.688||63|
|18||Arjan de Vreede||-35.907||38|
|37||David Gimeno Bou||-1:09.229||14|
|41||Greg Seitz||-1 L||6|
|42||Nicholas Johnston||-2 L||9|
|43||Vinicius Rocha||-9 L||0|
|44||Tuan Tran||-13 L||0|
|45||Javier J Martinez||-20 L||0|
|46||Simon Hulbert||-26 L||0|
|47||Matthew Daniels||-26 L||0|
|6||Maarten van Loozenoord||63|
|18||Arjan de Vreede||38|
|38||David Gimeno Bou||14|
|52||Antonio Santos Jr||5|
|53||Manu Rey O´Largo||5|