May 31st, 2016 by Joseph Cervone
The week leading up to Memorial Day was one to remember for the drivers of CORT (Championship Online Racing Teams). For starters, the final Indianapolis 500k was set to kick-off the week. On top of that big send-off for the former Trading Paints Championship Series, it was the first time that both the Indy 500k and the Independence 500k were on the week leading up to Memorial Day. With the two longest events in the league it certainly made for one very long week of simracing.
Brett Black lead the field to green on Monday, but TPCS veteran Alex Boffoli quickly solidified himself as a contender. Handling was a major factor. The cars got incredibly light and many drivers were nothing short of dirt-tracking through the corners at 200mph. Following a lap 65 restart it was an all out brawl for the lead between Alex Boffoli, Stephen Taylor, and Matt Harrington. Boffoli and some of the other leaders decided to short pit, while the FPR duo of Harrington and Taylor opted to stretch their fuel as far as it could go. Harrington pitted on lap 95, and his teammate Taylor one lap later. On lap 102 the caution flag flew for the final time and from there it was a three car battle for victory. Taylor, Harrington, and Christian Kendall fought hard, but eventually Taylor held off Harrington to come out on top, with Johnny Eckert sneaking through to third.
In between the two 500 kilometer races this week the Trading Paints SuperTruck Series was in action at Charlotte. Cody McCorkle started from pole, and lead the opening stretch before losing the lead to FPR’s Harrington and Taylor. Just before the halfway caution Jake Finch threw his hat into the mix, challenging for the lead. At the halfway caution, championship contender Julian Madore had a great pitstop and took the lead. There was almost no looking back for Madore . . . until he got tight and caught the wall, that is. As the result of the damage, he fell to a sixth place finish. Matt Harrington would go on to take the win, with Brett Black in P2 and Cody McCorkle recovering to third The runner-up finish now puts Black nine points ahead Brent Sweet and 10 over Madore. Next week, the Trading Paints SuperTruck Series heads north to Canada to take on Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
On Wednesday night it was a 206 lap test of mettle for the simracers of the CORT Teamspeak Cup Series . . . the longest race on the Cup calendar, and one of the most demanding races in all of CORT. Mike Husby started-off the night strong looking to get back into the championship fight. The Canadian took pole and lead a good chunk to start the race before James Gutta took the lead on lap 37. Gutta lead until lap 73 when he lost the rear of the car and collected Husby from second. Following the massive crash, John Long dominated much of the race. With an amazing 113 lap run to the checkered flag strategy became key. Jake Finch decided early to play the short pit game and in the end it worked out. John Long came home in second with a race-high 70 laps lead, and Stephen Taylor crossed the line in third. Following the race, the championship fight tightened to just 15 points separating the top three with four races left to play. New Hampshire Motor Speedway hosts the next battle in this championship fight next week.
The final event of the week was the V8TCC Twin Day/Night Super Sprint at Twin Ring Motegi, the only event in CORT to have both a day and a night race. Race one, still under the sun, was dominated by championship hopeful Johnny Eckert. He lead flag-to-flag from pole position, securing maximum points. When the sun set it was a very different story, however, as the inverted starting grid put Eckert at the back. Joseph Cervone started from the second row and quickly jumped up to the lead. On lap 5 Stephen Taylor took the lead from Cervone and never looked back. Behind Taylor was a seven lap battle between championship leader Julian Madore and Johnny Eckert. Eckert triumphed again in the end, and closed considerably in the championship. The road racing division of CORT will return to action at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in two weeks’ time.
For more info visit, www.cortracing.com.