Barber Motorsports Park played host to round eight of the GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series, the online racing championship for the digital renditions of the Riley MkXX Daytona Prototype and Ford Mustang FR500S. The mixed-class, 12 week Championship which is separated into ten divisions, offers daily online races to PC owners all over the globe using the highly detailed iRacing Motorsports Simulator software.
As the GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series heads into 2011, Wyatt Gooden sits a dominant 257 points clear of the Division One Prototype field, following a pole-to-flag victory in his solitary race of the week. With his fourteenth win of the season, the Ohio-based sim racer has extended his advantage over Jaro Honzik, who has registered only seven rounds of results so far. Fortunately for Honzik, only the best eight from twelve rounds of results count towards every entrants’ total, so the Czech Republic sim-racer will be looking to close the gap at the next event when ‘drop weeks’ take effect. With a podium finish behind Gooden, South African Darryn Lobb secured the second highest Daytona Prototype score of the week to move into the divisional top-three for the first time this season.
“It’s great to finally have completed eight races and be sitting in a rather unexpected third in the championship.” wrote the three time South African Shelby CanAm champion this week.
Although Henrik Carlsson has relinquished his lead on the Division Two fight to Chris Buckley and Ronnie Akesson, the Scandinavian’s fall from the top of the standings has come by virtue of his absence during the festive holidays. Carlsson sits 65 points off the lead with two weeks of results ‘in hand,’ and should return to the top as the mixed-class series moves into its closing rounds. With the divisional favourite absent from proceedings, it was a new name securing the biggest haul at the Barber Motorsports Park, with Danis Richard pipping Reed ‘Painting by Numbers’ Rundell to the top spot by a single point.
Hauke Grotheer’s 109 points for a podium finish was enough to earn him the honour at the top of the Division Three’s scorers at the millimetre precise, digital Barber Motorsports Park circuit. Edged out of the top spot by a single point, Steven Rousseau continues his charge up the standings, moving into fourth in the divisional standings, which continues to be led by Matthew Davis ahead of Iker Estefania.
Breaking Kjell-Einar Svendsen’s 100% record as Division Four’s weekly winner, Salvatore Rossi claimed the spoils of victory in Week Eight, with the New Yorker taking a Daytona Prototype win on his way to 122 points. Despite the break in Svendsen’s run, the Scandinavian continues to head the divisional standings by a whooping 222 points over Jacob Desmarias.
Tyler A. King has extended his lead in the championship in Division Five, after sharing the week’s top spot with Tom Mak on 88 points. King’s gap in the overall standings is now 52 points over Damien Capelani who is a further 27 clear of Duncan Marias.
Although it was Chris Moran taking the Division Six plaudits at Barber Motorsports Park, Todd Martelle continues to lead the divisional fight by 76 points. With Robert Wachter absent from proceedings for Round Eight, Guido Grosch now leads the chasing pack. Following his first ever podium finish in the GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series, Sheldon Goobie ended Week Eight as the highest scorer in Division Seven, whilst a near flawless drive from Scott Bennett saw the American earn 89 points and maintain his position at the top of the overall divisional standings.
Whilst Don Davis continues his run at the top of Division Eight, creeping up on his position like a Christmas hangover is Jeremy Burris, whose divisional top score for the eighth week sets in motion a dash to the title as drop weeks begin to take effect. Sylvain Delpech’s domination of the Division Nine standings continues, whilst Joshua Friedrichs position as leader of the tenth division remains intact after claiming top points at the virtual Barber Motorsports Park.
Ford Mustang FR500S
A faultless flag-to-flag victory for Denis Grebe sees the European top the weekly standings of the pinnacle division in front of Ilkka Kotisalo and Scott Michaels. With Ford Mustang Class series leader Samu Snabb away for the Christmas break, Brian Strodtbeck moves into an overall second position, 10 points ahead of Marcus Jirak after claiming a victory and 117 points for Round Eight. However, Jirak also failed to make an appearance over the festive week, meaning like Snabb, the German has a week’s worth of races ‘in his pocket’ and should be closing in on the leader after the next round.
At the pinnacle of Division Two, Chris Keogh maintains his lead in the overall standings, though the American sees his gap reduced to just 10 points ahead of Mathieu Gagnon. Canada’s Gagnon earned the division’s second highest points finish at the Barber Motorsports Park behind fellow countryman Steven McGarvey, who is now 64 points away from the divisional runners-up spot.
Moving up to the top of Division Three with the second highest tally of the week is Andrew Bakke, who took a class second position at the Alabama circuit. However, it was Matthew Nethercote, the top divisional scorer in Week Eight, who also finished on the second step of the podium, albeit against a stronger field of competitors, hence the extra 29 points the Australian earned. A pitiful 21 points for Matthew Davis in his only race of the week, sees the former Division leader fall 79 marks behind the aforementioned Bakke.
Following a victory in his only race of the week, Jasper Groeneweg now heads the Division Four Ford Mustang Class by 52 points. After missing the last two rounds of the GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series, Tim Bamberger finds himself dropping to an overall third in the division, behind Eric Miller. The battle for championship honours has narrowed atop Division Five, with England’s Robert Lawrie now holding a mere 17 point lead over Thomas Christian, who has only registered seven rounds of results so far. The division’s top points holder for Round Eight was Australia’s Kirby Bettison, who still has a mathematical chance at the divisional championship title.
With the top points finish of Division Six at the virtual Barber Motorsports Park, normal service is resumed for Alexander Khalkin as he retakes the overall divisional lead from Paulo Ghibaudo who dropped 48 points on the leader. An early retirement from his only race of the week saw Ryan Cowley collect zero for Week Eight, leaving the door open for England’s Brian Labode to take the top score and close the American’s overall Division Seven lead to just two points.
Whilst Hal Kermite didn’t race at Barber Motorsports Park, he continues to head the Division Eight standings. By way of a top five finish in his solitary race of the week, Petr Lysec remains at the apex of the ninth division, whilst Scotland’s Mike Hogg stays at the head of Division Ten as the series heads out to Virginia International Raceway for the next round of the GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series.