The Ford Falcons roared to life once again at Sonoma Raceway this week for Round 2 of the iRacing.com V8 Supercars Series Season 2. It was an exciting online race from the start as pole sitter Jarred Filsell (1:13.146) was quickly overtaken by defending series champion, Madison Down who started from second. Down, who had a stellar launch off the grid, was able to put Filsell’s Ford Falcon on the wrong side of the track for the first few turns with Richard Hamstead, who started third, also able to complete the pass on Filsell. With Down in the lead, Hamstead maintained a close enough gap to keep Down within reach for the first half of the race. As the pit stops approached, Hamstead made a gamble and went in one lap before Down. Hamstead cycled out of pit lane as Down cycled in. When Down exited the pits, however, Hamstead was ready to open fire.
With Down at a disadvantage as he came out of the uphill pit lane exit, Hamstead was able to maintain his speed and maneuver alongside of Down. Not one to go out without a fight, Down made an ambitious effort to maintain his position. The two traded jabs as they made contact at the top of the hill but it was Hamstead who popped out in front. Down periodically challenged Hamstead for the lead throughout the remainder of the race but in the end, it was Hamstead who took the win for Week 2 followed closely by Down. Jarrad Filsell was never too far behind as he rounded-out the podium and also set the fastest lap time of 1:13.659.
A little ways back in the field, there was a close battle going on for fourth between Beau Cattell and Mitchell McLeod. Cattell, who started sixth, muscled his way up to fourth as McLeod stayed close to his back bumper after maintaining his P5 starting position. The two battled for the majority of the race and McLeod almost had it in the bag at the start of lap 33. As they both crossed the checkered on the final lap, Cattell had McLeod beat by .2 seconds.
With Hamstead taking the win this week, he sits comfortably in third place with 463 points in the hunt for the championship and just two points behind Cattell. Down, who is currently leading with 476 points, lost some ground to Hamstead this week but nonetheless maintains an 11 point advantage.
As Week 2 comes to a close, the V8s pack up from sunny California and head over to Braselton, GA for 24 laps at Road Atlanta. This 2.54 miles 12 turn road course is always the scene of some close and very intense sim-racing action and this week will be no different. With Cattell and Hamstead close on the heels of defending champion, Madison Down, this season is shaping up to be a fight to the end.
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