December 7th, 2016 by Paul Slavonik
The iRacing Road to Pro Series wraps up another week of online Grand Prix racing as the series completes Round 5 at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, TX.
For 56 laps, the 73 drivers who participated attempted to negotiate the technical circuit but in the top split, it was late race pass from Bono Huis which earned him the overall win.
Starting back in seventh, Huis certainly appeared to have his work cut out for him. Throughout this season, however, Huis hasn’t been the best in qualifying. With only one starting position inside the top-five as well as one outside the top-ten, Huis has always been a charger and has yet to finish below his starting position.
Round 5 was no different.
As the laps ticked away, Huis had moved up to third by lap 16. Moving up to second soon after, Huis maintained the P2 position just behind Cem Bolukbasi until lap 50. Making the overtake for the lead, Huis jetted away as he went on to win Round 5 with over a two second gap.
Accruing 331 championship points, this is the second win of the season for Huis which also puts him in the championship lead as he overtakes Marcus Jensen by 60 points.
Marcus Jensen finished in sixth during Round 5 after starting from eighth.
For Bolukbasi, it was a strong display from the Turkish sim racer who started the race from third. Bolukbasi has certainly been a consistent driver throughout the season with his 11th placed finish at Suzuka the only chink in his armor. Still winless, however, Bolukbasi appeared to be on his way to victory while leading 24 of the 56 laps. With Huis on his rear wing, Bolukbasi would eventually be overtaken by the Dutchman and would have to settle for the second spot on the podium.
Still, this is Bolukbasi’s second podium thus far and his fourth top-five as well. Maintaining his third place spot on the overall leaderboard, Bolukbasi is slowly closing in on the number two spot.
Taking the final step on the Round 5 podium was Irishman Jamie Fluke. Starting from pole position, Fluke would lead the first 25 laps until a pit stop. Exiting pit lane in fourth, Fluke would pick up one more spot and maintain third for the remainder of the online race.
Finishing less than two seconds behind Bolukbasi, it was another consistent finish for the Irishman as he also moves up one spot on the overall leaderboard.
For the drivers of the iRacing Road to Pro Series, they’ll be happy to enjoy a much needed off-week before the series tackles Autodromo Nazionale Monza in two weeks’ time. For now, Huis will certainly be enjoying his view from the top of the leaderboard with 1534 points followed by Jensen with 1474. Bolukbasi holds onto third with 1452 as Fluke moves up to fourth with 1285 ahead of Mack Bakkum with 1203.