The wait is finally over. Mixed class sim-racing made a grand entrance into iRacing.com’s official racing series with the combining of the Riley Mk XX Daytona Prototype and the Radical SR8 to form the iRacing.com Prototype Challenge (iPC). The wildly popular decision was welcomed by almost all members interested in online road racing.
The overall championship will be split into two classes as well. One for the Radical, and one for the Riley. Drivers will be able to compete in both championships if they so choose. Championship points and iRating gain or loss will be class specific as well.
The inaugural iPC season kicked off on the road course at Daytona International Speedway and it was quickly noticed that the Riley would have the advantage, as straight line speed was key. Drivers would quickly have to adapt to the accelerated closing rates with two different vehicle types sharing the track. In the Prototype class, Rob Wilkinson jumped out to the early points lead, earning 167 points in his lone race of Week One which was a victory. Peter Burke also started the season off on the right foot with a win worth 161 points, placing him second in the standings. Joining the two at the top after the first week was Australian driver Jason Madigan with 157 points. On the Radical side, Stephane Schodduyn of Club Benelux scored top points of the week with 168 markers, three more than Adam Haufrect of Texas. Anthony Roselli was third with 156 points as all three of the front runners scored a victory during the opening week.
Week Two saw the iPC make the trip up the east coast to Virginia International Raceway. The gap between the two cars was not as large as it was at Daytona, with the Radical beating the Riley around most corners and only a couple long speed sections in which the Riley was much faster. With the gap between the cars only about one second, drivers expected better racing than at Daytona. As far as the Riley standings were concerned, the change in venue also led to a change in the front runners. Three new drivers put themselves atop the leader board in Week Two points: Jordi Cabrejas, (158 points) Tapani Limnaluoto, (150) and Luc Van Gossum (149). The class is starting to develop an international flair to it as it seems as though no one country or club is going to dominate.
The scenery at the front of the Radical class also changed with road course ace Martin Macjon earning a very impressive 188 points, 21 more than his closest competitor Enzo Lodi. Frank Winter found himself another ten points back after the second week of racing action.
After the first two weeks the championship battle is still very much up in the air, as no one has put together back-to-back dominating performances in either class. Week Three has the series heading back down to the Sunshine State as the drivers will take on Sebring International Raceway. The bumpy track will test the nerves and skill of even the most experienced drivers in the series. The Riley looks to have the edge in speed, but regardless the racing will be intense yet again.