Backwards, in reverse, or the wrong way; this describes the Indy GP course for IndyCars, but not the direction Jörn Jens’ sim-racing career is headed. This past weekend was the debut of the Verizon IndyCar Series on the GP course at The Brickyard, and many a critic made a big stink about going the wrong way around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. On iRacing’s Road Warrior Series there was no such discussion, as the drivers and teams show up to a track regardless of where it is or which direction it runs . . . and perform. This week’s sim-racing was cut-throat, especially with the first standing start of the series, all the way through the field . . . except for Jens that is. Jens established himself as one of the clear front runners in the Road Warrior series, as he won in dominating fashion in both the splits he ran.
The first top split produced Jens’ initial victory of the weekend. He started from pole position and pulled away from Denis Garese of France who, ultimately, crossed the famous yard of bricks 11 seconds behind Jens. In third place, Anthony Roselli brought his Dallara home to claim the last step on the podium. Jeff Drake set the fastest lap of the race and finished fourth. Rounding out the top five was Rob Kodey of the Virginias club.
The Saturday 20:00 GMT race saw Jens return for the highest SOF split of the weekend. Jens again started from pole, set the fastest lap of the race (and weekend) and won the race. In a case of deja vu all over again, Garese came home second again after passing Riccardo Schiavon. Schiavon finished third ahead of Jeff Drake and Massimiliano Ficarra, who finished fourth and fifth respectively.
For something different, the Sunday 1:00 GMT top split saw Jeff Drake take victory. Drake had been lurking just off the podium all weekend and got his chance to seize victory in his third race of the weekend. Sam Sutton made an outstanding drive from ninth to second while Andre Castro advanced from fourth on the grid to the final step on the podium. Kevin Ford and David Sockrider both had very impressive runs into the top five, Ford coming from sixteenth to fourth, while Sockrider started fourteenth and improved to fifth.
The final top split of the weekend took place at 12:00 GMT on Sunday. Wayne C. Bourke led 38 of the 45 lap race to take the win with Robert Grosser leading the remaining seven laps and en route to a runner-up finish. Michael Schreyer came from fourteenth to third and was the last car on the lead lap. Richard Kortland brought it home fourth after starting seventh, and Hunter Smith came all the way from twenty-second to finish in fifth.
These sim-racers don’t have long to rest, as this coming weekend features the RUF Cup at Phillip Island. Make sure to pack your brain bucket and some anti-venom. Then, catch the next virtual plane to Australia.