August 30th, 2011 by DavidP
In what turned out to be a victory parade for the pair, András Király and David Gelink secured the Premier GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series crowns in the respective Riley MkXX Daytona Prototype and Ford Mustang FR500S classes, to each walk away with $1000 in prize money, plus some impressive silverware for their efforts. The 10 week championship open to members of the iRacing motorsports simulation service has seen more than 600 sim racers enter the ultimate mixed-class virtual series in a bid for GRAND-AM glory.
Riley MkXX Daytona Prototype
Although Királywas wearing the biggest grin in the virtual Mid-Ohio paddock for the tenth and final round of the championship, it was Morgan Sowerby claiming the plaudits with the top points total of the weekend. The American secured his 146 points with an outright victory over Ales Nocar, Richard Crozier, David Ward and the champion-elect, who ironically tumbled from his pole position to finish a lap down in fifth position by the end of the 90 minute online race.
The second place finish for Nocar was enough to secure the European the second highest total of the weekend, ousting Ronnie Akesson to the position, despite the Scandinavian claiming a pole-to-flag win in his only outing at Mid-Ohio. The podium spot claimed by Crozier in the ‘showcase’ race of the weekend, garnered him 119 points, the fourth highest total of the week and although it was only his fifth round in the Premier GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series, it was enough to place the Scotsman inside the top 25 of the final standings.
Another relative newcomer to the championship, Scott McDonough, finished in second behind Akesson, earning the Southern Californian 115 points and extending a recent run of form that has seen him occupy a step on the podium in three of his four most recent races. Of the remaining top ten highest scorers at iRacing’s rendition of the full Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, only Christian Olsson made it onto the podium with a third place finish, whilst David Ward, Derek Roeleveld, Király, and Sergey Soldatov had to make do with peppering the top top-five positions in their respective races.
Although it was a relatively poor result from Király in the final round of the Premier GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series, his domination of the standings with 15 wins from 17 starts sees the Daytona Prototype class title head to European shores. Consistent finishes on the podium for Sowerby rewarded the US-based online racer an overall finish of second in the championship and $500 in prize money, whilst Ales Nocar will take some comfort from his third place and $250 prize, after ending the series 32 points behind Sowerby.
Ford Mustang FR500S
Reflecting his stranglehold on the Ford Mustang class of the Premier GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series, Gelink breezed his way to his tenth win of the season in his solitary race of the weekend. Although the Dutchman started from the second row of the grid, Gelink moved into the lead after three-laps and then powered on to the chequered flag – lapping the remaining field of Ford Mustangs in the process. By finishing second behind Gelink in the same race, Ken Leach claimed his sixth podium position of the season and collected 159 points – his highest ever score in the championship.
Following Leach home on the track and in the virtual Mid-Ohio standings, Californian Jack Breuker ended his short-lived Premier GRAND-AM season with a place on the podium, to add to his class win from Round Nine at Watkins Glen – an impressive record for only two appearances in the championship. Alexandre Fornieles was the only other Ford Mustang competitor to take class honours after taking to the track in the FR500S for the first time since the first race of the season at Homestead Miami. The fourth place finish for Norbert Rebelski at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, continued his impress record of a top-five placing in all ten rounds of the championship and added 95 crucial points to his season tally.
With the inaugural Premier GRAND-AM iRacing.com Online Sports Car Series now complete, Gelink walks away with the GRAND-AM Ford Mustang Class trophy, and $1000 in prize as reward for a magnificent season that was clinched by a margin of 310 points. Scoring a final total of 1725 points enables Englishman Scott Michaels to secure the runners-up spot and $500, whilst Norbert Rebelski pockets $250 for his season finish of third position.