Tom Lanpheer started the defence of his iRacing Radical Racing Challenge title in style with strong performances in both the first two rounds.
The Mid West sim-racer now leads the charge by 29 points from Scandinavian Mattias Anreus and Division 2 driver, Fin, Samuli Kumo.
The Radical arrived this season with another boost to its handling in the shape of a configurable rear differential, while its aero-balance also received tweaks in the form of optional dive planes. The end result is a certain amount of divided opinion as some drivers prefer the balance created by running with dive planes, while others prefer the low df options.
So far the differences in lap times between the two seem generally to be small but the downforce settings are extreme and there is feeling that the planes are a little too effective as they need to be balanced by full, or near full, rear wing.
The end result, however, is that more people can now have handling they are happy with while the overall basis of simple setups and an ability to be competitive with minimal tweaks between tracks remains.
The differential also makes the car a lot more stable under hard braking and, overall, the Radical SR8 continues to be a fun, accessible and exciting drive.
After rounds at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Mosport Park the attendance is a little down on previous seasons with 214 drivers taking part in the initial rounds of sim-racing.
A decent turn out of 145 of those opened the series at the US race-track with 20 race starts during the course of the week. Maurice Dietzel led the way with 3 starts, 3 wins, and a 188 point haul giving the series regular an early lead in the championship. The DE-AT-CH driver then missed the Mosport round and dropped down the table after two rounds.
Anreus and Ian Card were joined by David Unger and Todd Laribee on the top step of the podium twice during the week, while eight other drivers managed a single win.
143 drivers then turned out for week two and Tom Lanpheer lead the way in his charge to re-take the lead with a perfect four wins from four starts and 193 points. Anreus continued to be strong with a pair of wins from four starts, while Joerg Mani, Unger, Ian Nadin and George Lambert all matching Anreus with a brace of wins.
In all 23 races when official, up on Week 1, showing both continued strength and consistency in the start to the series – both vital as the series looks to build on a strong few seasons.
After two weeks Division Two was lead by Sumuli Kumo with star of Season 1, Gregor Thomson, proving his credentials with a strong second place and fifth overall in the championship. Franscisco Albert round out the divisional top 3.
Mick Carr had a superbly consistent first two weeks and leads the third division, 11 points ahead of John Quarles and 21 on Todd Laribee.
Gerben Bervoets holds a narrow early lead in Division 4, while just four points separate the top 2 in the fifth, with Jack Velentanlic snapping at the divisional leaders coat tails.
The next few divisions are all taking time to develop but we already have our first rookies in the series with Carl Burk putting in two decent performances to sit inside the top 50 overall. Steven Clouse and Jussi Kämäräinen joined Burk in the first week of online racing.
The series now moves from North America to the UK and the world famous Brands Hatch racing circuit for the third round in what we hope will be another classic season in a superb race car.