Racing Simulation

Second-fastest in qualifying, Lichtenberg showed a clean pair of heels to the field in the race.

Week Ten of the 2014 Season 2 IndyCar Oval Series sent the series to Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Only 25 sim racers took part in trying to master The Tricky Triangle. The story of the week would be troublesome Turns 1 and 2, along with handling.

Erick Davis (Canada) started on pole, with Brendan Lichtenberg (Midwest) on his outside. Dave Jinks (West) started third, with Pablo Donoso (Hispanoamérica) fourth and Kyle Orso (Illinois) rounding out the top five starting positions.

Davis had a good start as he gapped Lichtenberg by several car lengths entering Turn 1. Further back in the pack, Henry Clarke (California) went wide in Turn 3 and bounced off the SAFER barrier, damaging his suspension. Instead of holding his car against the wall, Clarke turned hard left to go to pit road, nearly collecting Matt A. Kinsgbury (Connecticut) among others. A lap later slight contact between Matt Kingsbury and Rob Unglenieks (Michigan) sent Unglenieks sliding wide and into the Turn 3 wall. Unlike Clarke, Unglenieks was able to hold his car against the outside wall as the field passed only to spin into the inside wall off of Turn 1 as a result of his damage.

Sim Racing

Unglenieks crashes as the result of damage from a brush with the Turn 3 wall.

Meanwhile, Lichtenberg caught and passed Davis easily on the outside in Turn 1. As Lichtenberg and Davis pulled away, both Jinks and Donoso fell back into the clutches on Connor Cross (Ohio). Cross easily passed Donoso and set his sights on Jinks only for the caution to fly as Clarke parked his badly damaged car on track. The caution set-up different strategies as the top five stayed out on track,while Matt Kingsbury was the first to come down pit road, followed by Ray Kingsbury (Connecticut), Seth Eggert (Carolina) and others.

Lichtenberg made an excellent restart, easily clearing Davis by the start-finish line. Ray Kingsbury made his way through the field quickly, climbing from eleventh to sixth by Turn 2.  He entering Turn 2 on the outside of Donoso, expecting Donoso to lift because of the line he took. Instead, Kingsbury bounced off of Donoso, damaging his own sidepod and killing his momentum, dropping from sixth to fourteenth by the time he recovered. He quickly recovered, however, passing Ricardo Rossi (Brazil) and Robert Dykstra2 (Michigan) — who crashed a lap later.

Racing Game

Rossi finds the wall.

Meanwhile both Lichtenberg and Davis continued their march away from the field. As the lead twosome built their comfortable lead, Colbey Parsons (Indiana) slapped the wall on the front stretch. The damage forced Parsons back into the wall in Turn 1, however he was able to limp back to pit road without causing another caution.

Parsons’ issues enabled Ray Kingsbury to jump from twelfth up to seventh, but his recovery came to an abrupt end when he exited Turn 3 wide and slammed the outside wall near the halfway point of the race.  Kingsbury limped around the track before losing control in Turn 1, slamming into the outside wall and triggering another caution. This time everyone elected to pit, with Lichtenberg easily winning the race off pit road.

Lichtenberg had another excellent restart as Jinks laid back at the green. As the top five quickly went into single file order, Orso, attempting to make-up some ground, exited Turn 1 high and slapped the outside wall.  Despite minor damage, Orso continued but quickly dropped to ninth and made contact with Rossi, sending the Brazilian spinning into the Turn 2 wall to bring-out the final caution of the race.

Motorsports Game

Cross crashes on the exit of Turn 3.

Lichtenberg once again had a great restart, clearing Davis, Cross, and Matt Kingsbury entering Turn 1. Lichtenberg quickly pulled away from the rest of the top five as they battled for second. Davis repeatedly protected and blocked the inside forcing Matt Kingsbury to the outside.  As Kingsbury tried again and again and again to complete the pass on Davis, Cross, looking to take advantage of the battle, took an extremely low line off of Turn 3 with a handful of laps remaining. As Kingsbury (finally) cleared Davis, Cross got loose and overcorrected, clobbering the outside wall. The impact sent Cross spinning onto pit road, his race over, but miraculously did not bring out a caution flag.

Lichtenberg was well clear of all the action in his mirrors and easily won the 2324 Strength of Field, the highest SoF of the week, by 2.129 seconds over Matt Kingsbury. Lichtenberg earned 145 points for his win. Davis finished third, with Jinks fourth and Donoso rounding out the top five finishing positions. Hermann Pfander (DE-AT-CH) was the only other winner during the week.

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