Portrait of Laguna Seca: MX5s and Solstices negotiating The Corkscrew.

The iRacing.com Production Car Challenge series headed out West to sunny California and renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for Round Six, which marks the halfway point of the 2013 season.  Originally built by the Army Corps of Engineers, this 2.2 mile, eleven unforgiving turn layout, has been labeled as a “ski slope” due to elevation changes and the signature “Corkscrew” which provides sim-racers a “checkers or wreckers” type feel.

The Pontiac Solstice championship battle saw an iPCC first a few weeks ago – a tie.  Now a former champion has emerged with the overall point lead but, with drop weeks coming in just two races the title is still up for grabs.  Over in the Mazda class, one driver is trying to pull away from the pack.

iPCC participation is on the rise, with 650+ starts at Laguna Seca.

Participation has increased every week and at Laguna there were 650+ drivers who started an online race, a record for the season so far with a half dozen races still to go.

Inside the numbers – Week 6– Laguna Seca
401:   The number of drivers who started a race in the Mazda.
252:   The number of drivers who started a race in the Solstice.
121:   The number of Rookies who started a race in the Mazda.
75:     The number of Rookies who started a race in the Solstice.
22:     The number of Rookies who won a race in the Mazda.
14:     The number of Rookies who won a race in the Solstice.

Pontiac Solstice
Season 2 Solstice champion Andrey Loginov (Central-Eastern Europe) broke the tie by qualifying fourth with a 1:43.356 and went on to claim the top spot at Laguna with 137 points by winning three races from the pole.  Last Week-P2 / This Week-P1 / Points-747.

Even though Lewis King (Mid-South) dropped one spot to second place overall in the standings it didn’t slow him down in California.  Qualifying number eight with 1:44.094, King won two of four races and his 112 points was good for eighth best.  Last Week-P1 / This Week-P2 / Points-713.

Bryan J Miller (California) is a new name in the standings this week but this physics student uses his knowledge to get the best out of the Pontiac Solstice . . . he also boasts a 6000+ iRating with almost 300 wins.  Miller qualified third at a 1:43.100 and he won three races on the Monterey Peninsula last week.  His 132 points nailed down second overall this week and the real surprise is he’s a race behind.  Last Week-P3 / This Week-P3 / Points-702.

Time Trial competition saw Christoph Schon (DE-AT-CH) continue his perfect season by averaging 1:43.202 around Laguna Seca while Siarhei Marshyn grabbed the second spot with a 1:44.067 and Jamie Shorting rounded-out the top three at 1:44.330.

Notables: Morgan Ide (France) claimed the third spot at Laguna with 124 points by winning two races, Siarhei Marshyn did not only Time Trial but his one win for 123 points is fourth best.  The Solstice “Iron-Man” award goes to Pedro M Ribeiro (Iberia) who won 17 of 20 races for seventh place.

The Andretti Hairpin sees a variety of lines on the opening lap . . .

Time Trial competition saw Christoph Schon (DE-AT-CH) continue his perfect season by averaging 1:43.202 around Laguna Seca while Siarhei Marshyn grabbed the second spot with a 1:44.067 and Jamie Shorting rounded-out the top three at 1:44.330.

Notables: Morgan Ide (France) claimed the third spot at Laguna with 124 points by winning two races, Siarhei Marshyn did not only Time Trial but his one win for 123 points is fourth best.  The Solstice “Iron-Man” award goes to Pedro M Ribeiro (Iberia) who won 17 of 20 races for seventh place.

Mazda Roadster
The Mazda championship has taken a different path the past few seasons as one driver would grab the lead and never look back.  Paul Knight (UK and I) is trying to be that driver in 2013 Season 4.  Knight qualified seventh with a 1:42.687, won two races and scored 116 points, good for sixth best this week at Laguna Seca.  Last Week-P1 / This Week-P1 / Points-721.

Joao Dario (Iberia), who led the Mazda standings the first four weeks, had a pretty identical week to Knight at Laguna.  Dario qualified a spot above Knight with 1:42.588  and won six of seven races.  Like Kind, he claimed 116 points and because of this could not gain any ground in points.  Last Week-P2 / This Week-P2 / Points-706.

Yoeri Flossie (Benelux) would have loved to have skipped this track but he gave it a go anyway.  Flossie qualified nineteenth with 1:43.419, he won only once and his 108 points was ninth best.  Last Week-P3 / This Week-P2 / Points-646.

A string of Mazdas and Pontiacs plunge into the braking zone for Turn 11.

In Time Trials a new name who’s also a Rookie — Ross Rizzo (Australia/NZ) – beat-out the veterans by posting the fastest average around Laguna Seca (1:43.335).   Yoeri Flossie knocked down a 1:43.778 and Jay Adgie (UK and I) with his 1:44.108 rounds out the top three.

Notables: Former Mazda champion Petr Dolezal came back to the iPCC series to qualify number one with a sizzling 1:41.399 (the only driver in the 1:41s).  He won only one race from the pole for 127 points, second overall this week.  The “Iron-Man” award in Mazda goes to Kevin Lewis (New England) by winning 11 of 12 races for 102 points.

Next week the iPCC series heads to Japan and Okayama “long” configuration for Round Seven.  Check iRacingNews.com next week for the latest developments in the iRacing.com Production Car Challenge.

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