Although newcomer Joze Rozman was the fastest driver of the day, it was Henrik Müller who able to take the checkered flag first in the ianIndy.de series race at Road Atlanta. After all, sometimes you need the necessary luck in order to make the old saying come true: “To finish first, you must first finish.” For although Rozman fought his way from near the back of the field into the lead, he lost his concentration for just a second and also lost the race – with just two laps to go and a twelve second lead!
It’s not that Müller was slow. In fact, he took the pole position with a lap time of 1:09.281 and led 63 of 75 laps. Rozman didn’t post a qualifying lap, so he had to start from the end of the twelve car field. This and the strong competition were the ingredients for a taut 191 mile race on the beautiful roller coaster near Braselton, Georgia. Since its opening in 1970, all forms of road racing from the SCCA Runoffs to the Can-Am , Camel GT Series and, more recently, the American Le Mans Series, have found a home on this 2.54 mile track which has some of the biggest elevation changes among all the world’s closed course circuits.
On the start Müller quickly pulled away from the field, while the action behind started. Rozman overtook five cars on the first lap, rather like the proverbial hot knife going through butter. Dutchman Joey Schmidt was the big loser during the first laps as he had to give up four positions after a spin off the track while braking for Turn Seven leading onto the long backstretch. Somehow, Marty Sponsler managed to execute the same maneuver in the same moment while he tried to accelerate out of the turn . . . providing a funny image for the spectators and lots of smoke for the other drivers around them.
Rozman continued to fight his way up to the front, despite a little delay when he wanted to go by Gary Borkenhagen and Tim Doyle who were engaged in a lengthy battle of their own. Nor was theirs the only battle, as a dice further back had Daniel Ensch and Jeffrey York running wheel- to-wheel before Ensch eventually came out on top.
After the first round of pit stops, Rozman was already within sight of the lead and, surprisingly, was able to pass Müller before the second round of pit stops but then had to pit. After a very fast stop of his own, Müller regained the lead and renewed the fight with his hunter. All in all Rozman was much faster and overtook the lead car a second time, then set about putting some distance between himself and Müller. But with only two laps to go and a lead of 12 seconds Rozman lost concentration for just a moment while heading into the ultra-fast Turn One. The result was a high speed spin off the track with a hard impact into the barrier and the loss of everything he fought for over the previous 73 lap. Müller had already slowed in order to save fuel to avoid a last splash-n-dash, but still had a healthy lead over a strong second placed Nico Brandt. Brandt this week showed a solid but less conspicuous race after his great win of the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama just one month ago.
In the championship point standings, Müller regains the lead from Yang Ou, who missed the race. The fact that Ou is in the thick of the championship despite missing three races now demonstrates how dominant and consistent he has been in the races he has contested. Tim Doyle remains in third place in the points while the hard-charger of the week is Gary Borkenhagen who gained 13 positions with his second championship race.
The next race will be the legendarily famous Indianapolis 500 mile race, which annually attracts about 400,000 people to the track on race day. The qualification for this special race already starts this Friday (November 26) with the first round of qualifications and ends one day later with the traditional “Bump-Day.” In the end there will be 33 happy drivers who will race the Indy 500 the following Sunday (December 5th) and some who got “bumped out” of the race (just like Paul Tracy got bumped out of this year’s Indy 500). You will have the chance to watch the race live in HD quality on Web Racing Network (WRN) web TV.
iamINDY.de Indianapolis 500 Event Schedule
4h Qualifications (Round One)
Friday, 26th November 2010 | 20:00 – 24:00 CET / 19:00 – 23:00 GMT / 2:00 – 6:00 PM EST
2h Qualifications (Round Two) – “Bump-Day”
Saturday, 27th November 2010 | 18:00 – 20:00 CET / 17:00 – 19:00 GMT / 12:00 – 2:00 PM EST
Practice Race ( -Mandatory- )
Sunday, 28th November 2010 | 18:00 – 20:30 CET / 17:00 – 19:30 GMT / 12:00 – 2:30 PM EST
Fun Indy 500 presented by iamINDY.de
Saturday, 4th December 2010 | 20:00 – 24:00 CET / 19:00 – 23:00 GMT / 2:00 – 6:00 PM EST
iamINDY.de Indianapolis 500 broadcasted by WRN (Web Racing Network)
Sunday, 5th December 2010 | 18:00 – 22:00 CET / 17:00 – 21:00 GMT / 12:00 – 4:00 PM EST
About the iamINDY.de series
The iamINDY.de series is a private hosted iRacing series which simulates the real IndyCar series as close as possible. With more than hundred members from all over the world and also some famous names like Pagenaud, Power or Foyt it offers every IndyCar or racing fan a good challenge. The “full length” races (about 1:30 h) are every two weeks on Sundays at 17:00 GMT (12:00 pm EST or 18:00 CET). Between the race weekends practice sessions are offered where can be worked on the setup. Beside that the series understands itself as a community of gentlemen drivers where clean and fair racing comes first in conjunction with having fun. Everybody who is interested in taking part in can sign up on the website: www.iamindy.de