The season overall points standing grew even closer in Week 6 of the iRacing.com Mustang Cup, with several sim-racers taking advantage of crucial mid-season wins to reel-in leader Vedran Broz. This week featured 16 official racesat Summit Point’s short course – a first run on that configuration for the Mustangs. While the number of online races were far fewer than at Daytona the week before, 14 different winners took home top honors and points in their effort to climb the points standings.
Out of the 144 sim-racers who tried the Mustang FR500S around the West Virginia track, Todd Honczarenko had the best results with two wins in two starts and the top points (120) earned for the week. Olivier Sackhouse was also perfect in two starts, claiming 115 points. Points leader Vedran Broz took one win in only one start for the week and earned only 86 points in that race, allowing Todd and other top drivers to continue to close the gap in the overall standings.
The first official race of the week demonstrated the potential for agonizing racing incidents on this tricky and short course. Antti Pihlaja qualified fast at his first opportunity, taking the pole for the first race. Panji Brotoisworo gridded in the second spot just a few ticks off Pihlaja’s pace. As the race went green, all 14 drivers showed good patience and car control to survive the narrow Turn 1 off the front straight of the shortened Summit course. As expected, throughout the race the tricky Turn Four embarrassed several drivers who braked too late and paid for it with some leisure time trying to find traction in the grass.
But the two leaders avoided all the trouble, as Brotoisworo paced a few car lengths behind Pihlaja at mid-race with the gap slowly growing. As the final lap started, there seemed to be no hope of catching the leader – until trouble struck in that treacherous Turn 4. Several car lengths ahead of Pihlaja, two drivers struggled to adjust to overheated tires while racing bumper to bumper for position. A small error in judgment and a light tap sent the front car spinning on the exit to Turn Four but coming to rest mid-track and just far enough around the corner to be out of view of the fast-approaching race leader. To Pihlaja’s surprise and agony, he rounded the turn – just half-a-lap from victory – to find a complete road block. The leader kept his car under control, coming to a full stop while the other two cars cleared the track – agony as he watched his 15 second margin over Brotoisworo evaporate as he stood still mid-track. Pihlaja cleared the accident still in control of the lead but now with a likely-delighted Brotoisworo right on his tail. Perhaps distracted by the incident, Pihlaja makes an uncharacteristic mistake in the final turn, a slide and missed shift allowing Brotoisworo to power by for the win.
Week 7 takes the iRacing Mustang Cup to the Watkins Glen Cup course, a thrilling venue that is sure to produce large fields and many official races this week. Already drivers are raving about the close competition at The Glen and how well the configuration suits the Mustang FR500S. As we reach the mid-point of the season, you can expect some heated racing, big points up for grabs and more drama with close finishes. Despite the competitiveness of the series, you’ll also find a lot of helpful tips and information on this week’s information thread in the Mustang Forum.