The Andretti Hairpin. The Corkscrew. Rainey Curve. The Pass. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is world famous for its challenging layout and the racing it has produced over the years. This week sim racers in the iRacing.com Skip Barber Race Series made their seasonal trek to the historic circuit. While opinions varied on whether to love or hate the track, no sim racer who participated in this week’s online racing action could deny that the 11 turn, 2.238 mile layout, was anything other than extremely challenging in their virtual Skip Barber Formula 2000 machines.
With little room for error 805 drivers took to the classic California venue in 156 different races over the course of the past week. Once again Club New York’s Bob Kern took home the “ironman” award starting a series high thirty-four races and managing to finish in the top five in exactly half of them. Club Eastern Canada Kenneth O’Keefe took home top honors for the second time in three weeks as the driver who managed to find the top step of the podium more than anyone else, garnering ten wins from his seventeen starts.
If you wanted to qualify in the ten overall you had quite the uphill climb — almost as steep as the climb up the Rahal Straight to The Corkscrew! An exclusive club of ten drivers were the only ones to post laps in the 1:37.00 range with Club Iberia’s Jon Tanko leading the charge. Tanko posted an impressive 1:37.473 lap, nearly two tenths of a second quicker than what his nearest competitor, Club France’s Samuel Libeert, could manage. Keep in mind that last round at Zandvoort it was Libeert who managed to out pace iRacing World Championship Road Racing series driver Richard Towler in qualifying, making his lap all the more impressive. Rounding-out the top three was a new name this week as International Club’s Filip Mitrevski joined the fray and made his first start in the iRacing.com Skip Barber Race Series since all the way back in Season One.
|5.||Kenneth O’Keefe||Eastern Canada||1:37.793|
While most people were enjoying the sun, sand and barbecue on this Labor Day in the United States, a week’s worth of online racing at Laguna Seca culminated in the second highest SOF race of the season for the iRacing.com Skip Barber Racing Series. A lot was up for grabs as sixty five drivers registered to run in the 3:45 PM EST time slot with five different splits going to grid. At the head of the fastest field of drivers was series leader Frank Hermann. Lined-up along side of him was the driver who had won the most races over the course of the week, Kenneth O’Keefe. A battle for the ages was about to take place. Or was it? The fight was over almost before it began as, unfortunately, O’Keefe’s race was decided in the first corner when he was hit from behind, prematurely ending his day. Club France’s Stephane Tribaudini tried to challenge Hermann over the course of the remaining 18 laps and managed to get the gap down to less than 1.5 seconds but would eventually fade while holding onto the second position. This clean run allowed Hermann to rebound from his troubles last week at Zandvoort and extend his point lead over second place Duncan Coppedge. The Northwest driver only managed 141 points this week compared to Hermann’s 233.
With five weeks of racing down the Club DE-AT-CH driver is still far from being crowned champion. Two drivers Hermann will definitely be keeping an eye on are Club England’s Simon Edwards and fellow Club DE-AT-CH driver Marcus Jirak, as both drivers have only run four weeks so far this season and are still within striking distance, both already in the top 10 in points.
|3.||Naber Pontes||South America||785|
No one was surprised when Club Iberia’s Jon Tanko found his way to the top of the charts in the Skip Barber Series Time Trial competition. If you needed a fast lap at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this week Tanko would be the first driver you went do. Tanko’s average pace over the course of his four lap time trial run was faster than every other driver in qualifying as well, proving his amazing pace was definitely no fluke. Series points and time trial leader Hermann made his way to the line second quickest in the competition while Club England’s Simon Edwards found his way to third.
|Rank||Driver||Club||Time Trial Average|
|7.||Tim Dembowski||New Jersey||1:38.594|
|9.||Andre Pittigliani||South America||1:39.026|
We invite you to join us for week six action when for the first time the series visits the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course September 6th-13th followed by their first trip to the Watkins Glen Classic Boot layout September 13th-20th.