A new challenge just started for the iGPFun League: racing the Skip Barber F2000 for first time after three enjoyable and competitive seasons with the SpecRacer Ford. Leaving that little car that always provided exciting races was not an easy choice for the organizers, but the first race at Silverstone International made the community quite happy and pleased with the new car.
The car is different but the “fun” is always the same. Racing is hard but very clean and fair throughout the field, offering battles and challenges to drivers of different skill levels.
Conrad Makow took the pole at Silverstone International with a lap time of 1:33.770. Francesco Maggi and Christian Manzini were just 0.139s back of him, with the rest of the field closely behind.
The first surprise came at race start, when pole-man Makow had to start from the pits due to a technical problem.
The first lap saw all drivers careful yet determined to gain places and set a good pace. Manzini took the lead from Maggi and took a 3 seconds lead when the eight cars behind him started a fierce battle for second place, getting into the hairpin four-wide, and exiting unscathed, on one occasion!
Maggi rose on top of the pack and managed to take advantage of the constant swapping of position behind him to open a 2.5 seconds gap, with Manzini another three seconds ahead (in first). The two leaders fought a distant but tense battle for the rest of the race, turning fast laps one after the other. They finally took the top two spots on the podium.
If the two leaders never overtook each other, the eight cars fighting for third place more than made up for it. Boldrin and Varani, who eventually took the final place on the podium, were separated by less than a second for 12 consecutive laps. They were side-by-side on numerous occasions but Boldrin never managed to move ahead. Given the small gaps across the field, a single missed-shift was enough to put Boldrin in the fight for fourth place. Bindi, Boldrin and Feher ran together for the rest of the race, trading places on numerous occasions with some exciting side-by-side action. Just behind them, Graci and Taylor spent the whole 28 laps of the race tied together. Having passed each other all race long, the .6s separating them on the finish line were the largest gap they had in the race.
Long and fun battles were not limited to the top sim-racers. Notable mentions to Ponte (ninth at the end) and Tsichlis, who lost P10 to Makow on the very last lap. Sellitto and Van Damme (P13 at the end) were another couple of drivers that just couldn’t get away from each other for most of the race.
The iGPFun Skip Barber season will visit Watkins Glen for its second race of the season. Spots are still open for what promises to be another exciting online race. Just look for the iGPFun League page on iRacing if you are interested to race or spectate.
Full coverage of the Silverstone race at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qc3Ro5wlJOk