Yang Ou consolidated his lead in the 2011 iRacing.com IZOD IndyCar Premier Series -Road with a convincing victory at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Sunday’s top strength of field (3064) race. The Club Scandinavia member grabbed his tenth pole position of the campaign with a lap of 1:08.382 ahead of championship rival Aleksi Elomaa (Club Finland) and Andre Boettcher (Club DE-AT-CH). Despite a less than perfect getaway, Ou grabbed the lead at the start and was never headed throughout the 52 lap race.
Boettcher got the jump on Elomaa to grab second place on the opening lap, and kept Ou in sight in the early going despite a minor “off” on Lap Eight. In fact, when Ou suffered a temporary issue with his Dallara’s brakes, Boettcher closed to within half a second a few laps later. However, Boettcher was destined to fall to third after a fraught moment on Lap 29 saw both he and Elomaa take to the central Ohio dirt. Although Elomaa lost just a couple of seconds to the flying Ou, the adventure cost Boettcher the best part of half a minute. And while Elomaa kept the margin around six second through to the finish, Boettcher was a further 14 seconds back a the checkered flag with Santiago Niza Ferrer (Iberia) and Laszlo Kotrocz (England) the only other sim racers on the lead lap at the finish.
“Everyone acted like a true sportsman and gave me a lot of room.” – Yang Ou
“At the start, I got plenty of wheel spin under acceleration on cold tires, same with Aleksi who started second,” explained Ou. “André had a smooth start from third position and passed Aleksi. The order stayed that way for more than half distance. I had a little throttle axis issue which meant that the brake bias was inconsistent, but only for a few laps. Afterwards I could again and pull away a little with each lap.
“I have to thank the drivers in the race, because the big concern was lap traffic, as to let leaders by in the technical section of the track could be very difficult, but everyone acted like a true sportsman and gave me a lot of room to pass.”
Underlining his dominance, Ou set the fastest lap of the race on the final tour of the race.
“Interesting to see the comparison between the iRacing lap times versus real IndyCars this weekend,” observed Ou. “They are surprisingly close. My qualifying lap for the pole was 1:08.382 done on the primary blacks (one compound only in iRacing at the moment). I readjusted my setup after qualifying, and was able to improve with a best (practice) lap of 1:08.260. The fastest lap of the weekend for the IZOD IndyCar Series was from Scott Dixon with 1:07.837 on Firestone reds, supposedly 0.5 sec faster than the blacks. Dixon also has the fastest lap of the race at 1:09.1 on reds, and 1:09.3 on blacks. In comparison, my best race lap was a 1:09.2 on the Firehawk primary blacks. It shows the accuracy that iRacing Motorsport Simulation is able to provide for this car/track combination.”
“Interesting to see the comparison between the iRacing lap times versus real IndyCars this weekend. They are surprisingly close.” – Yang Ou
Sunday’s lower SoF race (2242), saw New York’s Ken Leach take the win from a trio of Canadians including Carlos Passos, Martin Blais and Derek Roelveld. Boettcher also figured in this race, grabbing pole and jumping to the early lead before making an unscheduled pit stop on Lap 12. Leach took over at that stage and led the remaining 41 laps to lead Passos home by more than a minute, with Blais and Roelveld a lap down ahead of Texan Glenn Cate. Cate was the real mover in this race, coming from tenth on the grid to a fifth place finish after picking-up a couple of spots on the start, getting around Italy’s Matteo Bortolotti on Lap Two and gaining another spot when Boettcher pitted before cruising home to a well-deserved top five. Bortolotti took sixth place while another Texan, Jay Blass, was seventh and the final runner just one lap in arrears of the flying Leach.
The 192 points Ou collected for his win push his season total to 1216 heading to the 2011 iRacing.com IZOD IndyCar Premier Series –Road finale at Infineon Raceway on September 3. That puts him just 40 points ahead of Elomma who took home 181 markers for his second place at Mid-Ohio and is still very much alive in hunt for the championship, the $500 that goes with it and, with the 2011 iRacing.com IZOD IndyCar Premier Series –Oval still up for grabs, a leg-up on the overall iRacing.com IZOD IndyCar Premier Series title and the accompanying $1,000 cash prize and expenses paid weekend at the IZOD IndyCar Series finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 16.