Week 8 saw the iRacing.com GRAND-AM Sports Car Series journey to the Interlagos Circuit, now known as Autódromo José Carlos Pace. Located in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the 2.676 mile (4.309 km) circuit features fifteen turns over a minute and a half lap. The Prototype pole time was 1.25.969 by Cesc Riu (Iberia) while Enzo Bonito (Italy) turned a 1.31.167 to plant his McLaren MP4 on the GT pole. With Interlagos being a new track to the iRacing service, we expected a boost in participation. This was not the case as in the Prototype class, however, as just 227 drivers participated in a race session, with 136 posting a qualifying lap and 38 completing a time trial. As usual the McLaren class was a little more popular with 320 competing in a race, 189 qualifying, and 54 completing a time trial.
Riley Daytona Prototype
Taking the victory on the week was Daniel Quattropani (Hispanoamérica) with a score of 193 points. In the 3333 SOF race in which he competed, Quattropani started from the pole position and never looked back as he lead all thirty-five laps bringing home the victory over Richard Sobolewski (Celtic) and Jarno A. Matikainen (Finland). Quattropani competed in two other races throughout the week, scoring two more victories to complete a perfect week in Brazil.
Scored in the second position but actually having a tie in points for the first position was Christopher Osborne (Australia/NZ), also scoring 193 points. Osborne started from the second position in his race, quickly showing his speed by moving into the lead on lap three. Never looking back, Osborne ran consistently quick laps pulling out to a 6.491 second lead by the end of the thirty five lap race. This was his only race of the week.
Riccardo Schiavon (Italy) was the third highest scorer this week, being the only division two driver to make the top five with a score of 192 points. Schiavon started from the pole position in the 3216 SOF race, pulling out to a 8.077 second lead while the other driver fought behind. At the line is a Schiavon followed by Tyson Cierpial (Australia/NZ) and Harald Stadler (DE-AT-CH). Schiavon also competed in three other races throughout the week, scoring three more victories.
Completing the top ten was Pawel Bienkowski (Central Eastern Europe), Tyson Ciepial (Australia/NZ), Matthew Barron (Australia/NZ), David Ward (England), Arjen Boerdijk (Benelux), Aleksi Uusi-Jaakola (Finland) and Richard Sobolewski (Celtic).
Thomas Nanzer (DE-AT-CH) had the highest score this week with 213 points. Starting from the pole position in the 3567 SOF race, Nanzer played it safe with the lapping Prototype drivers and brought home the victory 9.856 seconds over Anthony Kopec (France). This was his only race of the week.
Teemu Iivonen (Finland) was next in the standings with a score of 202 points. In the 3310 SOF race, Iivonen started from the second position. On lap three the leader, Csaba Volyka Jr (Central Eastern Europe) made a mistake sending him down the running order. This rewarded Iivonen the lead, which he held for the remainder of the race distance. At the finish line it was Teemu Iivonen with a 6.348 second gap back too Kimmo Suominen (Finland) and Csaba Volyka Jr who rallied back up through the field.
Point leader Norbi Kiss (Central Eastern Europe) took the final place on the podium with a score of 202 points, tied with second place Iivonen. Kiss started from the second position and for the first time this season was not able to contend for the win. Fabio J M Cursino (Brazil) pulled out to a 4.562 second gap by the line forcing Kiss to settle for a second place finish. This was his only race of the week.
Concluding the top ten was Fabio J M Cursino (Brazil), Ermanno I Palumbo (Italy), Kimmo Suominen (Finland), Anthony Kopec (France), Jesus Sicilia Sanchez (Iberia), Luigi Nespolino (Italy), and Oliver Brandt (Scandinavia).
Next week the iRacing.com GRAND-AM Sports Car Series will head to Watkins Glen to utilize the “Boot Course”. Being 3.4 miles (5.47 km) with 12 turns there will be lots of room for the two classes to spread out over the course of the track. As The Glen rates among the most popular tracks on the service and is used in almost every series, drivers are very familiar and tend to flock towards this track, meaning high participation and better races. I will be heading there to cover the races for inRacingNews.com. Look for me at the (virtual) Seneca Lodge . . . and be sure to check back for (race) reports next week!