This week marked the start of a new year and a new season for the Skip Barber Series.  With the start of the new season we saw the departure of some well known faces, the return of some veterans, and the welcoming of new drivers.  Playing host to all of this action was Summit Point Jefferson Circuit driven in the clockwise direction, known to iRacers as “Jefferson Reverse” (or simply “nosreffeJ”).  Many were disgruntled by the track at first, but after racing there for the full week many seemed to have become accustomed to the tight layout.  964 drivers entered a race session, 415 placing qualifying laps, and 237 completing a time trial.

New faces, new season, new venues: A host of competitors head into Turn One at Jefferson Reverse to start 2013 Season 1 of the Skip Barber Series.

Topping the charts to kick-off the new season was Rudi Reinkort (Central-Eastern Europe).  During the 2725 SOF race, Reinkort started from the pole position and led the way for the entire twenty-four laps with zero incident points.  Reinkort was satisfied with 166 point payout which he received, as this was the only race he entered throughout the week.

Julien Griffiths (France) was next in the week’s standings, scoring 164 points.  Griffiths started from the third position in the 2692 SOF race, moving to second on the first lap.  He then fell back to third on Lap 15, before inheriting the lead on lap 23 after the two leaders dropped back in the field for unknown reasons. Griffiths took part in three other races throughout the week, scoring another victory and two third place finishes.

Curtis Fung (Western Canada) concluded the podium this week, making a successful return after a six month break from the series, scoring 161 points. Fung started from the pole position in the 2655 SOF race, lost the lead on Lap Four, and retook the lead on Lap 18.  Fung crossed the stripe with a mere 0.288 second advantage and only one incident point.  This was the only race which he entered throughout the week.

The remainder of the top ten for Week One and the current series standings included Norbert Sulzer (DE-AT-CH), Martin Peck (England), Simon Hulbert (England), Kenneth OKeefe (Eastern Canada), Ian D Smythe (England), Stefan Wisselink (Benelux), and Maksym Yefanov (Iberia).

Some changes have been made to the Skip Barber Series this season, the most notable being the big changes in the schedule, adding many new layouts, mostly shorter configurations.  This allows for new sim-racers to learn the tracks quicker and feel more comfortable moving up to the new series.  Another twist is the race time changes. The online races now take place every hour where they have been every two hours for as long as I can remember.

But, in my opinion, the biggest improvement is Martin Peck’s reference laps.  He has contacted many top regulars from the series to do laps of each track on the schedule.  He then creates Youtube videos which allows new drivers to study the lines and catch on to a new track faster.  This greatly improves the series and attracts newcomers.  A big thank you goes out to Martin!  Click here to take advantage of Martin’s insights.

Next week the Skip Barber Series will head to Florida to tackle the Sebring International Raceway, using the Modified layout.  This track has displayed great racing in testing with huge drafts and many passing zones.  Be sure to check back here next week for updates on the weeks at Sebring International Raceway.  Also keep your eyes on for updates on other series throughout the service, and many other informational articles to please the interest of any race fan

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