With Australia’s biggest V8 Supercar race, the Bathurst 1000, run and won in the real world the day before, the V8 iRacers were missing one or two of their real-world regulars, for obvious reasons.
At Week Ten of the iRacing V8 Supercar Series by Bigpond Sport, the battle was revisited under the night skies of Sebring. Unlike NASCAR, Australia’s premier race cars’ headlights are real.
With daylight savings the focus, and the availability, of the competitors was divided over two evening races. For “Race 1” of Week Ten, Rens Broekman was on pole from series leader Madison Down. Joshua Muggleton followed up his VIR podium with third grid spot here.
Next was split one newbie Beau Cubis from Lewis Dodimead, Cal Whatmore, Simon Black, Richard Lock, Paul Larkin and Gavin Barton. With the divided evening, and the Bathurst real-world casualties, it was a depleted field, highly uncharacteristic in this iRacing bonanza category.
As the green lights pierced the darkness, Broekman got the jump, while Down was surrounded by Muggleton and Cubis. Down and Cubis made contact, which spun Cubis into Broekman. This sent all three trackside while Muggleton broke free into the lead, followed by Dodimead. “It was just racing” said Down. “Three into one didn’t go”.
All three continued, Down in 12th, quickly dispensing with Trans Tasman teammate Troy Cox, Broekman 13th, and Cubis 14th. There was further carnage at the hairpin with Lock, Boulton and Larkin heading to the grass.
Muggleton asserted himself in the lead. Dodimead could not stay with him, but had a clear gap from a battling Black and Whatmore. Behind that pair was Samuel Collins, Gavin Barton, David Hingston, Sam Cashen and Paul Rodgers, all battling wildly. They were all about to be swept up by a charging Down.
“Three into one didn’t go” -Madison Down
By lap seven, Down had cleared that lot and caught up to Whatmore and Black. He made short work of both of them. Then, anticlimactically, his internet failed, ruining a great comeback.
Broekman, meanwhile, had made it to fourth place. On Lap 12 he hounded third placed Whatmore, getting the position at the hairpin. Whatmore then spun gracefully exiting onto the back straight, grabbing a gear and setting off only one position the poorer.
Down had reconnected, a lap down, and set to work recovering some dignity. Amazingly, the next position (14th placed Matt Anderson) was only half a lap up the road. With series rival McLeod sitting this one out, any points would do.
Muggleton was free of all this with a 12 second lead over Dodimead and Broekman, who was catching second place hand over fist, but ran out of laps. Muggleton ran out the winner.
Barton was now fourth, Rodgers fifth and Whatmore sixth. Cubis’ recovery netted him seventh from Black, Cox and Collins.
Muggleton was humble in victory, more worried about whether he had played a part in the first corner melee, unnecessarily so as it turned out. Relieved, he was free to enjoy his first win, somewhat of an inevitability, in a season of rising form.
Two other split winners at 7.45 were Thomas Guerrini and Wayne Cullen. Guerrini also took out the second split at 9.45.
In the 9.45pm race, Madison Down made no mistakes and won from Rens Broekman and race one winner Muggleton, still leaving us with an interesting series table, with two rounds to go.
OVERALL DIVISION TABLE.
|21||David Jaques||1||New York||830||-921|
|35||Thomas van Bussel||4||Benelux||707||-1044|
|40||Stefan Miller||2||Western Canada||658||-1093|