Road Warrior Brazilian Grand Prix
November 26th, 2014 by JaimeB
The penultimate round of the inaugural iRacing Road Warrior Series was held “between the lakes” aka Interlagos, aka Autódromo José Carlos Pace. The famed Brazilian Grand Prix Circuit flows up and down the side of a hill the “interlagos” neighborhood of Sao Paulo, so called because it is situated between two large artificial lakes, Guarapiranga and Billings. No matter what you call it, with fast sweepers and tight hairpins, it is a technical circuit where fast laps are reserved for the best drivers. And in the Road Warriors’ case, all the drivers took to the track in the formidable Lotus 79, the car Mario Andretti drove to the 1978 World Championship of Drivers.
The 1:00 GMT race kicked-off the weekend with Lauro Costa starting on pole. Costa led the race flag-to- flag and set the fastest lap. Costa had a commanding lead at the checkers, crossing the line 30 seconds ahead of second place finisher Michael L Willard. Starting sixth, the runner-up drove an impressive race to finish in second place six seconds ahead of Andris Slisans dropped one place from his grid position beside Costa to claim the final podium spot. Eric Winter improved three spots from the start to grab fourth place, a mere two tenths ahead of Bryan Goddard in fifth.
The Saturday 20:00 GMT race saw some close sim racing at the front of the field as pole sitter, and eventual race winner, Jason Gerard swapped the lead back and forth with Martin Enzmann. Gerard lead 20 laps including the all-important final lap and Enzmann lead a total of 23. Despite the fact that Enzmann led the better half of a race, Mark Hewitt beat him to the line to claim second place. John G. Hill held onto his starting spot to finish in fourth while Goddard drove from ninth place on the grid to take another P5 and, in the process set the fastest lap of the race.
12:00 GMT Sunday was the last chance to claim precious points before the Road Warriors championship heads into its final round in the Lone Star state. Series favorite Julian Rodriguez Moreno started on pole and set the fastest lap, but it all went south on Lap 23 when Moreno disconnected from the race, handing the lead to Sean Wiltshire. Wiltshire needed no second invitation and would hold the lead to the finish, claiming victory after starting third. Andris Slisans crossed the line in second place some 13s back to claim his best points finish of the weekend from his fourth place grid spot. Matt Smith-Doiron had an impressive drive from ninth on the grid to grab the last podium step. Steven Paulissen improved two spots to claim fourth while Karsten Brodowy rounded-out the top five after coming from tenth on the grid.
The final round of the iRacing Road Warrior Series is sure to be a barn burner. On December 5-6-7, the Road Warriors will storm into the great state of Texas where the Circuit of The Americas will host a twelve lap shoot-out for the Skip Barber F2000s.