It is hard to believe that we have already completed six weeks of competition in the first running of the twelve-week iRacing.com RUF Cup series, as these weeks have flown by thanks to some incredible sim-racing on some of the most unique tracks that iRacing has to offer. Over 2,000 drivers from around the globe have participated in the new series at some of the most notable road courses in the world: Interlagos, Bathurst, Phillip Island, Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, and now, Silverstone.
England’s Silverstone Circuit is one of the most well-known circuits around the world, as it has hosted the Formula One British Grand Prix as far back as 1948. Much like Oulton Park, Silverstone has a history rooted in World War II. The track sits on the former site of an Air Force bomber station and the runways have always shaped the track’s layout. The facility has a number of configurations which have changed throughout the track’s rich history, and the RUF Cup series found itself holding races at what Formula One fans would recognize as the pre-2010 Grand Prix circuit, which saw action for two decades.
Emil Spindel (Scandinavia) set the pace in qualifying for the week, as he recorded a 111.651 second lap around the 5.14 km (3.194 mile) road course. Spindel had a two-tenth of a second advantage on second place qualifier Julian Rodriguez Moreno (Iberia). Evan Maillard (France), Laszlo Kotrocz (UK and I), and Sergio Roda Junior (Brazil) all placed among the top five on the qualifying chart. Kotrocz’s fourth place qualifying effort came in his RUF Cup debut, making it all the more impressive.
With Silverstone being a popular track amongst many in the series, the sixth week of competition brought multiple races that paid more than 200 points to win. The highest point total of the week went to Julian Rodriguez Moreno, who added 209 points to his season-long tally after a second place finish to Spindel in the highest-rated race of the week. Evan Maillard ranked second on the week after a third place finish in the same race. Spindel’s success in qualifying translated to an incredible race pace as he was able to find victory lane in all five of his starts, however, he was relegated to third place on the week’s standings after averaging the points of his two best finishes. Diego Comuni (Italy) and Joni Hagner (Finland) placed fourth and fifth following a week’s worth of racing.
As we have reached the halfway point of the season, Petri Lempinin (Finland) continues to lead the points, with an 18-point advantage on Jimmy Bigum (Scandinavia). Comuni finds himself in position number three and 26 points out of the top spot, which has him in the minds of the frontrunners as he has only amassed points at five of the six tracks that the RUF Cup has raced at. Christopher Zoechling (DE-AT-CH) and Thomas van Bussel (Benelux) currently rank fourth and fifth in points, continuing their season-long consistency.
While the hard, clean online racing of the RUF Cup has been a notable staple of these post-week articles, something that I have not mentioned is the camaraderie and helpfulness of the series’ drivers. If you are a sim-racer that is looking give this series or even road racing in general a chance, this series is a great place to build the fundamentals while also providing a car that is presents challenges to sim racing’s best. On the iRacing members forum, you can find helpful advice, setups, and replays from the series’ best drivers. It says a lot about a community when competitors are willing to help each other out. With six weeks of competition to go in the RUF Cup series, it’s going to be a fun ride.