The first week of the newly formed iRacing.com World SportsCar Series, featuring the Riley Daytona Prototype and the RUF C-Spec, started-off with the Interlagos Grand Prix circuit. A relatively small field of seven prototypes was headed by George Sandman and a larger field of twelve RUFs was headed by Alain Tessler.
At the start of the online race, Tessier lost the RUF class lead to Thomas van Bussel after Daniel Cziranku went three wide with them on the green flag, as Sandman maintained a relatively comfortable lead in the prototype class. Cziranku and Tessier both let off going into the first corner to avoid causing a wreck, which in turn made them lose time to van Bussel.
The second lap saw the fifth placed Matten downshift too early going on the approach to Turn One and blow his engine to become the race’s only prototype DNF. The next time around, Tougait Patrick spun his RUF exiting Turn Four, fortunately without damage and returned to the action losing nothing but time. Similarly, Daniel Cziranku spun entering Turn Six in front of traffic that same lap but quickly turned the car the right direction and kept going without damage.
Starting on Lap Six the prototype leaders began going through traffic and things quickly got scary as Sven Eckhardt’s RUF went off track in front of Sandman, fortunately staying off the barrier and out of the paths of the other cars. The rest of the prototype cars were able to get through the traffic cleanly, without causing any major incidents with the RUFs.
Three laps later, Petr Vydra made contact with Cziranku’s similar RUF entering the Senna Esse with Cziranku getting the worst end of it by spinning. Then, after being passed by Connor Cross in his Riley, Paul Hieb spun exiting Turn Four on Lap 19, ending his chances at improving his position as there were no other incidents in the prototype class.
Also on Lap 19, the last major incident occurred between Cziranku and Maurizio Miconi (RUF) when they got together on the Reta Oposta straightaway, ending both of their races.
The rest of the event featured a battle between Tessier and van Bussel for the RUF lead, with van Bussel managing to stay ahead to take the win. Meanwhile in the prototypes, Sandman completed a flag to flag win 4.671 seconds ahead of second place Brandon Vaeth with Richard Woelkers taking the final spot on the DP podium.
Points after Week 1
1. George Sandman 180 points
2. Brandon Vaeth 159 points
3. Yoann Sarzynski 148 points
4. Cameron Starks 143 points
5. Gerald Luger 139 points
1. Jan-Paul Niehuis 210 points
2. Paulo Valente 190 points
3. Christopher M Payne 180 points
4. Mike Dam 172 points
5. Joao Pinho 171 points
From the Interlagos roller coaster, the iRacing.com World SportsCar Series heads to the pool table flat Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, long a staple of its forerunner – the iRacing.com GRAND-AM Series. The track will be another new venue for the RUF, with sim-racers and their teams continuing to sort their new cars on a different track. It will be interesting to see if that will lead more people to race the Riley, or if the trend we saw at Interlagos continues and many more RUFs enter the race.