The iRacing Silver Crown Cup stopped at the newly-released Lucas Oil Raceway last Thursday for a dramatic 100 lap sim-race. Featuring over 40 laps of caution, it seemed that the iRacing FIRST Safety Car might well take the checkered flag. Still, after leading a commanding 54 laps, it was certain that it was Vinnie Sansone’s race to lose, and Jeffery Mays was his toughest competition.
Mays lead the field to the green flag for the start of the race, but not before carnage ensued behind the leaders, bringing out the FIRST Safety Car for the first of nine times before the field even reached Turn One. Cars involved in the first lap incident included those of Ian Seely, Douglas Carle, Brooks Westfall and Robert Reynolds.
After the pace car pulled into pit lane, Mays was hoping for an opportunity to stretch his lead over a long green flag run. But sadly, the carnage had only just begun. Seely lost control of his ‘Crown in Turn Three, bringing out the second yellow. On the first lap back to green flag sim-racing, Mays jumped back to the lead, only to be halted once again. This time, Thomas Armstrong, Brett Waldrep, and Donald FitzGerald tangled in Turn Three., once again requiring an appearance by the safety car for five more laps under yellow.
As the pack of twenty one ‘Crowns crossed the line on Lap 24 for the restart, the fourth of nine cautions occurred. Doug Berryman made contact with Thomas Wargula sailing into Turn One, causing Doug to spin without further contact. Five more pace laps ensued, as the virtual FIRST Safety Car added to its laps led total.
Following the green Charlie Parker lost it entering Turn One on Lap 37, bringing out yet another yellow flag. However, the long run that ensued proved that the sim-racing is exciting . . . at leas when it’s not a case of follow the pace car. Mays and Sansone wrestled for the lead after the fifth yellow flag was dismissed. Sansone snagged the lead by Mays after he lost the back end of his Silver Crown out of Turn Four, all but handing Sansone the lead and the momentum.
After taking the lead, there was no looking back for Sansone while Mays faced a Herculean task of overcoming the tremendous momentum built up by the leader. With the raw determination, Mays was holding strong and beginning to catch Sansone when Lap 63 brought the sixth yellow flag of the evening. Continuing to have problems, Reynolds spun off of Turn Four, sending the FIRST Safety Car to work once again.
Thereafter Mays fell miserably toward the end of the short stint, leaving the chase of Sansone to Season One champion Brandon Buchberger. Try as he might, Buchberger found the leader’s pace was too much and Sansone walked to his first victory in Season Two’s SOF race.
While Sansone took the checkered flag, Mays ultimately fought back to take silver with the fastest lap award to boot. Buchberger slid to the final step on the podium in front of Berryman, who mounted an impressive comeback after his problems early in the race.
Next week, the iRacing Silver Crown Cup heads across town to the center of racing, real and virtual: Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 100 mile sim-race will be nothing compared to the virtual Indy 500 this Friday and Saturday, but nevertheless will be a thriller. Join us for some high-speed, high-risk sim-racing on Thursday night at 9:45PM EST! Remember to practice, work on your setup, and stay patient!