The IndyCar Road Series kicked-off 2014 S2 at daunting Spa-Francorchamps.

The first week of the IndyCar Road Series headed to one of the trickiest venues in the world as drivers and teams took to the Belgian hills of Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps to test their medal and see who had what it takes to master the treacherous circuit. Overall 28 drivers took to the grid in search of sim-racing glory for themselves.

The 2811 Strength of Field event saw Riccardo Schiavon (Italy) in pole position for the 14 car grid. Schiavon started the race with a great launch which forced fellow-front row starter Daniel Pozueta (Iberia) to accelerate quickly.  Unfortunately he spun the rear tires and, even more unfortunately, turned right- right into the path of third place starter Denis Garese (France). The ensuing contact caused both drivers to retire as others skirted by on the grass, Massimiliano Ficarra (Italy) collected some damage as he was glanced in the side by one of the spinning Dallara IndyCars. Other slammed their left pedal hard down and waited for the carnage to subside before progressing past the smoke.

Chaos erupted shortly after the start.

The first lap running order showed Schiavon in front, not looking back, followed by Ficarra, Ivan Basso (Italy), Michel de Jonge (Benelux), Timo Isoniemi (Finland), Will Lamb (Carolina), and most notably Ivan Sole (Iberia) in position number seven after regaining a few positions he lost from the chaos at the start of the race. At the end of the first lap Sole launched an attack for the sixth position on Lamb into the last corner and set Isoniemi in his line of fire.

The Bus Stop saw lots of action. Here Matthiensen (13) gets around Tessore (9).

By the end of the lap Basso had worked his way past a damaged Ficarra, Sole had set up Isoniemi through the technical final chicane to take the fifth position, and Terry Matthiensen (California) passed Guy Tessore (France) on the outside of the final corner.  By the fourth lap Sole had blasted past Ficarra and was working over de Jonge, whom he subsequently forced into an error and passed.

Schiavon grabbed the lead at the start and was never threatened.

At the same time Ficarra conceded a position to Isoniemi and came under fire from Lamb. Further back, Geoff Killick (UK&I) and Randy Crossno (California) duked it out for eighth until the later made quick work of his competitor. By Lap Eight Lamb had finally broken free of a slower Ficarra, who had pitted, and was now under fire from Crossno as Isoniemi slipped away.   Everything stayed the same until Lap 15 when Schiavon pitted, to be followed by Basso and Sole, although the leader was back on track by the time they stopped. Sole had closed the gap to Basso and when they entered pit lane to be serviced he was a mere half car length behind.  Both drivers knew it would come down to whoever nailed his pit stop entry perfectly: Basso slid a bit into his box while Sole stopped on a dime. The mistake was just enough to enable Sole to beat Basso out of the pits. After this the status quo was maintained up and down the order as Schiavon came home first just over twenty one seconds ahead of Sole. Basso finished third, followed by de Jonge, Isoniemi, Lamb, Crossno and Ficarra with Matthienson rounding out the lead lap cars.

Sole beats Basso out of the pits in the battle for second place, aka, the Tale of Two Ivans.

The second week of the Indy Road racers get to take their shot at the Brickyard as they compete at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s infield road course, former site of the United States Grand Prix and, with a few mods, the recent IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

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