After two weeks of sneaking into the top five in the NVIDIA Cup, Marco Schneiders showed the online racing competition at Lime Rock that he is not to be taken lightly in the championship hunt. Schneiders, who hails from Germany, took top honors in Week Three of 2011 Season 2c and moved himself within 14 points of the series lead with just one week left to go in the four round campaign.
Schneiders garnered his 164 point total at the Connecticut track by taking the win in a 2623 sof race on Sunday. Schneiders started from the first position and led 18 of the 20 laps in the race and finished just a half second ahead of Brazil’s Henrique Mandziuc. David Jordan2, Grant Bray and Alexandre Ossadtchikh completed the top five in the 12 car field.
Omar Soto brought his Mazda MX5 home in second for the week as the Iberia Club sim racer recorded two wins in two starts. The biggest of those came on Thursday, which brought Soto his 154 point mark for Week Three. Soto led wire-to-wire in the race and defeated his nearest competitor, Mark Chorley by over a second. Third in the race, which was rated at 2468 sof, belonged to Joan Morales with Reidar Andresen and David Ward completing the top five.
Two drivers found themselves with 148 points at the completion of Week Three. One of those was Wojciech Swirydowicz, who finished second to Tom Sullivan2 on July 13th. Sullivan led 11 laps in the 11 car, 2634 sof race and bested Swirydowicz by nearly eight seconds. Third was Rocco Barone with Morales and Andrew Cox3 not too far behind. Sullivan started two dozen races on the week, winning in 15 of those and bringing home 140 points for the week. It is of note as well that Jan Coomans, who leads the NVIDIA Cup standings, had problems in this race and finished last after leading the first nine circuits. Coomans completed the week with 143 points.
Norbert Leitner also found himself completing the week with 148 points. Leitner won one race out of the four he started and the victory came in one of the biggest sof races of the week, one rated at 2823. Leitner crossed the line a second ahead of Barone in the 11 car field. Simo Holm was third followed by Durbin Jonker and Luis Pereira. Leitner led 18 laps of the race following the departure of erstwhile leader and pole sitter Bruno do Carmo after three laps.
Completing the top five in Week Three was Julien Apruzzese and his 145 points. Apruzzese was perfect for the week, winning in his only start at Lime Rock Park on Saturday. The victory came in a 2327 sof race and saw the Frenchman leading all 20 laps to defeat Barone by over four seconds at the finish. Fernando Frohlich finished third ahead of Michael Cutajar and Jordan2 in a race featuring 12 starters.
Pereira started the most races for the week as he saw 63 green flags. Carmo won the most races during Week Three as he was victorious in a whopping 28 events. Of the over 2500 drivers who competed in Week Three, 551 of those took home at least one checkered flag. Coomans was the quickest qualifier of the week, taking the overall pole with a time of 58.524 seconds around Lime Rock. Sven Kresmer, Carmo, Sullivan2 and Roberto Otero Beltran2 rounded-out the top five. When it came to Time Trials, Coomans was also the man to beat. Coomans topped the charts over Carmo, Luke Graham, Pedro Ferraz and Barone in that competition.
The standings will show Coomans on top of the over 4500 drivers who have competed during this NVIDIA Cup season with just one week to go. The Benelux club driver leads Schnieders by 14 points and with Schneiders gaining 21 points this week, it goes to show that no lead is safe – even with a drop week to be factored-in after the completion of the final round of racing! Kaique Piropo is third in the standings with Sullivan2 not far behind. Ferraz is just seven points out of fourth overall while Holm sits a single point out of a top five spot. Mitchell Boulton, Dan Rasch, Graham and Ossadtchikh complete the top ten in the standings.
The field now heads back to Lime Rock Park for fourth and final round of the NVIDIA Cup for 2011 Season 2c. Schneiders is on a hot-streak, but it is Coomans’ title to lose. Could Piropo up end the top two or could Sullivan2 or Ferraz pull off an incredible upset in the final week? Be here in seven days to find out who will reign as the 2011 Season 2c champ of the NVIDIA Cup!
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!