February 10th, 2017 by Paul Malokas
The Skip Barber 2k World Cup was back in action at Interlagos for the fourth race of the season. Coming off a doubleheader at Road America, Paul Malokas had taken a slight lead in the championship, with Enzo Canta following closely behind. However, championship contenders Canta and Vinicius Rocha would have to start the race from pit lane due to penalties from the previous race. This would shake up the championship standing and set the stage for a dramatic race.
Interlagos is a track that enables very close and competitive sim racing, so qualifying towards the front is important. Arjan de Vreede set the pace early on lap one, but would be topped by both Rocha and Benny Simonsen. The second lap saw Malokas jump to the top of the leaderboard with a 1:50.211. Rocha was a very close second just 0.004 behind Malokas. De Vreede, Fahim Antoniades and Brian Doell rounded out the top five. However, with Rocha starting from the pits, Simonsen would move up and start in fifth position.
With four sim racers having been eliminated, the 55 car field took to the grid. The race got off to a clean start with Malokas taking the lead through the first lap. De Vreede took the lead down the front straight to start the second lap. They opened a small gap from the second pack of Simonsen, Doell, Antoniades, Philippe Leybaert, Francois Boulianne and Rodrigo Duran. Simonsen closed down the gap to the two leaders and then overtook Malokas to move into second. Behind them a gap was opening between the top five and the rest of the field.
The top five then stayed in line with only small changes while they widened the gap leading into the pit window. Leybaert started the pit stops by pulling out of the front group on lap 10. He had a clean stop and came out into a gap in the field. De Vreede and Simonsen were next to pit on lap 13. Doell and Malokas stayed out for an extra lap after extending the pit window. De Vreede and Simonsen came out together, but had lost two seconds to Leybaert. Malokas led Doell out of the pits and came out one second behind Leybeart, with Doell coming out at the front of the de Vreede and Simonsen group. Malokas closed the gap to Laybaert over the next lap to set up a race between the two leaders and the second pack, just 1.6 seconds behind.
Over the next few laps, Leybaert and Malokas extended their lead to three seconds over the second pack, as de Vreede and Simonsen struggled to work together to close the gap. Leybaert was turning very consistent laps with Malokas sitting in his slipstream. Behind the two lead packs, Duran, Boulianne, Tuan Tran, Antoniades, Greg Seitz and Johnny Guindi were fighting for the final places in the top ten.
Going into the last lap, Leybaert and Malokas maintained their lead of three seconds over the group of de Vreede, Simonsen and Doell. Malokas was glued to the back of Leybaert through the infield sectors and was well positioned going into the final corner. Both Laybaert and Malokas went wide on the exit of the corner, with Laybaert getting slightly loose after touching the grass. This gave Malokas a good run down the straight. Malokas then looked to the inside before switching lanes in an attempt to complete the pass on the outside. This gave Leybaert enough to hold on to the lead and take the win at the line. De Vreede and Doell battled each other in the final corner to allow Simonsen to take third. De Vreede and Doell followed him home in a very close fourth and fifth place. Duran and Boulianne each finished by themselves in sixth and seventh place. Seitz, Guindi and Tran battled to the line with Seitz taking the battle for eighth. Guindi held on to ninth and Tran rounded out the top ten.
With his second place finish, Malokas extends his lead in the championship to 27 points over Leybaert who moved up several places with the win. De Vreede also moved up to a close third place, with Canta dropping down to fourth place. The championship now moves on to New Hampshire on February 19th. This race will feature a first for the 2k Cup, an Oval-Road doubleheader.
|4||Arjan de Vreede||-3.387||49|
|19||Collin van Raam||-35.356||22|
|26||Casey J Seymour||-58.272||15|
|36||Kane Lasky2||-1 L||5|
|37||Andrew Carroll2||-1 L||4|
|38||Phil Kirby||-1 L||3|
|39||Rob Adams||-1 L||2|
|40||David Kalb||-1 L||1|
|41||Seymour Harding||-1 L||0|
|42||Ari Härö||-1 L||0|
|43||Bastiaan Huisman||-3 L||0|
|44||Matt Dafoe||-4 L||0|
|45||Mick Watson||-5 L||0|
|46||Vinicius Rocha||-5 L||4|
|47||Dennis Johansen||-7 L||0|
|48||Stephen Stoyles||-8 L||0|
|49||Andrew Procario||-15 L||0|
|50||Michiel C.D.J. Koorn||-16 L||0|
|51||John Ehlers||-16 L||0|
|52||Tom Ward||-21 L||0|
|53||Jon Sully||-21 L||0|
|54||Ronan Griffin||-21 L||0|
|55||Mike McCormick||-22 L||0|
|3||Arjan de Vreede||117|
|25||Collin van Raam||57|
|30||Casey J Seymour||52|