After a dramatic race at Road Atlanta, the Skip Barber 2k World Cup moved on to Virginia International Raceway this past weekend. The racers were facing the daunting Grand West layout with its 26 turns and an almost three minute lap time. Philippe Leybaert had a commanding lead entering the race.
Complete standings and results can be found at http://2kworldcup.com/.
With the challenging layout and a four mile lap just getting a clean lap in was a challenge. However, Mikko Nassi set the early pace with a 2:53.362 first lap. Leybaert was second fast 0.723 behind and Paul Grillo was in third 0.924 behind. For the critical second lap, Nassi improved his time to 2:53.211 and capture pole. Leybaert also improved his time but was only about to close the gap to 0.500. Grillo did not improve his time, but was able to hold on to third place, 1.075 behind. Paul Malokas and Arjan de Vreede rounded out the top five. Johnny Guindi, Brian Doell, Frank Winter, Thierry Rensen and Daniel Schwonek rounded out the top ten. The challenging layout spread out much more than typical. Almost four seconds covered the field, where it is more typically about two seconds.
The whole field got a way cleanly with Nassi and Leybaert getting good enough starts to not be challenged in turn one. However, Grillo and Malokas fought through the first few corners before Malokas came out ahead. At the back of the top ten there was a big pile up entering turn three. This created a split containing the top seven racers. Behind them was a gap to another large group.
The field began to split further in the next few laps. Nassi and Leybaert were able to gap Malokas, who had fallen back into a group with de Vreede. However, Leybaert then spun and lost quite a few places. This left Nassi alone at the front with de Vreede in second, Malokas in third and Grillo in fourth. Behind them was a group containing Winter, Peter Classon, Doell, Leybaert and Fahim Antoniades.
Leading into the pit stops, Nassi continued to run away from the field and was leading by six seconds. De Vreede came out of the stops clear in second place and Malokas came out in third. However, Leybaert had come through his group and had an excellent pit stop to close most of the gap to Malokas. Behind Leybaert, Winter had also moved ahead of the group and was just clear of a group containing Grillo, Doell and Classon. Antoniades and Aurelien Bonnet were fighting for the final two places in the top ten.
In the closing laps Nassi continued to expand his lead and finished off a commanding win. De Vreede also closed well to finish well clear of the rest of the field. Malokas and Leybaert battled hard to the finish with Leybaert getting past with a few laps remaining and then defending well all the way to the finish and take the final position on the podium. Malokas finished in fourth. Positions 5-7 were Winter, Doell and Classon after a close three way battle for the entire second half of the race. Bonnet finished with Nocolas Landau in eighth and ninth. Duncan Coppedge took the final place in the top ten.
With the win Nassi adds some intrigue to the championship standings. With two wins bug three poor results he keeps his championship hopes alive. However, he has only a small margin of error in the remaining races if he wants to challenge Leybaert. With his third place finish, Leybaert extends his lead over second place is now 36 points clear of second place. He has also finished consistently well which will give him more room for poor races later in the season. Malokas moved into second place with his fourth place finish. de Vreede and Doell round out the top five.
|2||Arjan de Vreede||-13.593||46|
|12||Paul F Grillo||-56.251||25|
|18||Daniel Nogueras Carceller||-00:01:03.22||15|
|25||Fahim Antoniades||-2 L||0|
|26||Daniel Schwonek||-4 L||0|
|27||Tuan Tran||-4 L||0|
|28||Francesco Maggi2||-7 L||0|
|29||Johnny Guindi||-10 L||0|
|30||Mick Watson||-14 L||0|
|4||Arjan de Vreede||113|
|7||Paul F Grillo||97|
|23||Collin van Raam||56|