October 5th, 2015 by JaimeB
After kicking-off the new season with a visit to an oval last week, the Skip Barber 2k World Cup moved on to more familiar terrain Sunday. The race was contested a Lime Rock Park. The expected contenders for the championship did not fair well at the oval, so this was a week where they were all looking forward to regaining their accustomed places atop the order. A strong field of 34 started, but defending champion Richard Avery did not participate for the second consecutive week. It is looking like he has chosen not to defend his title.
Standings, results and links to video replays can be found at http://2kworldcup.com/.
Qualifying at Lime Rock is over in a flash. With the short lap the field is usually very tightly bunched and a small mistake can cost you a lot of places. Philippe Leybaert got off to a great start with a 58.193s on his first lap. He was followed by Clark Williams and Greg Seitz. On the second lap, Leybaert improved his time and took pole position with a 58.129s. Williams and Seitz were not able to improve their times, but their initial laps were enough to keep them in second and third positions. They were followed in the top ten by Fahim Antoniades, Luis Quintela, Christopher Chrome, Tuan Tran, Aurelien Bonnet, Paul Grillo and Thibault Soubeyrand. The entire field was within 1.04 seconds of pole position.
The whole field was able to get away to a clean start; however by the exit of Turn 2 there was a big accident in the back of the top 10. At the end of the first lap Antoniades went off into the wall and the lead pack was now down to nine sim racers before a big gap to the rest of the field. Williams applied pressure on Leybaert through the first laps of the race but was unable to get past. Behind them Seitz, Quintela and Tran all maintained order through the first part of the race. However, by lap 15 Leybaert was pulling away from Williams and had just about broken the draft. Behind them, Seitz, Quintela and Tran started to battle amongst themselves and a gap opened to Williams and Leybaert. Following this group was another small gap had opened to a group containing, Grillo, Arjan deVreede, Chrome and Bonnet.
Quintela was the first to pit at the end of lap 17. Seitz was next to pit at the end of lap 22, but a slow stop cost him a couple of seconds. During this period Leybaert had increased his lead to 3.5s and Williams had also gapped the other and had 2.3s to the next car. Behind them the rest of the group had come back together. Leybaert and almost all the rest of the leaders pitted on lap 25. Leybaert had a good stop and maintained his gap to Williams with Quintela coming through into third position followed by Grillo. Behind them was a gap to Bonnet and deVreede then another gap back to Seitz, Tran, Chrome and Frank Winter.
After the pitstops, Leybaert continued to pull away from everyone else and would go on to win in dominating fashion, finishing 11 seconds clear of the field. In his wake, Williams had been caught be the group behind and had a fantastic battle with Grillo for second and third places. Grillo made multiple attempts to go around the outside through Big Bend, but Williams defended perfectly and finished just ahead. Behind them deVreede had gapped Bonnet and came home comfortably in fourth. Bonnet was overtaken by Seitz and they finished in fifth and sixth, followed closely by Tran, Chrome and Quintela. Colin van Raam finished in tenth place after Winter fell back in the field.
Leybaert’s victory moves him to the lead of the championship and positions him well going forward. Yann Laprevotte and Brian Doell are following in second and third. Other expected competitors have struggled early in the season and will have to make up ground moving forward.
|2||Clarke Williams||UK and I||-11.605||45|
|3||Paul F Grillo||UK and I||-11.665||42|
|4||Arjan de Vreede||Benelux||-12.221||39|
|6||Aurelien Bonnet||New York||-15.152||34|
|10||Collin van Raam||Benelux||-26.956||26|
|12||Barry Morrison||UK and I||-30.265||22|
|17||José Manuel Esteban||Iberia||-36.602||16|
|26||Thibault Soubeyrand||UK and I||-55.104||5|
|28||Rich Jones||UK and I||-1 L||5|
|29||David Stefanini||Italy||-1 L||0|
|30||Ryan Devlin||New England||-12 L||3|
|31||Ricardo Faria||Iberia||-12 L||0|
|32||Fahim Antoniades||UK and I||-36 L||0|
|33||Matt Dafoe||Canada||-40 L||0|
|34||Mike McCormick||Texas||-40 L||0|
|5||Paul F Grillo||42||42|
|7||Arjan de Vreede||49||39|
|20||Collin van Raam||50||26|
|28||José Manuel Esteban||16||16|