Week Nine brought the iRacing.com Skip Barber Series to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, located in Monterey, California, USA. The eleven turn, 2.238 mile (3.602 km) track challenged sim-racers with the tight circuit surrounded by sand as far as the eye can see. This circuit is among Oran Raceway Park the base content available to iRacing.com members, naturally bringing more entrants as it made a good week for rookies to wet their feet in the series. This made for lapped cars in almost every race, adding yet another element to the racing. This week we saw 949 drivers take part in an online race, 411 place a qualifying lap, and 202 complete a time trial — nearly double the amount we saw last week at Oran Park Raceway.
Tommaso Carla (Italy) led the way once again in the week’s standings, scoring 202 points in the 3510 SOF race which he started in second trailing Riku Alatalo (Finland) and picking up three incident points along the way. He pushed hard, scoring the fastest lap of the race, but it was not enough as he came to the line 1.423s behind. These two dominated the field as the third place car was 8.003s behind at the stripe. Tommaso also competed in three other races throughout the week, one resulting in a DNF, one where he finished seventh with unknown issues and the other a marginal victory.
George Streetley (England) was next in the week’s standings, scoring 197 points in the 3179 SOF race which he started from second position behind Tommaso Carla. George took the lead on lap one, and never looked back bringing home the victory by 10.235 seconds and only one incident point. George competed in three other races throughout the week, one of which he took home the victory and the other two he ran second to our very own, Kenneth O’Keefe (Canada). We had a chance to catch up with George, where he commented on his race and the track in general.
“Laguna is one of my favourite tracks to drive in this car. You have to be incredibly smooth on the throttle due to the slippery surface,” he explained. “I was finally able to find a good SOF on my fourth and final race of the weekend. Starting second on the grid behind Tommaso, I noticed he was unsettled before the race with connection issues. On Lap One I got a good run off the uphill left-hander, getting alongside Tommaso and managed to pressure him into a mistake at the Corkscrew. A few people behind me got black flags there, so I was able to pull away and bring it home for the win.”
“Laguna is one of my favourite tracks to drive in this car. You have to be incredibly smooth on the throttle due to the slippery surface.” — George Streetley
Norbert Sulzer (DE-AT-CH) was next in the week’s standings, scoring 188 points in the 3379 SOF race which he started from the outside front row, second to Kenneth O’Keefe. Norbert brought it home in the second position, 12.960 seconds behind the leader, with only three incident points. This was Norbert’s only race of the week.
The remainder of the top ten for Week 9 at Laguna Seca include, Ramon Sprecher (DE-AT-CH), Emmanuel Menendez (California), Riku Alatalo (Finland), Paul F Grillo (Celtic), Amjed Yamin (Texas), Kenneth O’Keefe (Eastern Canada), and Alain Tessier (France).
The overall standings now show Norbert Sulzer (DE-AT-CH) as the leader with 1400 points. This did not change from last week as we are now on week 9 and drop weeks have come into play, meaning Norbert dropped his points from this week and his total was not affected. We have Luca Zanetti (Italy) and Kevin Vaughn (Texas) still in second and third, also with their point totals not affected this week at Laguna. Ramon Sprecher (DE-AT-CH) has now moved into fourth place and is one to watch as he only has seven weeks counted and is definitely in grasp of the title. Paul F Grillo (Celtic) is fifth overall, followed by Ermanno Palumbo2 (Italy), Victor Nandez (Italy), Riku Alatalo (Finland), George Streetley (England), and Paul Ezerski (Midwest) to complete the top ten.
Next week we will head to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, located in Lexington, Ohio, USA. The 2.25 mile (3.62 km) circuit will showcase two long straights separated by a hairpin corner to begin the lap, heading into a tight section with huge elevation changes – a lot like Oran Raceway Park which we visited on Week 8. Personally, I love this circuit, so watch out for me on the track and check back here next week for more coverage of the iRacing.com Skip Barber Series.
Also keep your eyes on inRacingNews.com for updates on other series throughout the service, and many other informational articles to please the interest of any race fan!