If you read “New Hampshire iRacing Pro Series: Incidents ‘R Us” then you know how bad the incident situation was last week for the iRacing Pro Series Oval drivers. Luckily, this week produced what we’ll call a mixed bag of improvement.
On top of the progress the Pro Series saw this week, the “Fast Track” program announced by iRacing.com should further clean-up competition across the board as well as help prevent Pro Drivers from wrecking their way into qualifying for the iRacing Drivers World Championships (iDWC).
On to our coverage of Michigan…
Michigan – Friday, October 9th, 2009 – Round 2
The Friday running of the iRacing Pro Series managed to got-off the ground with 23 drivers and Martin Thiemt (DE-AT-CH, pole) and Jake Swanson (California, outside pole) leading the field to the green. When compared to last week, Friday’s running proved to be a huge improvement with only 89 total incidents between 23 cars (3.87 inc. per entry). Friday’s running also played witness to the first Pro Series win for Marcus Caton (Georgia). Coming off of a twelfth place finish at New Hampshire last week, Caton brought home the bacon with a win at Michigan. Caton made the pass on Tyler Hudson (Mid-South) for the lead with nine laps left and never looked back. Marcus was unavailable for comment in driver interviews.
Last week’s winner, Richard Towler (England), finished eighteenth after an eventful race.
“I had a wild moment in front of the entire field,” he said. “Congrats to Marcus.”
Thomas Hazard crossed the line in second for his fifth top five in only eight eight starts in as many weeks. Hazard was also unavailable for comment in driver interviews.
Crossing the finish line, the top 10 were Caton (316 points) with Hazard (301) just behind in second. Hudson (287) finished third, with Martin Thiemt (272) and Florian Godard (258) rounding out the top five. Jake Swanson (244) came home sixth, James Allard (229) seventh, and Thomas Lewandowski (215) eighth. Completing the top 10, Justin Trombly (201) crossed the line in ninth with Ken O’Doherty (186) just behind in tenth.
Strength of Field: 5061
Total Incidents: 89
Avg. Incidents / Entry: 3.87
Avg. Lap Time: 46.100
Caution Laps: 11
Lead Changes: 12
Cars on lead Lap: 15/23
Michigan – Sunday, October 11th, 2009 – Round 4
Sunday’s running of the iRacing Pro Series attracted 25 drivers with Greger Huttu (Scandinavia, pole) and Jim Moore (Indiana, outside pole) leading the field to the green. When compared to last week, Sunday’s running still left room for improvement with 157 total incidents between 25 cars (6.28 inc. per entry). The new “Fast Track” program should help to further clean up some of the incidents going forward.
Jayson Anderson held off the hard-charging Moore and Josh Berry to come away with his second win of the season. Similar to Friday’s race, Anderson took over the lead with nine laps to go and never looked back . . . unless looking in your mirror counts.
A late race caution and pit stops shuffled Berry back to sixth after having lead 81 laps prior. The race went green with nine to go, but Anderson got a great start, jumping out to about a 1.5 second lead and eventually took the flag half a second clear of Moore while Berry managed to work his way back to third. Moore thus solidified his place in the top 50 (twenty fourth), while Berry came home a disappointing third after a poor pit stop and having lead 81 laps and now lies eighth in the points. Berry was unavailable for comment in driver interviews.
As they crossed the line, the top 10 were Anderson (276 points) with Moore (264) just behind in second. Berry (253) finished third, followed by Kirk Hapke (241) in fourth and Dana Wymer (230) in fifth. Jim Christopherson (218) came home sixth from Brandan Gray (207) and Huttu (195), while Darrell McKee (184) and Darwin Meints (172) completed the top ten.
Strength of Field: 4421
Total Incidents: 157
Avg. Incidents / Entry: 6.28
Avg. Lap Time: 55.046
Caution Laps: 28
Lead Changes: 8
Cars on lead Lap: 19/25
*** Notice to all Pro Drivers – If you would like better, more detailed, and colorful coverage, please be sure to go to the pro forums and fill out as many of the driver interview questions as possible. This helps to provide information for these articles and provides an easy way for the authors/editors to collect quotes and perspective for each race as they are run. The sooner you can post your interview answers, the better. We want EMOTION!