Watkins Glen International routinely hosts some of the greatest and hardest racing one can find. As such, Week 3 of the iRacing.com V8 Supercars Series at The Glen was no different. With intense sim racing, no room for mistakes and even some post-race controversy, it proved to be one for the record books and the highlight reel.
With a time of 1:06.816, Ian Ford of the newly formed Evolution Racing Australia took pole position in front of his teammate and defending champion, Beau Cubis. Jarrad Filsell and Paul Gallen completed the second row of the starting grid with Beau Cattell of ANZ Motorsports completing the top-five.
As the lights turned green, Ford was swamped by Cubis and Filsell as the field reached Turn 1. Cubis emerged in the lead with Filsell and Ford in pursuit. Cubis’s lead was cut short, however, as Filsell made a succssful move on the inside on Turn 1 at the start of Lap 3.
Gallen, who started in fourth, squandered his excellent starting position with a very late start. This costly mistake allowed a total of six cars to slip past him by Turn 1. Although he eventually fell as far back as thirteenth, Gallen would go on to finish in eleventh.
On The Move
Getting things started-off right was Michael Schreyer of Synergy Sim-Racing. Although he started in eighth, Schreyer found himself in the top-five by the end of the first lap. While on the move, Schreyer also registered the fastest lap of the race with a 1:07.170.
Other drivers who were able to pick up a few positions at the start of the race were Michael Fulcher of Kamikaze Racing Team (KRT) as well as James McKnight of SDC Motorsports.
To say it was a close-quarters race would be an understatement. With the draft coming into play heavily, there was at one point a nine-car train behind the leader. Although the drivers found themselves flat-out for the majority of the race, some quickly discovered that the slightest mistake could be costly . . . and very difficult to overcome.
Pushing the V8 Supercar to the limit is what he’s used to, however, as Cubis regained the lead from Filsell on Lap 8. At that point, Cubis punched the clock and went to work as he began opening a gap on the rest of the field.
As the lap count increased, Cubis didn’t hold back. With all of the major battles going on behind him, Cubis went on to cross the finish line for the Week 3 win with more than seven seconds in hand over his teammate, Ford, who was able to hold on to finish in second. It was a great 1-2 finish for the new Evolution Racing Australia team, now backed by Maverick Welding which is an official sponsor of Red Bull Racing Australia. Be sure to read all about this deal here!
The battle for third was still going hot as Filsell and Schreyer traded jabs for position. Coming to the final lap, Schreyer was on Filsell’s back bumper as they rode through The Esses. Taking a defensive line, Filsell moved to the right side of back straight in order to have the inside line on the next corner. Schreyer went all-in and dove for the pass on the outside of the Outer Loop. Filsell gave it all he had but Shreyer somehow made it stick and held on to the outside position. Completing the pass as they exited the corner, Schreyer went on to claim the final step of the Week 3 podium after a hard-fought battle. With Filsell coming in fourth, the top-five was rounded out by Cattell who finished where he started.
As the leaders were crossing the finish line, Fulcher, who had started in ninth, was in seventh and leading a pack into Turn 6. However, Michael Fabian, who was directly behind Fulcher, drafted-up alongside the KRT driver. What would’ve been a great final-turn battle was cut short when the two cars came together. Unfortunately for Fulcher, who took the brunt of the impact, he was sent into the grass which allowed both Fabian and McKnight to slip by.
A typically quiet and reserved Fulcher was none-too-pleased with the late race contact and made his frustrations known. As the cars crossed the finish line and drove into the run-off area by Turn 1, Fulcher slammed down the throttle and plowed into the side of Fabian.
Although iRacing does not condone intentional contact, this goes to show the level of intensity these drivers regularly face when driving these monstrous machines.
Participation continues to rise
The word is getting around that the iRacing.com V8 Supercars Series is on the rise. As community member, Brett Hender, said, the “increased participation numbers have been great to see. I (saw that) one guy has done 40+ races in three rounds! (I’ve) ever seen that in my time here with the V8SC. Hopefully the momentum can continue”.
This Australian Strength of Field (SoF) race had a strength of 3940 and was split six times. The top-five finishers from the other splits were as follows:
|Split 2/SoF 2493||Split 3/SoF 1902||Split 4/SoF 1553|
|1-Matthew Thomson||1-Brock Salmon||1-David Baxter|
|2-Todd Parkes||2-Paul Gorrell||2-Jeremiah Morton|
|3-Jason Scandolera||3-Adrian Hunter||3-James N Scanlan|
|4-Corey Preston||4-Brett Hender||4-Michael Ford|
|5-Timothy Hancock||5-Chris Sellars||5-Justin Parkinson|
|Split 5/SoF 1212||Split 6/SoF 858|
|1-Ben Runkel||1-Benjamin Syron|
|2-Tony Clarke||2-Chris Kelly|
|3-Luke Powell||3-Robert Klanke|
|4-Tony Lynch||4-Paul Rudd|
|5-Trent Gosley||5-Adrian Zele|
With three weeks down in the shortened Season 4, Cubis becomes the third different winner. Heading into Week 4, the iRacing.com V8 Supercars Series completes its final stop in the U.S. this season with a 21-lap event at the challenging Road America.
A popular motorsports location, Road America is a massive 4-mile long road course featuring 14 various turns. With its scenic ‘Kettle Bottoms’ to its daring ‘Carousel’ (which tempts you to give it more throttle than you should), Road America is an iconic racing circuit which will feature some excellent racing as the V8 Supercars rip through its corners.
Lap records are already falling as drivers have become very well aquainted with the new Holden Commodore VF. Will we see a fourth different winner here at Road America? As we officially pass the halfway mark of the iRacing.com V8 Supercars Series, the hunt for the Season 4 championship rolls on!