This weekend the 2013 iRacing.com Road Pro Series heads to the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, better known as Interlagos, for the third round of the schedule. The 10 race season will decide who will join the current crop of iRacing.com World Championship Grand Prix Series drivers to compete for cash prizes totalling more than $18,000 in the 2014 iWCGPS.
In the previous round at the virtual Watkins Glen, Aleksi Uusi-Jaakkola secured his second win of the series, giving him maximum points for the season so far. Starting from pole-position, Uusi-Jaakkola led the opening nine laps of the race around the Classic Boot circuit until Jorn Jens worked his way past. Jens had started in seventh position with a low fuel strategy, and clawed his way up the order to take the lead. By the time he headed to the pits for the first of two visits, his lead was 12 seconds. And when Uusi-Jaakkola took service 10 laps later, Jens was back in the lead, and by the same margin as before.
Then, with 15 laps remaining, Jens had to make a second visit to pit-road to take fuel, dropping him to an eventual sixth place finish and promoting Uusi-Jaakkola back to first; a position he maintained to the finish line.
Tommy Nilsson had meticulously worked his way from eighth on the grid, to second place by the end of his first stint. Once he’d taken on fuel and tyres, the Scandinavian found himself in third position, which became the runners-up spot, once Jens made his second stop. However, Riku Alatalo wasn’t going to allow Nilsson to secure the second step of the podium without a fight. Once he re-joined the track following his visit to pit lane, Alatalo was just over a second behind Nilsson. Relentlessly he remained on the second position’s tail all the way to the chequered flag, where Alatalo finished third, just six-tenths behind Nilsson.
Building on an impressive third place finish in the opening round at Spa-Francochamps, Issac Price claimed fourth position by the end of the 56 lap race. Although there was no net gain for the Brit from his starting position, the 32 points earned could prove invaluable by season’s end. Price’s top-five finish certainly proved to be a white knuckle ride, with the likes of Aleksi Elooma looming large in his mirrors. Following service, Price was nearly four seconds ahead of Elooma, but as the laps counted down, the gap shrank to just half a second. Alas for Elooma, there just wasn’t enough time to launch a final attack, and he had to settle for fifth place, but the Finn did walk away with the fastest lap of the race.
Finishing behind Jens and his ill-fated-strategy, Netherlands-based Paul Ilbrink rose from twelfth on the grid to seventh. Although in the closing stages he saw eventual eighth place finisher Alex Simpson loom ever larger in his mirrors, Ilbrink kept his cool and held-off the British sim-racer by 1.5 seconds.
Making a gain of 10 places over the course of the race was Rasmus Tali, who bested Daniel López to the flag, to take his first top-ten of the season.
As the virtual Williams-Toyota FW31s head to Brazil, Uusi-Jaakkola holds a maximum of 100 points to his name. Price on 67 points occupies second on the leader-board, five marks clear of Elooma. A further six points back is Ilbrink, who has Lopez just behind on 48.
You can find out if Uusi-Jaakkola can make it three in a row this weekend, with live coverage of the iRacing.com Road Pro Series on iRacing.com/live.
Images courtesy of Paul Ilbrink