The iRacing.com V8 Supercars Series always seems to have its fair share of sim-racing excitement and this week was no different. As the series takes us to Georgia for Week 3 at the roller-coaster called Road Atlanta, the Australian top split drivers had their hands full for 24 laps at the twisting circuit. Most of the sim-racers had a great start but from the drop of the green flag, it was Richard Hamstead and Jarrad Filsell who quickly jumped ahead from the rest of the pack. Hamstead started on the pole with a 1:20.541 (edging out Filsell by a mere .003 seconds), and he proved to be quite the defensive driver by not giving Filsell any chances to pass…save one. Filsell’s chance came late on Lap 16 when he made a brave dive down the inside as the two came down the hill from the long straightaway leading to Turn 10.
Seeing his chance to take control of the online race, Filsell pounced and was able to put the pressure on Hamstead. Although they were now side-by-side, Hamstead wasn’t buying it. Pulling out the big guns, Hamstead stood his ground against the challenging Filsell as the two exchanged punches and counterpunches through the sharp left and right of Turn 10. After receiving a sharp jab from Hamstead, Filsell seemed to lose momentum and couldn’t complete the pass in time for the right hand Turn 12. Maintaining optimal track position, Hamstead laid claim to the right side of the track as they entered the final right hand turn of Lap 16 which forced Filsell to tuck back in behind. Although Filsell gave it one final go down the front stretch on the last lap, it wasn’t enough to stop Hamstead from claiming the Week 3 win by a margin of less than .2 seconds.
With the first two steps on the podium occupied, the race for the final step came down to the last few corners. It was a four car contest as Leigh Ellis, Beau Cattell, Shaun Kelly and Dean O’Brien were all within striking distance of each other. As they raced down the straightaway leading to Turn 10, Cattell attempted to make a dive down the inside of Ellis, who wisely covered down with the block. This forced Cattell back to the outside and on the wrong side of the track. With Cattell unable to complete the pass, Ellis had the run he needed to secure a podium position as Cattell, Kelly and O’Brien finished within .25 seconds of each other respectively.
This Australian Strength of Field (SoF) race had a strength of 4025 and was split 4 times. Here are the winners from the other races:
Second Split (SoF 2219)
1: Andrew Greene
2: Jason Brunton
3: Lance Perkins
Third Split (SoF 1664)
1: Rhys Goldfinch
2: David Nenadic
3: Tony Clarke
Fourth Split (SoF 1079)
1: Andrew Williams
2: Shane Best
3: Scott Pardy
This week definitely shakes up the leaderboard. With the Week 3 win, Hamstead takes control of the championship with 717 points as Cattell (678) and Marlon J McMullen (626) control second and third. A surprising change from last week finds defending champion, Madison Down, dropping from first to sixth in points. After failing to post a qualifying time for this week’s race — causing him to start in last place and ultimately finish in P13 — Down was only able to claim 93 points at Road Atlanta.
As we wrap up Week 3, the time has come to look ahead to next week’s battleground which takes us back to where many iRacing road racers began: Summit Point Raceway. For 42 laps, drivers will negotiate the 1.98 miles and 10 turns of this high-speed road course. Will Hamstead continue his dominance? Or will Filsell, Cattell or Down be able to halt the advance of this championship contender? Be sure to follow iRacingNews as we continue our coverage of Season 2 of the 2014 iRacing.com V8 Supercars Series!