Vive la Différence!
June 17th, 2014 by JaimeB
Much like the recent Formula One Grand Prix of Canada, iRacing’s Canadian Grand Prix was highlighted by different winners. The usual front runners were not on the podium in three of the four top splits, as the technical and risky Circuit Gilles Villeneuve separated the men from the boys. In order to win on the Island in Montreal you have to have a heavy foot and a steady hand.
Let’s recap the four top splits from Round Seven of the iRacing Road Warrior Series:
The first race of the weekend got started at 1:00 GMT Saturday and saw Aday Coba Lopez turn a hat trick by starting from pole, setting fastest lap and, most importantly, winning the race. Make that a sim racing grand slam as Lopez also led all 50 laps of the Grand Prix. Lopez was the only regular front runner to win in Canada, but I expect this to change in Round Eight when we return to closed wheel racing at Lime Rock Park. Juan Francisco Munoz Clavel took a very impressive second place, after starting third, in his first ever official start in the Williams-Toyota FW-31. Perhaps the most impressive finish was that of third place driver Matt Mead, as the champion Bandolero driver’s run to the podium began from ninth on the grid in, this, his first official race in iRacing’s virtual Formula One machine. Nathan Growden improved two spots over his sixth place start to grab the fourth place finishing spot. Rounding out the top five was Eric Winter who also improved two spots over his starting slot.
The Saturday 20:00 GMT race was dominated by experienced pilots of the Williams-Toyota FW31 and produced the closest finishhe weeken of td. Julian Rodriguez Moreno set an impressive qualifying time to start from pole but, despite his impressive qualifying pace promising pace, he would not lead a lap. Instead, the only iRacing World Championship Grand Prix driver in the field — Tommy Nilsson — would lead the first 30 laps and set the fastest lap of the race. However, it was GTros driver Samuel de la Fuente who led the remaining 20 laps and crossed the line 9.330 seconds ahead of Nilsson. Nic Thissen improved one spot from his fourth place start to claim the last step on the podium. Anton Volodin took fourth after starting sixth and the pole sitter, Moreno, rounded out the top five. This race proved that old age and treachery beats youth and exuberance. I’m not calling anyone out as old, but the podium drivers have logged many race miles in the Williams.
The Sunday 1:00 GMT race was dominated by one Andre Castro, who led flag-to-flag and set the fastest lap in completing a hat trick of his own. No doubt his real-world karting experience helped Castro in this race since a modern F1 car could be described as twitchy . . . at best. Michael L Willard was truly a Road Warrior competing in all four top splits and recording his best finish of second in this race. Jeff Heeney improved four spots to claim the last step on the podium. Kevin Binkley had quite the run from twelfth to fourth ahead of Clifton Cockrell of Texas.
The final race of the weekend was the 12:00 GMT Sunday race. This was the highest SOF race and saw the most points awarded for first place. iWCGPS regular and pole sitter Martti Pietilä led 13 laps, swapping the top spot back and forth with Paolo Muià three times. Pietilä would ultimately disconnect on Lap 38, however, handing the lead back to Muià, but not before setting the fastest lap of the weekend with a 1:15.720. Muià went on to lead a total of 37 laps and take the victory (by a whole lap) after starting second. Fourth place starter Mitchell McLeod climbed his way up to second by the end of the race, while the final step on the podium went to the sixth place starter Jarmo Väisänen. Michael L Willard scored his best points finish of the weekend in this fourth place and Diego Rancaño Boudon had an impressive run starting in sixteenth and charging up to fifth.
Join us for the next round in the virtual hills of Connecticut at the fast-paced Lime Rock Park. The Cadillac CTS-VR and KIA Optima will run in their own classes for a multiclass whirlwind of 50 laps on July 4th weekend.