Summit Point Raceway is an unbelievably technical, fun and fast racetrack built in the Shenandoah hills of West Virginia, just north of the state border. The race is stretched to about 19 laps in the regular 25 minutes given. With ten turns, distinct elevation changes and 1.98 miles of racing room, the iRacing Grand Touring Cup series drivers had their hands full at Summit Point in Week Five.
The Solstice class had a familiar leader up front in points as Joni Hagner scored 157 points, winning seven of the eight races Hagner entered for Week Five. The iRacer from Finland registered a combined 30 incidents during the course of the week and placed sixth on the time charts with a 1:24.455. Dmitry Uglov (Central-Eastern Europe) won the pole in his Solstice with a quick time of 1:23.785 around Summit Point’s twists and turns. Uglov placed 15th for the week, scoring 100 points in one race in which he won. Chris Hughson (New York) finished just one point behind Hagner for the week, but unlike Hagner, Hughson entered only one race, starting second but taking the win leading 18 laps and registering just one incident.
Jan Coomans (Benelux) ran a Mazda MX-5 in The Grand Touring Cup for the first time this season during Week Five and scored the most points (198) in three races. Coomans won two of the three races and finished sixth in class in the third race. Mazda season points leader Kenville Inniss scored second for Week Five with 173 points out of three starts. Behind Inniss in points for the week is Evan Maillard (France). Maillard made his second start of the season in the Grand Touring Cup (One race at Brands Hatch). Starting second and eventually winning the race, Maillard had little competition as he drove away from the rest of the Mazda field, beating his class by 23 seconds. Pole in the Mazda class belonged to Coomans who ran a 1:22.994 followed closely by Inniss and Maillard, each running a low 23 second lap.
One of the Grand Touring Cup series’ most successful driver so far this season, Alexandru Raileanu, led Week Five points in the VW Jetta TDi class. Raileanu earned 221 championship points at Summit Point in one race against another successful iRacer, Kevin Parrish (Indiana). In that race, Parrish led 16 laps but only to finish second to Raileanu who led a total of three laps to take home the victory. Following Raileanu in points for the week are Marco Luca Abbate (Italy), Parrish, Antoine Higelin (France) and Mika T Savonen (Finland) in fifth. Higelin, who placed fourth in points for Week Five, made his debut to the series, running one race. Higelin registered just two incidents in the race and ran the fastest lap time.
Raileanu was not only on top in points but also ran the fastest lap time for the week, being the only one to break into the 21 second lap times. Raileanu won the pole at Summit Point with a 1:21.845 while Abbate, Savonen, Jonathan Cyr (Eastern Canada) and Parrish follow on the time charts for Week Five.
After the racing was all said and done, The Grand Touring Cup series takes a trip south to a place known as NASCAR’s backyard: Charlotte, North Carolina. Touring cars will race around Charlotte Motor Speedway, but not the famed oval configuration. That’s right; Charlotte has a twisty road course that cuts through the infield and back onto the 24 degrees of banking on the main oval corners. As the tight draft and treacherous twists are an interesting combination, the racing it will create will without a doubt be even more astonishing.