The CTC has finally reached the last week of official racing. Australia’s Phillip Island is the last stage and will finally define who’s the winner and who’s not. Until now, 244 simracers have taken part in some race or all of them, through Season 3, showing a good number of participants for the Classic series, even bigger than Season 2 (195) and Season 2 (222). But, between the 244 members of iRacing that decided to take the challenge this season, only 53 of them already completed the eight weeks necessary to fight for the championship and 14 more are about to fulfill that, having raced for seven weeks.
One of these simracers with 7 weeks already done is Andrea Ventura, who represents Tyrrell Racing for the second consecutive season. Ventura started 19 races through the season, won five of them and managed to get 1151 points. But with one more week to go, he’s out of chances to be a contender for the championship. Despite this fact, Ventura achieved a milestone that many CTC regulars aim for: Winning a SoF race on Sunday. And he did it in great fashion, because he won at one of the most difficult tracks of the season: Bathurst.
Ventura started the race on third place, sharing the second row with Michel Dudognon (fifth on the overall points standings), behind Mattias Anreus (fourth on the overall points stadings) and the race pole winner, Tapani Linnaluoto, who is fighting for the champion title, in second place on the standings. Before completing Lap One, Ventura was leading the race, ahead of Linnaluoto and Dudognon. Anreus had crashed after a driving mistake on the first turn of the race. After a great start, the Tyrrell representantive took his blue and white car to the finish line leading all the rest of the race, climbing on the podium with Kalle Ruokola (second) and Bill Fraser (third).
Gernot Fritsche, the leading driver of Lotus JPS, who also leads the overall championship, had not raced on that day at Bathurst, but would be present for Week 10 at Circuit Park Zandvoort. One of the most historic racetracks of the season, Zandvoort was the stage for a new victory for the black and gold car. After a fight against pole sitter Linnaluoto, Fritsche managed to take home precious points that would place him on the top of the charts, leaving Linnaluoto behind. On the podium with Fritche and Linnaluoto was Ruokola, who came third keeping his starting position.
The Ferrarista, Linnaluoto, made his return to the victory lane the following week at Oulton Park. With two weeks to go, the SoF race had Dudognon on the pole alongside Linnaluoto and ahead of Fritsche and Anreus on Row Two. Dudognon would lose his lead on Lap Two, on a skilled maneuver by the driver on the red car, at Knickerbrook corner. After that, Linnaluoto kept the lead, increasing the gap to Dudognon lap after lap, to win the race. Dudognon finished second and Fristche also climbed the podium, on third place.
Classic Lotus Grand Prix is to be settled between Fritsche (1794 points) vs. Linnaluoto (1753 points). They lead the overall and Division 1 championship. Division 2 is also a close call between Marcel Penzkofer (1311 points) and Richard Walker (1285 points). On the Constructor’s Championship, Ferrari, Godfrey Bilton, Lotus JPS and Brabham can still fight for the title, but the winning team is more likely to be either Ferrari, Godfrey Bilton or Lotus JPS, since Brabham is a bit behind on points and would need more than just to do their best at Phillip Island.
As for the other division, we have a duel between Mark Pickford and Mark Fisher for the Division 3 championship, and another one on Division 4, between Ryan Williams and Mark Winfield. Division 5 already has its champion, PJ Gaudie but Division 6 is yet to be decided between Jeff Sparks and Matthew Schwan. Division 7 is going to be decided for either Germano Cervini or Krzysztof Olszewicz.
Division 8 champion is Lukasz Kurek, Division 9 champion is Dario Ricov and Division 10 champion is Craig Fuller.