Seven More Clubs Punch their Ticket to the World Cup Tournament
Last weekend saw the second round of qualifying for the 2013 iRacing World Cup, with iRacers representing clubs around the globe taking to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in their Chevy Silverados and the Suzuka Circuit in their Dallara IndyCars. At stake was the opportunity for the clubs to race their way into the World Cup tournament and the chance to dethrone three-time World Cup champions DE-AT-CH.
During the first round of qualifying in July, DE-AT-CH were amongst seven teams to book their places in the Finals. The question last weekend was who would join them?
In Round One, five of the seven qualifiers were teams from around the globe, with only two spots going to North American teams (New York and Northwest). Would the American clubs fare better in Round Two?
In what would just be fun (aka “unofficial”) races, few of the already qualified teams put in an effort to race in Round 2. Thus the majority of the sim-racing was left to the teams that still needed to earn a berth in the World Cup tournament itself.
Australia/New Zealand jumped out to an early lead by picking up significant points in the opening race. That lead would be short-lived as, by the time we got to Race Three, Texas and Virginias had grabbed the top two spots and would duke it out from there.
The Club Iberia also established their presence early, riding the back of Daniel López who grabbed overall honors by scoring a win and 40 points on the road side at Suzuka while bringing home a more than respectable 33 points on LVMS oval. That effort left the Iberian club as the fifth-placed team of those who hadn’t qualified and they thus, deservedly, booked their place in the finals.
The remaining six spots would all go to American clubs. Florida and California were solidly in the top seven all day and qualified with relative ease. Florida nearly filled-out a full scorecard and had really good top to bottom balance as Chad Holmes, Andy Frame and Darren Jump all scored over 60 points.
For Team West and Carolina their spots in the Tournament were not assured until after sixth and final race of the day. Carolina had to pass Italia in the finale and got the job done, but they almost didn’t survive a surging Mid-South Club who came up just short in their bid.
In the end Virginias had enough to hold off Texas for the win as Captain Rob Kodey scored 72 points on the day. It was a fun battle to watch and both teams have shown they intend to go far in the Cup competition that now includes Round One qualifiers Brasil, DE-AT-CH, Finland, Australia/NZ, New York, UK/Ireland and Northwest along with Round Two qualifiers Virginias, Texas, Florida, California, Iberia, Team West and Carolina.
So with 14 teams now qualified the attention will turn to the smaller teams. In the past many members of those clubs struggled with the old format. But with the new format, a few dedicated members of any of those clubs can make the difference and qualify for the pinnacle of iRacing’s club system. We’ll see who makes that difference when the third and final chance to qualify for the World Cup comes on January 5th.