Sebring International Raceway hosted the third round of the TWRR Championship series. Former TWFS ace Michael Hohenauner made a show this weekend capturing the pole, almost four tenths ahead of Petteri Kotovaara and a whole second on Rik Walker.
Newcomer Bogdan Cosofret occupied the fourth spot on the grid. A total of 19 drivers took part in this round. Notable no-shows were Adam Atherton, Maurizio Solinas, Fulvio Policardi, Ben Daniels, Mike Kadlcak, Patrick Bolster and Antonio Wojahn.
Michael had a good start not giving Petteri any chances for a challenge. Further back, Baz had issues with his controls and managed to get his car quite sideways after the green lights lit up. Rouke being caught by surprise, couldn't avoid him and had slight contact. The front of the field managed contact-less through the first turns. Baz fighting his car, had a couple more apparent contacts with Mario Koppius. There did not appear any physical contact on the replay, so we can only draw the conclusion that there was some phantom forces involved. Later on in turn 13 Rouke took a very early apex, putting his car deep on the curbs and spun into the middle of the track. Ray could not avoid and made some contact with Rouke. Further at the front, as the leaders are approaching the completion of lap 1, Rik Walker gets out of shape over the hated irregularities of turn 17, and hits the inside wall just before the apex. Unfortunately for Rik it was quite a dangerous spot to be stopped. No room to maneuver, so he was forced to wait for the field to go by. Eventually he decided to call in the tow truck and get a fresh car in the pits. Jon Guest pulls off a nice pass on Mario Koppius going into turn 17 to take P13 at the start of lap 2. Unfortunately just a lap later on the back stretch, Jon spins the car and Mario choosing the unfortunate evasive path, makes contact at full speed sending Jon's car flipping through the air. Both drivers are forced to call in the fast tow truck at this point.
Meanwhile a few battles develop. Georg puts pressure on Bob Brodeur and further up the field is the battle for 4th position between Mario Wojahn and the points leader Szabó Tamás. The battle gets heated when on lap 3 in turn 10 Mario goes slightly too wide. Szabó misjudges Mario's exit speed and sends Mario into a spin only to T-bone him a few fractions of a second later. Carlos gets involved as well, sending Szabó into the air and giving Mario a slight shove just off the track. Mario is able to continue, but then decides it to be safer calling in the tow truck. Szabó pulls the car over on the same lap before turn 17 and throws the towel forfeiting valuable championship points. Returning to the battle between Georg and Bob. Bob gets held up for a split second by Carlos Delgado, giving Georg the opportunity to take 6th position. Exiting turn 1 on the next lap Georg manages to take 5th place from Carlos. As it turns out a lap later, all this was for nothing. In turn 13, Georg loops it, allowing both Carlos and Bob to squeeze by. Georg rejoins ahead of Leo.
On lap 8, Georg is then caught out by Carlos who spins in T17 and very dangerously rejoins the track. Carlos forces Bob very wide and almost off track to avoid him. Georg isn't as fortunate, hits Carlos and is forced through the pits at a very high speed. Georg tries to slow down but has no chance so he just decides to go through as fast as possible. Of course this resulted in a speeding penalty which he served the very next time by. This costs Georg many many places, and eventually comes out in 14th behind Carlos.
On lap 10, the Big Bend victimized 2nd place Petteri Kotovaara hitting the inside wall after a greedy exit out of turn 5. Once again Petteri throws the towel without calling for the tow truck. This is his 2nd DNF in just 3 races. This gives leader Michael great breathing room over Bogdan.
Someone exciting and maybe frustrating race was developing for Baz. Most of his excitement came from battles with Rouke. On lap 11 Baz goes around Rouke in the Big Bend. In Turn 17 he gave Rouke a chance to get the position back, but Rouke could not capitalize. Baz does give the position away moments later when he puts the power down too much and goes off track. Rouke has no trouble flying by.
The remainder of the race was conservative, many drivers have by now settled into their positions. The challenge at Sebring was mostly handling the light and stiff race cars over the bumps. Turn 17 had a few victims, Rik Walker, Carlos Delgado and Jon Guest being a few of them. Noteworthy mentions are the excellent jobs both Ray Walton and Anthony Mattaliano have done by driving almost without major mistakes. Ray managed to finish on the lead lap and scored his first top 10 finish. Anthony also drove a good race until on lap 16 he had a slight off in turn 2, saving the car from damage. Unfortunately two more small mistakes on the last lap have cost Anthony the 11th place when Mario Wojahn just got by before the checkered flag.
Congratulations to Michael Hohenauer for his first TWRR win. So far we've had three different pole sitters and three different winners this season. Michael was the first to lead the race from green to checker.
|12||Rouke Van Der Hoek||1:59.897||-04.232|
|Pos||(Grid)||Driver||Laps||Led||Gap||Average Lap Time||Fastest Lap Time||Incidents||Points|
|10||(7)||Carlos Delgado||17||0||-1 L||2:00.517||1:58.424||10||11|
|11||(5)||Mario Wojahn||17||0||-1 L||2:02.059||1:59.022||5||10|
|12||(17)||Anthony Mattaliano||17||0||-1 L||2:06.860||2:00.681||9||9|
|13||(11)||Barry West||17||0||-1 L||2:02.799||2:00.294||3||8|
|14||(9)||Georg Naujoks||17||0||-1 L||2:01.209||2:00.039||7||7|
|15||(12)||Rouke Van Der Hoek||17||0||-1 L||2:03.068||2:01.092||8||6|
|16||(18)||Mario Koppius||16||0||-2 L||2:08.310||2:04.793||8||5|
|17||(20)||Jon Guest||16||0||-2 L||2:08.246||2:03.613||10||4|
|18||(2)||Petteri Kotovaara||9||0||-9 L||1:57.840||1:56.636||6||3|
|19||(6)||Szabó Tamás||4||0||-14 L||2:01.299||1:58.859||4||2|
Fastest Lap: Michael Hohenauer, 1:56.358
Highest Climber: Leo Landman, 9 positions gained
Driver of the day award: Ray Walton
Once again the choice here was very hard to make. Many drivers displayed attributes for this award. Rik Walker coming back from a mishap on lap 1. Keith Lawrie after a very early spin on Lap 1 running clean as well all the way to 6th. The likes of Baz, Jon and Mario to hang in there despite of a handful of misfortunes, or Leo Landman for running (officially) the hard charger race gaining 9 positions. But in the end Ray edged out the nomination by running a smart race, staying safe and finishing in the top 10 (out of 19) for the first time this season.
Link to official iRacing results is here.
Next Sunday brings us the 4th round of the TWRR championship at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It's still not too late to register if you haven't already done so. Only the best 9 of the 12 races run by each driver will be counted towards the championship - so there still is time to join the action and score valuable points!
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Last Updated (Saturday, 29 May 2010 20:15)
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