2021 Classic Indycar: Agan wins Phillip Island thriller

agan dolinschek indycar iarcing

Ethan Agan of  Simulation Racers Council won the thrilling opening round of the 2021 Classic Indycar Series (CIS) at virtual Phillip Island.

Ethan Agan of  Simulation Racers Council won the thrilling opening round of the 2021 Classic Indycar Series (CIS) at virtual Phillip Island.

And with this setting the stage for what is going to be an intriguing contest between the new and old guard in this year’s series…

The seventh edition of CIS on iRacing got going with a couple of preseason tests, before Sunday’s race day. A host of new drivers were on the grid for the opener, taking the challenge to reigning Champion Lucas Laville of Vortex SimRacing.

Indeed it was the Champ who snatched pole with a superfast 1:12.482 lap which was 0.066 of a second up on Jamie Wilson (Team Chimera) followed by Agan, Robert Grosser (Vortex SimRacing) and two rookies Willi Schwabauer and Troy Dolinschek (SIMRACE247) – a mere three-tenths separating the fastest six in the four-lap solo qualifying.

Notably, 1.2 seconds separated the top 20 on the timing screens at the end of qualy.

2021 Classic Indycar Series Round 1 Phillip Island start

The race got off to a frenetic order as drivers scrubbed off the rust of the preseason in anger for the first time. Inevitably there was contact within the massive 37 car grid.

Among the casualties was frontrunner Robert Grosser as well as Andrew Aitken, Vesa Jylhä-Ollila and Don Day. While the driving standards at the front of the field were exceptional, the frenetic midpack was not devoid of incidents that compromised several drivers who might have expected more from the season opener.

But at the front, it was high-quality fireworks as a posse of half a dozen cars battled it out, no holds barred, with Wilson leading, Laville, Dolinschek, Willi Schwabauer, Agan and Johnny Garrett all in contention.

Behind them, it was equally intense with the likes of Marshall Stanley, Andrew Adair Saunders,  Matthew Molnar, Denis Garese, Hannes Pikanen and Vladislav Zenkov slugging it out.

At the sharp end, rookies Schwabauer and Dolinschek were stealing the show as they swapped the lead. But it was a race of attrition in which the leading contenders suffered incidents that set them back, forcing them to recover from their misadventures.

With half a dozen laps to go, it looked to between the two rookies for the top spot and Agan good for a podium. But on lap 65 the #65 car got sideways and onto the grass; in returning to the track he spun again as Dolinschek scraped by but Schwabauer collected a couple more cars and victory was thus snatched away.

Dolinschek led but a lap later clipped the grass and spun gifting the race to Agan who earned the victory by tenaciously stalking the two rookies to claim an unexpected but well deserved triumph.

14-year-old South African karting champion Dolinschek was second and best-placed rookie followed by Laville who soldiered hard after an early incident, also involving Jamie Wilson.

The hard-fought midfield battle became the contest for fourth with frontrunners dropping down the leaderboard with John Garrett edging away from the pack to take fourth, followed by Marshall Stanley in fifth.

Sixth went to Matthew Molnar who held off Denis Garese after a race-long battle which included Vladislav Zenkov in eighth and Hannes Pitkanen in ninth. Franz Strumm rounded out the top ten, albeit a lap down on the winner.

There were five leaders on the day, with Agan leading the most important one to trigger the chequered flag. Jamie Wilson led 14 before Laville’s spin collected him. Leading at the time of contact on lap 17, he had more issues recovering due to sidepod damage. Dolinschek led 12 laps’, with Laville three to his credit.

Finally a thought for Schwabauer who showed tremendous pace and looked set for a sensational win until a momentarily lapse cost him victory. Nevertheless, he led 18 laps and certainly made his presence felt. His time will come one predicts.

Series founder and organiser Robert Grosser said afterwards: It was an amazing opening round to the championship! Some incredible “rookie” performances, a maiden win by the reigning “Rookie of the Year” and hard fighting everywhere in the field.

“Some heartbreak for Team Chimera with Josh’s disconnect and the other drivers getting collected in incidents. The stage is set for an amazing season though, thanks to the drivers!” added Grosser.

The next round of the series takes place at virtual Long Beach on iRacing on 11 April.

Below is the full race broadcast by RaceSpot.TV, it’s worth a watch! And the commentators were top notch. Best in the business.

More info:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/RaceSpotTV​​
Twitter: http://twitter.com/RaceSpotTV​​
Subscribe to channel: http://bit.ly/2vf3cM2​​
Learn more about us: http://racespot.tv​

2021 Schedule:

  1. March 21 – Phillip Island (68 laps = 300 km)
  2. April 11 – Long Beach (100 minutes timed race)
  3. April 25 – Kansas Speedway (200 laps = 300 miles)
  4. May 9 – Motegi Oval (201 laps = 500 km)
  5. June 6 – Watkins Glen (60 laps = 200 miles)
  6. June 27 – Richmond (300 laps = 225 miles) oval triple crown #1
  7. August 8 – [Legacy] Michigan (200 laps = 400 miles) oval triple crown #2
  8. August 22 – Sonoma (80 laps = 180 miles)
  9. September 5 – Chicagoland (200 laps = 300 miles)
  10. September 19 – Mid-Ohio (89 laps = 200 miles)
  11. October 3 – Indianapolis Road (80 laps = 200 miles)
  12. October 31 – Indianapolis 500 (200 laps = 500 miles) oval triple crown #3

Top 20 Results

2021 Classic Indycar Series Round 1 Phillip Island

Below is the full race broadcast by RaceSpot.TV, it’s worth a watch! And the commentators were top notch. Best in the business.

More info:

  • Facebook: http://facebook.com/RaceSpotTV​​
  • Twitter: http://twitter.com/RaceSpotTV​​
  • Subscribe to channel: http://bit.ly/2vf3cM2​​
  • Learn more about us: http://racespot.tv​

2021 Schedule:

  • March 21 – Phillip Island (68 laps = 300 km)
  • April 11 – Long Beach (100 minutes timed race)
  • April 25 – Kansas Speedway (200 laps = 300 miles)
  • May 9 – Motegi Oval (201 laps = 500 km)
  • June 6 – Watkins Glen (60 laps = 200 miles)
  • June 27 – Richmond (300 laps = 225 miles) oval triple crown #1
  • August 8 – [Legacy] Michigan (200 laps = 400 miles) oval triple crown #2
  • August 22 – Sonoma (80 laps = 180 miles)
  • September 5 – Chicagoland (200 laps = 300 miles)
  • September 19 – Mid-Ohio (89 laps = 200 miles)
  • October 3 – Indianapolis Road (80 laps = 200 miles)
  • October 31 – Indianapolis 500 (200 laps = 500 miles) oval triple crown #3
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