Classic IndyCar Series in iRacing visited Michigan International Speedway recently. With the home stretch for the championship in sight, tensions are raised.
The Classic IndyCar championship in iRacing is heating up, with 5 races left in the season the home stretch to be the champion is insight. With the series and racers visiting Michigan, the power play to be calculated and efficient for the title and high standings is building tension.
With the Classic IndyCar series being such a great league and racing events being organized, many see this as a community that produces high class racing and a caliber of drivers that raises the bar.
There is never a dull moment at CIS, just when you think it will settle down and be a generic race, it instantly gets turned up to 11. As usual Robert Grosser founder of CIS has all the official details of how the race went at Michigan International Speedway in iRacing.
Classic IndyCar Series Official
For the first time in 5 years, Classic Indycar Series returned to Michigan International Speedway. A total of 23 drivers qualified for the race in the second “oval triple crown” event of the year.
Willi Schwabauer (Iconic Motorsports) secured his first career pole position, ahead of his teammate Joshua Baird. Second row was also occupied by Iconic Motorsports drivers Vesa-Jylhä Ollila and Logan Simmons, making it a 1-2-3-4! Series debutant AJ Musselman completed the TOP5.
The race started rather smooth, hot track temperatures were expected to have a race deciding influence. After 28 Laps the yellow flag came out for a single car spin. Drivers went to pits for fresh tires, as they were pretty worn already.
The race resumed under green till Lap 74 just in the middle of the first round of green flag pit-stops. This was shaking up the standings a bit, however Schwabauer was still running up front, right behind his teammate Logan Simmons, who went on to lead the most laps (145).
His championship contenders Joshua Chin (Team Chimera), Ethan Agan (SRC) and Lucas Laville (Vortex SimRacing) stayed always within the TOP10. After the next re-starts, the race saw an incredibly long period under green flag conditions (113 Laps).
A very clean race developed and many drivers were fighting handling issues as soon as the tires were heating up.
The attrition rate was low and after a couple of green flag pit-stops, the stage was set for an incredible finish! Logan Simmons got taken out of contention by a speeding penalty.
So Schwabauer was running alone upfront, some 5 seconds ahead of the tandem Joshua Chin/Andrew Wood (Team Chimera) who used the advantage of draft to slowly close the gap to the leader. On Lap 190 the race changed in dramatic fashion!
Hannes Pitkänen (Usagi Racing) was about to get lapped by Chin/Wood, when he hit the wall on the exit of T2 and while bouncing back to the track collecting championship contender Chin. His race was pretty much over after that.
A few drivers went to the pits for fresh rubber in order to benefit from the extra grip. The leaders however opted to keep their track position. Then another incident happened, when leader Schwabauer spun his car on the restart before the green flag came out!
The caution got extended and Schwabauer was allowed to keep his position. The second restart worked flawlessly and the field had 5 laps to go. Wood was putting Schwabauer under pressure, while Agan was following closely in P3. A second group was led by Baird who got pressure from Andrew Aitken (Aero-X) and Richmond winner Jan Hoffmann (Vortex SimRacing).
The white flag came out and a crazy finish was going to happen. Exit of Turn 4 it was Wood washing up, making contact with leader Schwabauer! Both cars spun and it was Agan, storming towards the chequered flag.
Right behind them, Baird was able to avoid the flying cars miraculously to finish his career best result with P2. Right in his draft, more drama occured, when Hoffmann made a last second move on Aitken, going alongside the Scotsman on the highline of T4.
However as soon as the wrecks appeared in front of Aitken, he tried to avoid them by moving up high, squeezing Hoffmann almost into the Wall. Lucas Laville (P7 at that time) managed to avoid all the carnage ahead, to secure an important podium finish.
Hoffmann slid through the grass towards the finish line, just ahead of Aitken, as well in the grass. The latter got then beaten by his teammate Franz-Josef Stumm who secured his career best oval result with P5! Wood and Schwabauer were scored 7th and 8th as the final cars on the lead lap.
Lucas Laville managed to stay in the points lead by just 5 points ahead of Ethan Agan. Schwabauer is another 59 points back, followed by Chin who has only 2 points less. With 5 races remaining, it seems to be a promising battle for the title with 4 drivers having a realistic chance of winning!
To rewatch the race check the feed provided here
To also tune in and catch the replay on Sunday 22nd of August visit ESTV at 18:00GMT
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CIS is a league partner with simrace247.com, check them out: Classic Indycar series iRacing – SimRace247