Round 1 of the iRacing Road To Pro Series was at the famous Indianapolis Raceway, Apex Racing UK were keen to feature again this season with a few new and returning faces. A new tyre model got a lot of the teams scratching their heads and it would be those that would get up to speed quickest that would take the big points this week.
Week 1 of Season 3 was the beginning of my first serious attempt at getting my pro license. I had worked hard last season at getting my iRating to where it needed to be and its now time to put up or shut up!
Didn’t get out of turn 1!! Not quite the start I was hoping for, got rear ended by an honest mistake from Michele Chesini. He braked a bit early for the corner and came off the brakes only to then run in too hot. I know I have certainly made the same error myself so just have to just chalk it up to the risk of starting mid pack in the top splits!
Started from 7th on the grid surrounded by my teammates. Managed to thankfully get through the first couple of laps unscathed and tried to settle into a rhythm in my 7th place. Was able to get a run on ARUK teammate Hunter Manley into turn 1 which I was able to make stick with Hunter being very fair in defending his position. Montanes and Chesini both had issues before we had reached lap 7 and I was promoted into 4th position! It was just a matter of hotlapping for the remainder of the race to ensure I could keep the gap to Montanes behind, in the end finishing 10 seconds ahead and 32 seconds behind the leader.
The cones!!! I had so far managed to avoid any issues with the numerous cones getting thrown about in turn 1 every lap in the previous races but running 3 wide into turn 1 off the start resulted in a cone hitching a ride on my front wing. Only when I came to turn 4 did the car massively understeer wide thanks to the uninvited guest, unfortunately collecting Hunter and then several other cars!
Starting from 4th on the grid, I only had 5000+ iRating Mikko Nassi and pro drivers Alex Simpson and Troy Schulz ahead of me. I was so lucky to avoid the carnage behind into turn 1, with Troy being tagged from behind just as I was in Race 1. I was maybe 1 to 2 feet away from joining them looking the wrong way down the track. Managed to pass Mikko into turn 1 on lap 6 with him being very cautious and allowing me the place quite easily. Alex Simpson later pitted from the lead meaning I had won a top split race in week 1!!!! Never had even hoped to get such a points haul of 234 all season. Hopefully this bodes extremely well for my challenge for the rest of the season, currently sitting in P2 in the standings!!
Thanks to all the team for the great setup work these last 2 weeks and to GT Omega for my great new rig!!