Round 4 of the iRacing World Championship Grand Prix Series was held at Road America and Apex Racing UK looked to continue with their momentum from the opening rounds. Unlike the previous rounds only 35 drivers attempted to qualifying meaning everyone who attempted to qualify would make it onto the grid. Taking to the grid for the iRacing WCS Round 4 Road America race was Alex Simpson who started in 7th position, Antoine Higelin who after a disappointing qualifying session found himself starting in 24th and Lasse Bruun Hansen who started in 31th.
Here is a quick review of how the weekend went in the drivers’ words:
Alex Simpson’s iRacing WCS Round 4 Road America Race:
“Main objective for this week was to bounce back from the disaster at Suzuka. We had a quick car and weren’t able to show it. Road America has always been a good track for me and the set started to take shape pretty quick.
Was hitting 33.1’s and .2’s all morning without an issue. My first lap was going well until the chat happened, just a minor distraction that set me back a couple of tenths. Not a problem, on to the next lap I thought; wrong rubbish turn 1 so I just pulled it over and settled for the first lap & P7 on the grid.
Played it very safe off the start after last round. Perhaps a bit too safe, which allowed Isaac to get past. From here the rest of the first stint was just staring at the back of Isaac’s wing. I could lap a few tenths quicker but just couldn’t get close enough to get a run with Andre just ahead.
We all pitted at the same time on lap 30 and I came out around Joonas who was still to pit. The little battle we had cost me far to much time and from being 1 second behind Isaac I was now 4. Jake with his extra lap jumped ahead and I found myself in 8th. The rest of the stint I slowly caught the 3 of Andre, Isaac and Jake back up but not enough to have a shot. With Joni not far behind I just took it easy and consolidated my place.
All in all pretty happy with the race, pace is good and getting closer to where I want to be. Just need to find that magic .2 to start mixing it up for some top 5’s
Congrats to Olli, Aleski & Gerger. Antoine for a great fight back.”
Antoine Higelin’s iRacing WCS Round 4 Road America Race:
“I was extremely slow all the week. I was not consistent at all, not being able to drive 3 laps in a row without crashing. It took me several sessions to build-up some confidence in the car and suddenly my PB jumped from 1.34.3 to 1.33.7. Finding more confidence, I managed to get my PB down to 1.33.5 friday evening (good bet Alex!). In our hosted session just before the race I drove a 1.33.2 on a one lap run . Seems I need some adrenaline to be quick !
This week again, a one lap run was quite a bit faster than the usual 3 laps run. I decided to run a first flying lap without taking any risk to secure a spot, then to run a fast flying lap. My strategy fell apart in the first corner of the first flying qualification lap where I lost 4 tenth. There was only 1 lap left so I had to be very careful: taking no risks on the kerbs, the lap was quite average. In addition, I ran out of fuel 50m before the finish line, loosing 0.06s . Finally, I found myself in a deceiving 24th position on the grid with a 1.33.7xx.
Being in a dangerous position, risking to get caught in any crash in front of me, I decided to start cautiously leaving a small gap in front of me. I was 25th at the end of the first lap just behind Stephen Michaels. I followed Stephen during 2 laps both overtaking Ilkka Haapala. I overtook Stephen on lap 4 then Paul Ilbrink on lap 6. Davy Decorps and Kasuki Oomishima having crashed, I found myself in 18th position on lap 9. I followed Fulvio Barozzini up to my pitstop at lap 30. During this battle at a distance, we both overtook Paolo Muia. Ilkka leapfrogged me in the pits for only few tenth of a second and I almost managed to pass him during his first lap, but then he was slightly faster than me. Finally Christian Lorente crashed out and I finished in 15th position.
I can’t say I’m satisfied with this result because I believe that with a good qualifying spot it could have been a top 10. On the other hand, starting 24th and finishing 15th means that I was able to pass 9 drivers among the most talented simdrivers
Many thanks to the team for some awesome qualification and racing sets. Not only were these sets extremely fast, but they also helped me finding some confidence. Special thanks to Alex for believing that I would be quick enough
Gratz to the podium, Olli for his first win in iWCGPS, Aleksi and Greger”
Lasse Brrun Hansen’s iRacing WCS Round 4 Road America Race:
“Q: decided to do 2 x 1-laps as it was quite faster, and was very comfortable with the set (all 33’s on the last 15 minutes of warmup). 1st lap was ok. 34.0.. stopped car right after s/f, hit reset to start last run, and immediately got white flag in the pits! So outlap was apparently my last…
R: Got a great start, and settled in the train. A few laps later the rear suddenly broke loose on exit of Canada. Reacted quick in my opinion, but it just continued into the wall. After repairs it was drivable but 3-4 seconds off pace, so rest was just damage control.”
Round 5 of the iRacing World Championship Grand Prix Series will be held at Phillip Island, a short high speed track where precision and top speed is important in order to be competitive and Apex Racing UK look to continue with their good performance in one of simulated racings most competitive championships.
The team would like to thank its sponsors as ever for the support: