The iRacing Road Pro Series ventured to Silverstone for round 3 of the 9 round series this weekend. After an extremely action packed race last week at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve twisting and turning around Montréal, the scenery was altered to the British midlands to Northamptonshire / Buckinghamshire countryside as teams prepped the cars and drivers for 60 laps of high speed racing. After Mack Bakkum’s dominating win at the last race, would it be a “Return of the Mack” , as ARTV commentator Andrew Woodhouse would put it, or would a new winner claim victory? 3 Apex Racing UK drivers and a handful of Apex Racing Academy drivers took part in what was an eventful race for the team. Hear their thoughts on the race that unfolded.
I thought I got a decent Q in, nothing flashy and P5 is one step higher than where I was the previous two weeks so no complaints. To be as far off pole as I was surprised me a bit but I was content with where I was starting.
First stint the car wasn’t particularly good, especially the first 15 laps. I had got ahead of Marcus off the start and thankfully I wasn’t under much pressure from him behind and he soaked up a good deal of pressure for me which was appreciated. I decided early on to pit either lap 26 or 27 but with the rate I was catching the front two (after Freek’s spin put me 3rd) I decided to hang it out to 27 with the expectation that they would pit a lap later to cover but not pit earlier considering the tyre deg around here.
I managed to pull of the undercut on Cem and had broken clear of Marcus which surprised me and I was in the lead fight from kind of nowhere. I knew with how the first stint had went that I’d struggle a bit in the middle of the stint and come back strong at the end which is exactly what happened. 20 laps of making sure Cem wouldn’t get a run on me and then a late push to take on Stephen. I had done half the job in closing in the gap but a couple of twitchy moment at Brooklands and Luffield combined with the mistake at Copse and I had to settle for 2nd.
Thanks to everyone for helping me bounce back after a difficult race at Montreal, hopefully Suzuka can yield as similar result!
Again I managed to get a pretty good qualifying in, which is very nice as that has always been my problem. I increased the pressures for second stint, which was a bad idea I think. The first 2-3 laps I was really slow, so I dropped far back. Then still I couldn’t keep, which I think was due to both my tires and my actual pace. A bit annoying that I couldn’t keep up with the lead train in the end.
But very happy with the result, just another solid points score. And considering my lack of practice this week, and headache during the race, I think I did fairly well
Gotta love seeing 3 apex cars in the top 4
I’m not a fan of the old circuit, especially in high downforce spec cars, so I wasn’t really expecting a decent result here. In qualifying I had an okay banker lap, that eventually would prove to put me 13th on the grid. My second lap I didn’t improve due to having to do something mid lap with a phone so couldn’t keep it together.
My start was pretty decent. The launch itself wasn’t fantastic but I sneaked up the inside into Turn 1 and kept my nose clean being in 11th after the first lap. From there until the pitstop, I was trying to keep Libeert at a gap and up until lap 20, the tyres were really not working for me and I was losing time to the pack in front. But around lap 22 they came back and suddenly I was going 3 or 4 tenths a lap faster than normal and I maintained a rhythm to catch the cars in front. Made my stop on Lap 28 with Pashalis, then it was him, myself and Freek in a trio for a while until Freek spun. Huis decided on a massive overcut so I couldn’t keep him behind for long as his rubber was so much fresher, so I got Pash just after Bono got by and was up into 9th. For the last 15 laps, Wensing was quite close so I worked at catching him. I made a small mistake at Stowe and it looked like he got away, but then he lost the car heading into priory and I came home in P8. A much needed result.
Big thanks to Jamie for working on the package for this week and helping me out with the track. Fantastic result for Stephen and the rest for their result.
The big news of the race though was Academy driver Stephen Michaels [USA]. Proving eye watering pace earlier in the year, and after 2 unfortunate opening rounds, he was out there to make a point. He claimed pole position, led from lights to flag and held off a charging Jamie Fluke to take his first win of the season, and an important points haul for his WCS License hopes. From all at the team, it’s a great site to see the talent he’s shown and we’re sure it won’t be the only time he displays this.
Pashalis Gergis rounded out the Top 10, with other Academy drivers Kevin Ellis Jr, Ricardo Orozco, Lukas Gotsch, and others showing their pace out there.
The Pro Series will make it’s journey to the Land of The Rising Sun this week, to the Suzuka International Circuit in Japan for Round 4 on November 26th, 13:30GMT. You can also view the championship standings and results here. Until then, catch the race on iRacing Live / Apex Racing TV with commentary from Andrew Woodhouse, Adam Bath and Alex Simpson. Catch the BSR Pro Series live on ApexRacingTV this Thursday at 8pm GMT too and more! See you then!
A big thank you to our sponsors and partners!