The Classic IndyCar Series in iRacing rolled into town for round 5 at Watkins Glen recently. As the half way mark of the season approaches, the drivers were jostling for positions not just on the track but in the championship standings.
Continuing with the iRacing series, Robert Grosser Founder of the Classic Indycar series, racer and reporter has all of the race details to bring you up to speed on the event. We have seen the CIS produce some great races this season. How will Watkins Glen favor those gunning for the championship?, will defending Champion Lucas Laville feel the heat from the chasing pack, or will he keep his cool? Champions know how to deal with all aspects. The time for testing those skills is on!
Classic Indycar Series returned to Watkins Glen for the 4th time in series’ history. A total of 26 drivers qualified for the 60-lap race. The 2020 Rookie of the Year and current runner-up in points, Ethan Agan (Simulation Racing Council), managed to secure his first career pole position just in front of last year’s dominator, Joshua Chin (Team Chimera). With Willi Schwabauer (Iconic Motorsports) and Lucas Laville (Vortex SimRacing), the TOP4 in points occupied the first two rows on the grid. The stage was set for an exciting race.
Early on, Agan lost his lead to Schwabauer, who appeared to be a man on a mission. However, after 4 laps, Schwabauer lost his car in the carousel, giving the lead to Chin. In the meanwhile, Stefan Schlacher (Buttler-Pal Motorsport) entered the TOP3 when he went side-by-side with Agan into the bus stop chicane. Agan was on the outside and decided to not force the issue through the chicane, but instead, he went straight through the grass, barely avoiding contact with Laville.
After a bit more than 20 laps it was time for the first round of scheduled pit stops. Chin lead comfortably when he went to pits on Lap 23. However, Team Chimera experienced a true nightmare during lap 24. First, Chin lost his car on cold tires on pit exit. His fellow teammate Jamie Wilson could barely avoid Chin’s wreck. Then, Liam Quinn lost the car, also on cold tires, in the boot section. Race over for him too. Finally Andrew Wood spun, again on cold tires, on the exit of the boot, which ended his race prematurely as well. So from 4 cars, Team Chimera lost 75% in just one lap!
This handed the lead to Laville, who had his teammate Grosser following him closely. However, after the pit sequence, Laville’s lead increased to 5 seconds. Behind the Vortex duo, Schlacher, Schwabauer and Agan were ready to fight for the final step on the podium. It was that exact running order in the end, with Matt Molnar (Archer Brother’s eSports) and Jamie Wilson (Team Chimera) in P6 and P7 being the final cars on the lead lap.
Laville kept his nose clean throughout the remaining race and also the second round of pit stops. So did Grosser, which resulted in an unexpected Vortex SimRacing 1-2 finish! Laville was able to extend the gap in the overall points over Agan to 28 points. Schwabauer moved to P3, now 14 points behind Agan. Marshall Stanley (Vortex SimRacing) who finished only P11, is sitting in P4, another 14 points behind Schwabauer. Finally, Joshua Chin is still in the TOP5, already 62 points behind leader Laville.
Watkins Glen Race Result
Bonuses/Penalties & Team Results
The next round will mark the half-way point of the season already before the drivers and teams are going into their summer break. But first, they have to compete for the first “oval triple crown” event at Richmond Raceway on June 27th. Tune in live on Racespot TV, or one week later on ESTV.