Manage Your Pace is a great iRacing league that is very unique with how it is run and managed. Featuring their F3 race series, we have the race reports for Hungaroring.
Manage Your Pace Season 2 got underway with round 1 at the Hungaroring in iRacing, 21 drivers took the flag in their Dallara F3 race cars including Season 1 champion #13 Ruben Laso looking to retain the impressive consistency he had in Season 1.
Above is a video of the highlights, and full race reports in detail below. Be sure to check out and support Manage your Pace.
After showing great pace in pre-season testing #9 Julius Fahlbusch took a dominant pole by over half a second with Laso and promising newcomer #56 Jules Attivissimo completing the top 3. In a tight midfield battle, a number of drivers lost laps due to exceeding track limits, but the close times promised some good racing
With a great getaway from pole, Fahlbusch entered turn 1 in 1st place and the rest of the field filtered through turn 1 cleanly. A small slide from Fahlbusch in turn 1 allowed Attivissimo and Laso to attack for the lead into turn 2.
Going three wide for the lead with Fahlbusch on the inside spinning on entry, luckily avoiding any major contact but allowing Season 1 veteran #8 Jeremy P Cooper to take advantage and gain the lead from his 5th place grid spot while #911 Christoph Volant collided with #96 Timothy Southern in the midfield.
Turn 8 proved difficult as drivers pushed on cold tyres to take advantage on the first lap, with Cooper spinning from the lead only to be joined with similar mistakes from #5 Aidan Lucas, #99 Graeme Lynch, a fast starting #22 Philip Fletcher and an unfortunate #6 Joris Dek who was hit off by #7 Danny Bate in the close pack.
After lap 1 a top 3 of Attivissimo, season 1 fan favourite #75 Linus Areng and Laso had formed with a small gap to a group of drivers led by #21 Olger Mile, in 4th after making up 6 places, fending off the recovering Fahlbusch.
Fahlbusch managed to get back to 4th with a solid move into the chicane on lap 2 and aimed to catch the podium positions, leaving Mile to defend from #15 Liam Williams while #77 Bryan Spaan lost control from 8th at the back of the group.
After the hectic opening laps, the drivers were able to settle into a rhythm with a number of close battles forming throughout the field as some drivers recovered.
The battle between the top 3 was fierce as Areng took the lead leaving Attivissimo to defend from Laso with Fahlbusch closing in behind as they battled. An intense 4-way battle for 11th ended with a recovering Cooper making contact with Volant while avoiding #34 Javier Caceres into turn 2.
Laso passed Attivissimo and set off in chase of Areng for 1st position as Attivissimo battled with a charging Fahlbusch for 3rd with Williams and Mile closing in. Mile was keeping up with the group but lost the car under acceleration out of the final corner on lap 5, ending his chances of a podium.
The highlight of the race came on lap 6 as Fahlbusch attacked Attivissimo into turn 1, using the cutback to get alongside around the outside of turn 2. With both drivers fighting hard but fair, they continued racing side-by-side from turn 2 through to turn 4 as Fahlbusch managed to get ahead on the inside of turn 5.
Attivissimo wasn’t done defending his 3rd place and podium aspirations as he managed to get back alongside into the turn 6 chicane and resume the side-by-side battle through the fast section of turns 8-11.
Williams was close behind and thought better of joining the battle as Fahlbusch and Attivissimo continued side-by-side for the rest of lap 6 and first corners of lap 7 with Attivissimo holding on to 3rd.
With cars more spaced out towards the end of race 1 Cooper managed to overtake Southern for 9th as #55 Darian Harmon spun from 14th at turn 8, narrowly avoiding the wall, immediately followed by #40 Camden Kraft, who was unable to avoid the wall, making heavy contact and ending his race.
Areng remained comfortably in 1st place, Laso unable to close the gap far enough in the closing laps. The drama wasn’t finished in the battle for 3rd as Fahlbusch went for an overtake on the final lap around the outside of the fast turn 4.
Attivissimo managed to hold position and slight contact between the two drivers on the exit of the chicane forced Fahlbusch into the grass allowing Attivissimo to claim 3rd with Williams close behind in 4th.
Fahlbusch retained 5th, well ahead of a trio of drivers with solid but largely uneventful races in #27 Paul Velasco in 6th, #84 Alex Lewis in 7th and #20 Camille Younan finishing in 8th. Cooper recovered to 9th and Southern rounded out the top 10 for the first race of the season.
The grid for race 2 was determined by the starting positions in race 1, with Areng looking to capitalise of his race 1 win by getting away at the front and a number of drivers hoping to improve on their race 1 performances.
There was drama on the grid as league rookies Attivissimo and Younan were late getting to the grid meaning Attivissimo would lose out on his well-deserved 3rd place grid spot and both drivers would start the race from the pit lane.
A good start from the front row put Areng and Laso alongside each other through the first few turns in a close fight with Areng managing to hold on to the lead heading into the chicane with the rest of the field behind getting through the first few turns cleanly.
There was contact between Harmon and Caceres on the exit of turn 5 and a separate incident behind where Attivissimo’s race was ended after he spun and was collected by Lucas who was left with nowhere to go.
Lucas was able to continue after a pit stop for a new front wing. Laso was soon forced to defend from Fahlbusch allowing Areng to build a small gap to 2nd place as Cooper took advantage of the battles ahead to sneak up the inside of Williams to take 4th at turn 12.
The early battles for position continued on lap 2 with Bate, Fletcher and Spaan fighting hard until Spaan spun at turn 5, and Fletcher made contact with Mile after service a slow down penalty.
Fahlbusch moved into 2nd on lap 3 with a move around the outside of Laso at turn 2 and started looking to catch up to Areng as Williams retook 4th position from Cooper with Cooper looking to battle back as soon as possible with Southern and Velasco ready to take advantage of any mistakes shortly behind.
As the race calmed, Volant was caught out at the chicane on lap 4 with his car ending up in the wall, ending his race. Eyes turned to the battle for the lead where Fahlbusch had closed the gap to Areng and was within a few tenths when a small mistake at turn 1 on lap 6 dropped him back and gave Laso a chance to attack.
Fahlbusch held on and was able to start closing the gap to Areng for a second time. Despite closing the gap again, Fahlbusch had a moment at the exit of the final turn on lap 7, this time costing him more time, allowing Laso and Williams through and putting him into a battle with Cooper into turn 1.
Holding off the attack from Cooper, Fahlbusch closed in on Williams, the two drivers, unfortunately, colliding due to net code at turn 3 sending Williams heavily into the wall.
Areng kept his comfortable lead at the front for the remainder of the race to keep his 100% record after two races with a 2.5s gap to Laso in 2nd. Fahlbusch was left hoping for an extra lap to attack Laso ahead but had to settle for the final podium position.
Impressive drives from the 5th row of the grid for both Cooper and Southern gave them 4th and 5th respectively. Velasco had another solid 6th, fending off late charges from Lewis behind in 7th and a fast-finishing Mile in 8th and Bate in 9th. Lynch grabbed the final top 10 position after a tense last lap holding off Spaan and Caceres.
Areng started race 3 from pole aiming to continue his perfect start to the season. After a difficult race 2 there were a number of drivers looking to make their way through the field from the back of the grid and get as many points as possible in the last race of the day.
The field got away cleanly and Fahlbusch made the most of a clear outside lane into turn 1 to get alongside of Areng on the inside of turn 2 to take a lead he wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the race.
A potentially important moment for the championship contenders occurred on the exit of turn 4 as Areng lost control, sending his car hard into the wall and careering back into the path of the drivers behind.
Cooper was first on the scene and was lucky to escape contact with no damage as drivers scrambled to avoid the carnage ahead. Southern, Bate, Velasco and Caceres all had their races compromised and looked to re-join and capitalise on any errors for the remainder of the race.
Lewis spun in the chicane causing Mile and Spaan to take to the gravel and dropping them back. The first lap incidents had allowed the excellent Attivissimo to move up to 4th from 20th on the grid followed by Williams who started 14th. Younan span at turn 9 from 6th but was able to avoid any damage.
Fahlbusch had already gained a comfortable gap from Laso in 2nd and Lucas in 3rd as battles started to form throughout the field. Mile had another spin at the last turn and was collected by Fletcher while re-joining, Fletcher ending up on the pit wall and out of the race after a huge collision.
There was great action in the battle for 7th between Cooper, Caceres, Bate and Volant before Cooper was able to hit the front of the group and pull away leaving the rest to battle for a number of laps.
On lap 4 Spaan crashed at the last turn out of an encouraging 6th place and was unable to continue after losing his nosecone. At the front Fahlbusch continued showing his pace as he pulled away from Laso.
The gaps between the front 5 were stable but Attivissimo was starting to put pressure on Lucas for the final podium spot.
Bate was finally able to pass Caceres at the start of lap 7, pulling away to secure as Caceres focussed on keeping Volant behind. Volant was able to pass on lap 9 to take 8th position.
The battle for 3rd was brewing and Attivissimo was right behind Lucas going into the final lap, managed to get alongside into turn 1 and holding the outside to gain the position.
Fahlbusch was dominant in 1st place with a gap of nearly 7 seconds back to Laso. Attivissimo recovered from his 20th place on the grid to take an unlikely, but well-deserved 2nd podium of the day ahead of Lucas and Williams in 5th.
A lonely Cooper came home in 6th to cap off an excellent day as the AM championship leader. The remainder of the top 10 were quite spaced out with Bate 7th, Volant 8th, Caceres 9th and Younan claiming his 2nd top 10 of the day.
After round 1 the championship is led by the ever-consistent Ruben Laso with a 5 point lead over Fahlbusch in 2nd. Areng was able to hold on to 3rd place despite his crash in race 3 to round out the likely favourites for the championship.
Cooper is 10 points further back in overall 4th place, and leader of the AM championship with Williams and Attivissimo joint 5th on 41 points and hoping they can crash the leading group in the coming rounds.
Lewis is 7th and 2nd in the AM class, closely followed by Bate in 8th and Southern and Velasco rounding out the top 10 in joint 9th position, Southern holding 3rd place in the AM class.
Championship leader Laso spoke afterwards about his approach to the championship, “Bottas strategy seems to work. Stay 2nd and hope that 1st is not always the same guy!”
With the next races at the tricky Laguna Seca circuit, Laso will hope to have the same consistency and ability to avoid incidents.
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