Round 5 of the Lionheart Retro series in iRacing visited the fantastic Phillip Island, producing another great race and victory.
The Lionheart Retro Series in iRacing moves on to round 5 at Phillip Island. This awesome track has everything as the stage is set for the simrace247 GP Of Phillip Island presented by Gomez Sim Industries.
Written by Darren B of simrace247.com
Im not gonna lie, this track is amazing, ok I’m a huge MotoGP fan, when I see it was on the calendar again i was beaming with joy. Right, enough of me going on, lets get down to business and the brilliant Lionheart Retro Series.
First up is the quickfire qualifying session and the top 5
#20 Fowler: 1.20.734
#8 Taylor: +0.044
#45 O’Brien: +0.134
#70 Hearn: +0.222
#68 Rasimas: +0.258
As always another great turnout as 36 cars line up in formation for the rolling start, and what a mighty sight it is with the coastal backdrop. Green light and its showtime for 46 laps, Fowler gets a great start, O’Brien moves up to second, Hardin and Forsythe have a coming together dropping down Lukey Heights as Hardin gets a rear wheel on the grass and spins him around into Forsythe, Hearn gets up on the grass as he is pushing hard on cold tires but manages to keep it cool and rejoins the track in P7.
Fowler leads at the end of lap 1, O’Brien, Taylor, Rasimas and Ragan round out the top 5, a relatively clean opening lap for the field. Fowler is trying to stretch out a lead out front, but O’Brien is matching him for pace. Valiokas gets the move done on Ragan for P5 on lap 4 and the drivers are settling into the groove, Ragan fights back and makes it stick, great clean driving. Philip Island is one of those tracks that can trick you, you think all is going well, and out of nowhere, mistakes happen, it’s one of those tracks.
O’Brien is matching Fowler out front as they exchange great laps, nothing is between them with the smallest of gains made by O’Brien at certain parts of the track. Valiokas, Ragan and Hearn are close together on track as they get ready to fight for P5. Back up front on lap 8, O’Brien has closed up to Fowler, but does not go for the pass or show a wheel. Taylor is observing in P3 and keeping pace with them, with Rasimas lurking.
Top 10 At Lap 10
Sirois is starting to make moves as he slots up to P10 on lap 10, we see cars through the mid and late pack going wide, is the wind having an effect on the cars or driver errors? Back up front the top 4 has got air behind them back to Valiokas. Staples and Malone go off track at Lukey Heights, as Staples goes for the lunge and spins himself around making contact with Malone. Like i said earlier, Philip Island gives you confidence and then breaks you. Anzaldo goes off track, Nunez goes off track, and Phillip Island is living up to its name. Rodriguez goes for the send on Sirois and loses control tagging the front wing of the car of Sirois, Munoz was also caught up in the incident as it unfolded.
O’Brien goes for the lead on lap 16, Taylor and Rasimas are closing in on fowler in P2, and the quartet is within a second of each other and 3 seconds clear of P5. Valiokas who was holding station in P5 and spins the car dropping him down to P10, Anzaldo spins in a separate incident and Fowler goes for the lead on lap 19.
Top 10 Lap 20
Rasimas has tailed off the leading three by just a touch, he may be fuel saving or just settling into his own groove, either way, he is in a great position with no pressure from behind. The leading trio all come in at the end of lap 21, as Rasimas has clean air ahead and stays out. We start to see others come in, whilst the likes of Hearn and Ragan stay out. Fowler exits ahead of O’Brien as they leave pit lane and the shuffle on the leaderboard starts to take effect. Rasimas, Hearn and Ragan come into the pits at the end of lap 22.
Rasimas exits pitlane as O’Brien takes the lead on the start finish straight from Fowler, the two teammates are working together to maintain a good pace that sees off the overcut from Rasimas. However, Rasimas does gain a position as he takes P3 from Taylor. O’Brien is getting the hammer down out front as he has almost a 1 second gap over Fowler who has Rasimas all over the tail pipes of him. Lap 26 and he shows Fowler a front wheel in T1, the pressure is building, he makes the move further into the lap and makes it stick, Taylor falls victim to the circuit as Hearn passes him, Taylor drops to P5.
Lap 30 Top 10
Outside of the top 10, we have a great four way battle going on with Daniels, Rodriguez, Herrick and Jenkins all within half a second of each other as P11 is up for grabs. Out front, O’Brien has built a gap over Rasimas by 1.5 seconds. Daniels and Rodriguez engage corner after corner with great driving, Rodriguez makes it stick as he moves up to P11, superb driving and discipline from them both. O’Brien drops into the pits at the end of lap 32. Fowler is reeling Rasimas back in at the front, with Hearn 11 seconds back, Rasimas responds with the quickest lap of the race.
Rasimas and Fowler box in at the end of lap 35, Hearn and Taylor stay out. Rasimas and Fowler exit pit road, where is O’Brien, he is coming down the start finish straight and is behind them once they rejoin the track. 10 laps to go and this is going to get interesting as Fowler closes in again on Rasimas, Hearn, Taylor and Ragan are still out front. Surely no one is going for the one stop? Sirois raids the party for Fowler and passes him for P5, its all on the line now with 7 to go, Fowler goes for the send and straight lines it onto the green stuff and luckily does not collect Sirois. Fowler drops to P7 after a solid performance thus far.
Whilst that was going on, Taylor takes the lead as Hearn loses grip and slides the car around, but remains in P2 after yielding the lead through error. Has Hearn got the fight, fuel and tires to come back at Taylor who is half a second ahead? Taylor pits in, can you believe it, Hearn must be going through the mathematical motions and saving everything at the moment. The former IndyCar driver must be getting the buzz from this, its glory or bust, 5 to go! Sirois is having some great late pace as he moves up to P3, but boxes with 4 to go.
Hearn is still out, the nerves must be building now, he must have the smoothest throttle control of the race at the moment, he boxes and cannot make it to the end. Rasimas takes the lead with 3 to go and a 2 second lead over O’Brien with Ragan in third, Hearn rejoins in P6. Ragan pits with 2 to go, the one stop is just out of reach as he rejoins in P7.
Victory In The Simrace247 GP Of Phillip Island
After a great race full of plenty of action, Mike Rasimas has won the simrace247 GP Of Phillip Island. A stunning drive that showed that patience can be victorious. Speaking in HyperX victory lane ” I did my best and the extra lap staying out in the earlier stages helped for the rest of the race”. Also mentioning how he played it cool and stayed with the leading cars in the earlier stages was key to the strategy.
ROUND 5 – SimRace247 GP of Phillip Island Presented by GSI