What’s up, racers? As we’ve hit October a few days a go, it’s finally time to wrap up the three September events that took place at IVRC.
TCC Round 11 – Imola
With most of the people being back home from their summer vacation, we expected a huge grid and weren’t disappointed!
The preparation was indeed a bit odd for the title contenders, as leader Marc Stwerka and third-placed Nick Atsidakos set fastest lap times all around, but second-placed Grimminger struggeled all along to be competitive. This also showed in Qualifying, with Atsidakos taking the pole position ahead of Stwerka, but Grimminger suffered once again and had to start from P6.
At the start, Stwerka proved once again why he’s in the lead of the championship: overtaking Atsidakos on the line already and pacing up ahead in the lead, while the rest of the field settled in for a mostly clean start. However, misfortune struck Stwerka, as his game crashed on lap 2, giving the lead to Atsidakos, who went on to win the race ahead of a returning Matthew Allington and Grimminger in third.
The second race couldn’t have been more exciting, as Stwerka returned to the racing action, but had to take the challenge of starting all the way from the back of the grid to finish as high up in the order as possible. Starting from P5 however, Grimminger blasted into the lead and eventually hold it even under heavy pressure from Atsidakos and later the recurring Marc Stwerka. The podium finished in exactly this order, Grimminger won ahead of Stwerka and Atsidakos.
TCC Round 12 – Barcelona
Without any Italian driver on the grid we haven’t had the chance to cheer for anybody on home soil in Imola, but the 12th TCC event of the year was once again held in the virtual home of Spaniard Carlos Frau, who tried to finally catch his maiden podium in Barcelona.
However, all eyes were of course set on the title fight of the top three drivers, and while Grimminger missed out on the races, the fight between Stwerka and Atsidakos couldn’t have been any better. Stwerka took the pole position in a close qualifying session ahead of Atsidakos and went on to finish the race ahead of the Greek ace, but under consistent pressure by the Honda driver. So SEAT took a win on home soil, with Frau exactly sticking to his plan and finished in third. It is also worth to be noted that the places behind the podium were challenged, and the order of P4 to P7 wasn’t decided until the very last corner, where they all tried to squeeze into at the same time – however, it didn’t end in tears for anybody and Bernard Mróz emerged out of the heated-up fight for P4. This truly was a testimony of the great driving skills we always see in TCC!
Race 2 and the reverse grid then brought all the excitement we hoped for, with the Race 1 podium finishers trying to slice through the grid for another podium finish. Stwerka and Atsidakos did that so well that they actually finished 1-2 again, with Stwerka taking the double win in Barcelona ahead of Atsidakos and Mróz.
TCC Round 13 – Road Atlanta
At the very last weekend of September, TCC went off the virtual European continent to start the final chapter of the season, with Bob Sacamano racing on home soil for the first time this year. The Honda driver surely tried to do best at Road Atlanta, but from Qualifying on it looked more like his team mate Nick Atsidakos and fellow Honda driver Matthew Allington were about to set the tone. Championship leader Marc Stwerka however had his yet worst event of the season in terms of race pace, which already showed in Qualifying where he only finished 7th.
Atsidakos, Allington and the returning Constantin Grimminger all went into the first corner side-by-side on the first start, with Allington emerging into the lead, while behind him the carnage started. Luckily we didn’t have to witness any major crashes, but drivers were shuffled up and down the order by some minor touches and crashes all around the field. However, with the circuit not providing much overtaking opporunities, this was definitely necessary and thus drivers took more risks then usual. Allington, however, went off ahead of the field to gain his second TCC win of the season ahead of guest driver Dionysis Faraos and regular driver Carlos Frau.
The second race was of course not less interesting, with Grimminger and Felipe Granado fighting for the lead from turn 1 onwards through the whole race. Behind them, the fights were once again a bit harsher then usual, but aside from minor racing incidents we didn’t saw any major incidents again.
Another game crash took Stwerka out of the competition early, so it was now time for Grimminger and Atsidakos to gain some important points to keep their title hopes alive. Grimminger did that brilliantly by taking another reverse grid win ahead of Faraos and Granado. Atsidakos however never got his foot in and finished both races down in 8th.
Just after the Road Atlanta events YTF1 Sim-Racing Team finally presented their new livery for Matthew Allington’s Honda which should be at everyone’s displays at the next event on October 20th. In between, on October 14th, we’ll see the inaugural Bathurst 200 event and we’re all looking forward to the drivers taking on the endurance challenge around the legendary Mount Panorama Circuit!