IRC Sebring recap
16 took to the field at Sebring for the 2 hour race at Sebring in the Pitlanes.com Indycar Retro Challenge presented by Dilligaf Racing. Here is your IRC Sebring recap! The series makes use of the Dallara Indycar circa 2011 on the iRacing service.
Zlatko Knezevic lost backend and collected Christian Koch with Dennis Garese having a crash all on his own. Jason Palmer and Richard Brightwell unfortunately also colliding with the flipping Zlatko.
Markus Ager also had a half spin but collected it without crashing and continued.
Lap 4 in to the hairpin Mark Ussher takes the lead from Lucas Laville with a clean move up the inside. But on lap 6 coming out on to the back straight Mark loses the rear allowing Lucas to regain the lead. This also brings Robert Grosser in to the mix.
But again on lap 7 in to the hairpin in an exact repeat of their earlier move, Lucas moves up the inside through the hairpin.
On to lap 8 and this time Lucas makes the error on to the back straight. This opens up an easy pass for Robert to promote him in to 2nd place.
As we move in to lap 12 Vit Salomon was bearing down on to Pete Bingham who was holding a very strong 4th position. As they entered the pits for the first round of stops, Vit hits the back of Pete, probably due to Vit trying to maximise entry so as to close the gap even further on Pete. This had little effect other than to consume both drivers free repairs.
In to lap 13 and Vit suffers a spin at the same corner that both Mark & Lucas had spun previously, losing him a position to the charging Markus Ager. Then again on lap 17 exiting the hairpin Vit drops his rear left on to the grass on exit, causing a full spin and demoting him down to 7th as Denis Garese passed him. No doubt this would be turning in to a very frustrating evening for Vit, only 30 minutes in to this two hour endurance special.
Bingham had a spin on to the grass in to turn 4. He avoided the barrier but the time lost allowed Ager to pass up in to Binghams newly vacated 4th position. But no sooner had this happened Ager had an issue almost identical to Vit’s seen on lap 17 out of the hairpin. This allowed Bingham back in to his 4th position, Ager maintaining 5th.
As we entered lap 20 Ussher has a cushion of 31 seconds back to 2nd place, still held by Lucas. Robert Grosser in 3rd a further 6 seconds back. The closest battle on track at this point seemed to be Bingham and Ager with just under 40 minutes of racing completed.
Clyde Whiting and Richard Brightwell were in close quarters after around 45 minutes, Brightwell taking Whiting in to T1 to move in to 8th position. Leader, Ussher passing both by T2 but having a spin just after, slashing his lead by around 15 seconds.
Random Goings on
In a crazy turn of events on lap 27, Bingham lost it slightly on the exit of T4 allowing Ager past, again for him to spin out of the hairpin again. Almost exactly as we saw earlier in the race. The two drivers seeming to be very equal and pushing as hard as each other. Unfortunately for Markus, he had another spin on lap 28 allowing Garese up to 5th, undoing his hard work from earlier in the race. Lap 29 would see ager with another corner exit spin, this time, unfortunately lodging him firmly in the barrier requiring a tow to the pits.
With 45 minutes to go Ussher had a staggering 48 second lead over Laville, Grosser a further 27 seconds back in 3rd. The field had been lapped up to 5th place by this point. As expected the drivers had spaced out quite significantly by this point in a race so long. Drivers were still circulating down to 12th place with Sam Whatley bringing up the rear.
On lap 46 Palmer pits from behind Paul Bird. These two the closest pairing on track between stops. Bird pits on lap 49 but Palmer failed to make the undercut work. Still, being out of sequence could provide fireworks in the closing stages.
In to the final half hour, two possible fights arise. Garese closing on Grosser for 3rd and Salomon closing on Bingham for 5th.
16 minutes to go and Grosser dives in to the pits. Garese was following within a second or two, he himself pitting the very next lap. Unfortunately for Grosser he had two lapped cars to navigate on his outlap. This afforded Garese all the time he needed to jump position up to the final podium position.
There was also a similar result for the Bingham/Salomon battle. Bingham pitting first a lap earlier than Salomon. After the stops, Salomon emerged ahead, in 5th place.
On lap 67, with just a few moments to go, Grosser moved back past Garese to get back in to 3rd.
Mark Ussher took the win by 56 seconds over Lucas Laville, Grosser 30 seconds further back.