Robert Graf has taken the new iRacing Chevy out for a spin – if you could count several hundred laps of practice and racing around the oval at Phoenix a ‘little’ outing, that is – for the second race of the DOM-GNL season.
How did the new car treat him? Will he be keeping it? Well the last part of that is slightly up to you – our readership. Robert has set up a poll for you to have your say, if you want, in whether he keeps the 2013 Chevy, or races the new Ford Fusion model for the remainder of the season.
The race report, screenshots of both cars and the link to the poll can all be found by clicking “Read more“, below.
Official Race Report:
Last Tuesday in Phoenix everything seemed to be set for another Florian Kirchhofer victory. Starting from the front row he seperates himself from the field after 15 laps with Peter Taggeselle the only pursuer. Andreas Wilke and Matthias Bayer at quite a distance at this time.
The usual for Phoenix are side-by-side duells and on lap 20, the first victim, rookie Rocco Rost hits the wall after a slight contact with Rene Hejpeter, where he is “picked up” by Hauke Grotheer. No Yellow, the race continues under green. In lap 34, Christian Weberpals and Stephan Peters come together during the battle for 11th place in Turn2 together and this time the Yellow is out. Taggeselle is the winner of pit lane, he takes the lead. But in Turn1 of the restart Kirchhofer takes the lead again. The pursuers are insistent this time. Taggeselle, Wilke, Bayer, and Jonke Eberius all remain within striking distance of the leader.
The racing continues through the lapped cars on lap 65 and the next Yellow flies. Markus Mimzeck is lapped by Torsten Eberius in Turn2 and they touch. The race director calls the Yellow quite late. Torsten Eberius remains unscathed at 6th position, for Markus Mimzeck its a long pit stop afterwards. At the restart Mirko Hempel takes the 6th position from Torsten Eberius the TOP5 remain unchanged. Kirchhofer and Taggeselle dominate the field and literally fly around the track. Taggeselle attacks whenever possible, but that’s not enough to take the lead. On lap 95 Klaus Jonke rides the wall and looses 5th to Mirko Hempel . He continues to hunt down Wilke and Bayer and goes past Bayer on lap 124.
Matthias Bayer opens the series of Green flag pit stops on lap 129, Kirchhofer follows one lap later. Taggeselle on pitroad in lap 131, followed by Mirko Hempel. Andreas Wilke comes in in lap 132, Klaus Jonke thus the new leader. But the joy is short-lived because on lap 136 Markus Mimzeck spins and causes the next Yellow. At this time, not all drivers have been in the pits, the field is shuffled quite a bit on the restart.
On lap 140 Taggeselle is now finally in the lead, followed by Schick, Kroeger, Grotheer, Jonke and Lippert. At the restart, Torsten Brandt bumps Lippert out of the way and gains 6th Place. But Lippert does not give up and gets the position back again four laps later. While Taggeselle settles in front, a battle for 4th place unfolds between Grotheer, Jonke and Lippert. Grotheer loses ground the next rounds and Jonke passes on lap 164. The group now stretches down to P12. In this group, with 20 laps to go, the drivers get cracking. TOP5 appears in easy reach for everyone. And suddenly Andreas Wilke is back, on lap 182 he takes 6th place from Stefan Lippert. In the same lap Andreas Kroeger gets loose in Turn3 and have losses his 3rd place to Klaus Jonke.
On lap 184 a Yellow with a story to it, Lippert and Kirchhofer battle for 7th place on the back straight and touch, Kirchhofer waggles into the wall. Leemann touched him there, Bayer swerves to the apron. Out of Turn4 Leeman is on the outside next to Bayer, slips and hits him. Bayer spins down the front stretch and is collected by Brandt and Eberius. Eberius continues, but spins a short time later on the apron, Leemann and Peters cannot avoid the car of Eberius.
On the last restart the white flag is not the only thing that flies. Klaus Jonke looses the tail, bangs into the inner wall and is “picked up” by Mirko Hempel. Rene Hejpeter comes too close, hits the wall hard and is sent into barrel rolls. Hauke Grotheer drives right into the gap and goes from P5 to P2, Christian Schick on the outside can only watch. For Peter Taggeselle the road to victory is clear. Hauke Grotheer can be happy, 2 times 2nd place, Christian Schick in 3rd place. Andreas Kroeger at number 4 and Andreas Wilke with a strong Finsh still in the TOP5.
Hauke Grotheer takes the championship lead, Andreas Wilke as no1 contender. Peter Taggeselle makes a big jump from P10 to P3 and place 4 is shared by Florian Kirchhofer and Stefan Lippert. In the team championship HPM (Aulmann, Kirchhofer, Grotheer, Brandt) is leading DIHL (Taggeselle, Bayer, Wilke) and DIHL.AT (Kroeger, Jonke, Graf).Las Vegas is next!
I like Phoenix. Its a tough track, but if you are patient, you can gain a lot there. And the side-by-side duells are just great there, cause ther is more then one line through the turns.
However, im not the fastest here. In practice i thought that MAYBE i could go for TOP15, not more. And starting order prooved me right, 17th on the grid. But as the race got going i could race quite faster then the people around me, especially after 25 laps i started gaining even on faster drivers. First yellow went perfect i came in in 13th and got out in 8th! Now i was quit confident to get a TOP10 finish, maybe even higher. And that seemed to work brilliantly up to lap 136.
I had just done my green-flag pitstop as another yellow came out. I got a wave around, but was now trapped at 13th with a lap down. Out of competitors and options i hit the wall 3 times going into turn3. Braking into a turn was quite an issue afterwards. I got a bis of luck at the end when Klaus spun and i could make up 2 positions on the last lap. 11th place was not be expected before the race, but afterwards it looks to me like it could have been better.
So what’s next?
Well, that’s partially up to the simFlight readership. Take a look at the two cars below. Whichever one you’d like to see wearing the simFlight colours this season under Robert’s control, you can make your choice here – show some support and help with Robert’s decision!