And what a result it was in the Saturdays iWCGPS race, which was held at Okayama. Again a solid qualification was very important to have a possibility to score a result inside the top ten after 83 exhausting laps. At Okayama, a track well known for very rare overtaking possibilities, Michael did well in qualification and placed himself in P10 on the grid.

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Classic Indycar Series visited Laguna Seca last Sunday for Round 5 of the 2016 season. Vortex Simracing entered 2 cars for this race: #1 Robert Grosser and #33 Timo Isoniemi.
After a strong Qualifying, Timo started from the outside of Row 1, while Robert was right behind on the outside of Row 2. The race was scheduled for 87 laps, so both Vortex drivers decided to go for a 2-stop strategy.
Timo and Robert had a strong start and were holding P2 and P3 in the early stage of the race. Robert lost a spot to Lucas Laville, who went off track at the start. Short prior the first stop, Lucas also closed the gap to Timo and made the pass. So Vortex was down to P3 & P4. After the first sequence of pistops, Timo had a big moment when he lost the rear on cold tyres. The following car (Karsten Brodowy) saw Timo spinning to the right, so decided to pass on the left. But unfortunatelly Timo’s car then regained grip and moved to the left. A collision was not avoidable. On his way back to the pits, Timo got rear-ended by another driver, which ended his race in a promising position.
Robert kept P3 during most of the race. Only the pit-sequence changed that for a while. Late in the race, leader Mark Ussher spun, so Robert was able to make it to P2. A late full course caution in lap 68 closed the gap to leader Laville. So the race was very open at that stage. Lucas was pulling a gap after restart, while Mark Ussher was keeping the pressure up. Finally Ussher made the pass, heavily inspired by the 1996 “The Pass” into the Corkscrew corner.
So the Final result was Laville in P1, who was able to manage the gap over Ussher. Robert finished a solid P3, losing valuable points in the overall standings to leader Laville.
Vortex driver Denis Garese had to sit out this round, but is still 4th in the overall standings.

Our partner Joel Real Timing was giving away a free pro-license key for his Software App to the driver who gained the most positions. Thanks to JRT for the great support!

Next round will be held on July 10th at Road America. This race will be broadcasted by Racespot TV, starting at 17:00 GMT!

Top ten in sight

Everything was settled in for Michael during the iWCGPS at Montreal. With a great P9 during qualification, again he was in a good spot to score a top ten result. But a bad start ruined his chances to score his second top ten result after Sebring.

At the start, Michael had problems to engage his first gear. Because of that he lost a couple of positions to his opponents around him. Luckily he was able to avoid all incidents in the tight opening laps at Montreal and found himself back in P14 after that. Before the one and only pit stop he worked his way around Saito and Simpson. To gain more track position he decided to go for an early pit stop. With a clear track in front of him he was able to make the best use of its fresh tires. After everyone around him made their one and only pit stop, Michael found himself back in the top ten. In the middle part of the race he was forced to do some fuel saving in order to cross the finish line. Sadly he was not able to defend his position to Saito and lost his top ten spot again. After 70 exhausting laps around the barrier jungle of Montreal, Michael crossed the checkered flag in P11.

With 50% of the series calender now being done, Michael occupies P13 in the overall standings.

 

Montreal 1 Montreal 2 Montreal 3 Montreal 4 Montreal 5 Montreal 6 Montreal 7 Montreal 8

Close to a top ten result

The weekend started well again for Michael. He was able to put the Vortex machine at P13 on the grid. Again, a very good qualification from him with lots of potential to finish inside the top ten.

With a good start, he was able to gain one position and put himself behind the top ten running cars. After doing his one and only pit stop, the battle for P10 was getting more intense. Pahkala was working its way torwards the top ten but lost it on the exit of club corner, ruining his chances to score a top ten after a decent qualification from him. Haapala tried to work its way around Barone at the last laps of the race. With a top ten result directly ahead of his visior, Michael tried everything at the closing stages of the race to grab one position. He tried to take advantage of the situation ahead between Haapala and Barone but was not able to complete the pass for a top ten result. At the end he scored a well deserved P11.

S6 S5 S4 S3 S2 S1

After a short break at Monza, Vortex was back into the business at Watkins Glen. Michael showed his best ever qualification performance at the iWCGPS and put the Vortex McLaren MP4-30 on the 8th spot of the grid.

Right after the started he gained one position and was chasing the lead group. But immediately at lap two he was struggling with his car. He had to battle dramatic understeer making it unable for him to follow the cars ahead. Instead of battling up front he was losing a lot of positions due to the bad handling of his car. Approaching the pit stop Michael found himself into P18. A few laps into the last stint his car was slowly working better than in the beginning of the race. This helped him to regain some of the spots he lost. At the end he finished the race in a solid P15.

Watkins 5 Watkins 4 Watkins3 Watkins2 Watkins1

iWCGPS 2016 Vortex SimRacing Race Reports – Race 4 – Good recovery after a bad opening lap.

After a sensational 10th spot at Sebring International Raceway we were keen on seeing how we perform at Road America. With a solid qualy, Michael was putting the Vortex car on a promising P20 again. Because of his starting position, everything was possible for the race to score a good result again.

On the start Michael lost a couple of positions because of a misjudgement on the entry of the first corner, where he went into the gravel. After his lawn mower activity in the first corner he was finding himself in P26. He joined a group battle of Henrikson, Loozenoord and Mangan. On the attack on Henrikson, Loozenoord lost control at the exit of Canada corner. Michael used the opportunity and passed Henrikson down the Road America Straight.
Immediately, he was able to pull a nice gap over his competitors prior his one and only pit stop during the 47 lap shootout. Because of traffic situation, he extended his stint longer than planned and found a clear track ahead of him to make the best use of his fresh tires. Battle 1 Battle2 Battle3 Battle4 Battle5 Battle6 Battle7 Battle8 Battle9 Battle10
While putting down quick lap times, in the final 10 laps of the race Michael closed in on Simpson and Boettcher. Both seemed to struggle with their tires towards the end of the race. With clean passes in the closing stages of the race against both drivers, he was able to finish his recovery drive in a satisfying 17th spot.

Land down under

Not more needs to be said about qualification P31 as always. But today Dmitri was missing so it was only Michael who was helding the Vortex-flags into the air.

On the opening lap, Michael was making good progress and gained 6 spots. Everything was settled in until a Coanda car pushed him a little wide, causing him to overshoot the hairpain making him loose all the spots he had already gained. After that he was bunched in a queue of Apex Racing UK cars. Unlickily Michael was hit by Alex Simpson entering T5, which caused some slight damage to his car.
But the horrific ride was not over yet. In the pursuite to hunt down Joao Vaz he get a little bit too much grass on the exit of T5 and spun the car into the gravel.
After a short recovery drive he was able to close the gap again to the group in front and decided to pit earlier to undercat the 8 cars ahead. A nice pit exit battle with Saito, was followed with a collision with Maarten van Loozenoord. Loozenord was not able to stop the car in the grass and hit Michael in the following corner. His charge to gain several spots was stopped then, but he finished his disappointing race in P28. Nevertheless he scored vital points to establish himself inside the top 30 drivers. At the moment he is classified in P18 overall.

In two weeks time the Vortex trucks will head over to Sebring. Will the Indycar-playground become a better qualy track for him? What about Dmitri? Will he practice qualification day-night long? On thing is sure. Michael had no disconnects since weeks? Will there be another one? Maybe in Sebring? We will find out, on the 19th of March.

Loozenord2 Loozenord Pit Battle Hit by Simpson Start 2 Start (1)

Interlagos reloaded

New car, new drivers, new opponents, new tires, same qualification results, P32 and P33. If you remember correctly this sounds very familiar to our Pro Season results at Interlagos. This meant both drivers were allowed to battle their way around the Autódromo José Carlos Pace for about 71 laps of DRS-trains and tight racing.

On the start, Dmitri and Michael kept it safe and passed many cars in the expected first lap pile ups. Dmitri, who mostly practiced qualification, struggled a little with race pace and had to defend his positions against many well-known drivers, who have been directly or indirectly involved in first lap pile ups. But Dmitri raced brave and finished the race in P25. Very important for him and very well deserved championship points because only the best 30 drivers regain their license at the end of the season.
Michael showed a great race performance like in the pro series. Starting from the back, he had to battle many cars while he showed plenty of overtaking maneuvers. At the end he had to face Greger Huttu for about 20 laps. He was holding on until the last laps till his tires degraded too much. But at the end he finished in P13 scoring the first Top 15 result for Vortex SimRacing at the iWCGPS.

This time, it won’t be two weeks-time till the field will head over to Phillip Island, it will be one week of practice only. One thing will be for sure, qualification is getting very tight cause last year the Top 25 was within three tenths of a second.

Start Battle Nukarinen Battle Dmitri3 Battle Dmitri2 Battle Dmitri Battle Coanda Battle against Huttu2 Battle against Huttu1 Attack Decorps Attack Colak Attack Boettcher