Springfield, VA- It was a week of "gaps." Stephen Laarkamp and Cody Wenzen took the trophies on both ends of the country. Just after NASCAR wrapped up their mid season west coast trip in Wine Country, the Formula World Series headed to Sonoma Raceway on the 2.22 Mile IRL course while the Grand National Series found its way back home to the high banked short track of Bristol Motor Speedway.
In California, it was a Stephen Laarkamp kind of night. The Pennsylvanian driver started the night saying it was among his favorite car/track combinations and it showed. Laarkamp lead 26 of the 36 laps after starting from pole and took the win by almost twenty seconds. Tom Carpenter lead after a Lap 13 Accident brought out the yellow and Tim Silliman lead under the final green flag pit cycle. Caeton Bomersbach brought home the Third Man Racing Honda in 2nd while Nicklas Rasmussen rounded out the podium. Stephen Laarkamp extended his lead with the win but still has a fight on his hands over the last three rounds of the season. Caeton Bomersbach is always strong on ovals, especially short ovals, where we head next week at New Hampshire. If Stephen Laarkamp wants to be a three time champion, he's going to have to fight harder than before to do it.
Meanwhile in Tennessee, Chris Gutierrez made everyone look like they were in a race for second much of the night, but trouble getting through lapped traffic on the notoriously difficult high banks of Bristol meant Cody Wenzen was able to sneak through and snag the win. Combined with well timed pit strategy, Wenzen took the win by ten seconds over Will Roberts. Caeton Bomersbach finished third, Stephen Laarkamp faded late to fourth and Taylor Dragoo rounded out the top 5. Chris Gutierrez lead 98 laps, almost two-thirds distance. There were two cautions for Ten Laps, and 8 lead changes among six different leaders. Cody Wenzen emerges with the largest point lead in Grand National history, but it's not going to be enough to lock away this title. With three races remaining, ten points is not very much.
As always, every race of the ISDC Formula World Series can be found on American Sim Network, and stay tuned here for all the action.
Springfield, VA- The week of June 18th took many unexpected turns for the International Sim Drivers Club, and many lefts and rights that were.
The second leg of the FWS Triple Crown was held on Monday, June 19th at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. It was a little bit of a warm day with a slightly strange wind helping the cars turn through Turn 3 but shooting cars into the Turn 1 wall as a result. The initial start to the race was hampered by a large accident under pace car conditions. The field was brought in and most teams were able to bring out their backups. Notables include GAP Sim Racing Team Car 19 and Car 97, 703 Racing's Car 7, Third Man Racing's Car 3, Car 2 of Taylor Dragoo and Bombshell's Car 95. Once the race was able to restart the field rolled off with points leader Stephen Laarkamp on point. Caeton Bomersbach flew through the field early and was up front within the first 200 kilometers. The front of the field went back and forth between the two title favorites before Caeton was able to pull out a late race pass to seal victory. Stephen was second, Chris Gutierrez was third, Taylor Dragoo fourth and Johne Martin fifth. Stephen Laarkamp holds a slim lead over Caeton Bomersbach, the Texan looks to get his first title and be the first man not named Stephen Laarkamp to hold the honor. Next week the Formula World Series will be visiting beautiful Northern California, Wine Country's Sonoma Raceway, for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.
Also in the Northeast this week was the Grand National Series, making it's second Road Course stop of the season. The tour stopped at Watkins Glen International, in Watkins Glen, New York. Here Stephen Laarkamp had mechanical issues before the start and was never able to recover, opening the door for a race long fight between Cody Wenzen and Will Roberts. Both drivers were the class of the field as Roberts lead 20 laps to Wenzen's 18, and finished less than a second ahead to take his second victory in three races. With Laarkamp's issues before the start, Tim Silliman regains the points lead, while Cody Wenzen is now in second. The top six are only separated by 27 points with four races to go.
Richmond, VA- In a night that saw a little bit of everything, Caeton Bomersbach was able to use excellent pit strategy and keep his nose clean to hold off the twice defending champion Stephen Laarkamp. In what turned out to be an excellent points day for Bomersbach, he jumped to the points lead, holding a slim four point margin over Stephen Laarkamp. Danny Roberts had an early accident and fell from first to third. Phil Clark held out for a surprise third place finish, while John Ahles was able to lead 21 laps and collect a career best fourth place finish. Johne Martin rounded out the top 5. Bomersbach lead 68 laps, the most on the night, ahead of Tim Silliman's 40. Travis Bennett took home the three points for Pole Position and lead early but had trouble after only 18 laps ending his night. The series heads north a few hours to Summit Point, West Virginia, just 75 miles outside of Washington, DC, for the Toyota Grand Prix of West Virginia. This will mark the third of four road courses on the schedule, and should be a deciding factor in the season championship. Tune to American Sim Network for all the action.
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