Cody Wenzen exits Summit Point leading the points by eight over Taylor Dragoo, and twelve over Johnny Eckert. Next week the series heads across the pond to serve as the undercard for the Formula World Series from Brands Hatch's famous Indy Circuit.
26 that started. The first stage ended under yellow flag conditions while Bowers was able to barely nip Tim Silliman for the victory in Stage 2. ISDC Rookie Logan McAnally took pole position while Mac Motorsports teammate Austin Cothren was able to score fastest lap. With the new Stage Points system, Nate Bowers exits Daytona a near lock for the Grand National Series Playoffs and the far and away points leader. Bowers leads Tim Silliman by 16 points, followed by Rocky Boyd and Johnny Eckert in a tie for third, with Adam Hill and Matthew Lesniewski tied for fifth. Next up for the ISDC Stockers is the tight turns of USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Florida, a double header with the Tough Truck Challenge.
Tonight August 24th marks the first night of the new ISDC Season. The brand new Tough Truck Challenge heads to the Florida Panhandle to Pensacola's historic Five Flags Speedway where the trucks are set to do battle over 100 laps in the Sunbelt Rentals 100. In pre race testing Will Roberts has been the man to beat, setting down laps consistently at a 16.0, while Tim Silliman and Dylan Ackart have also been fast. Meanwhile look for Cody Wenzen and Matt Eagan to step up to the plate, if we have learned anything from short tracks in Grand National, both of these drivers are fast. Tires will be at a premium as the aged track surface is hungry for rubber. The green flag will drop at 7:37 PM Eastern, look back here after for results and replays.
Meanwhile the ISDC Grand National Series is looking for a strong debut tonight for the 3rd ISDC Daytona 400. The race, lengthened this season from 300 to 400 kilometers, will be the first test for many new items in the Grand National Series. Stage Racing is making it's debut in Grand National, with tonight being one of three races this season to have three stages, along with the Coca Cola World 300 on September 28th, and the Ford 250 on November 16th. Tonight will consist of two 25 lap stages, and one fifty lap stage at the end. Daytona is always a dance with luck, but there is one name that has proven to always be near the front in the plate events, Cody Wenzen. Look for the Arizona driver to be near the front and in contention come lap 100 yet again. Also look out for both defending champions Trevor Brownlee and Stephen Laarkamp.
Springfield, VA- One last week to cap off the season for the International Sim Drivers Club saw two tight championship battles come right down to the end. Stephen Laarkamp and Cody Wenzen ultimately defended both of their titles in both of the ISDC Series but they had to fight until the very end to do so.
Stephen Laarkamp entered The 500 at Auto Club Speedway with a slim 7 point lead over Caeton Bomersbach. Caeton needed to win or finish a few spots ahead of Stephen to take the title and he came very close. Remco Majoor put his foot down and made his name known. On the back of a strong second place finish at Kentucky, Remco was one of the fastest cars all night and despite an alternate strategy at the end of the race, Remco took victory. Caeton came excruciatingly close to the title however, losing in the end by under a tenth of a second. Stephen Laarkamp rounded out the podium. When all was said and done and the numbers were crunched, Stephen Laarkamp won the title by three points. Meanwhile, John Ahles finished fourth and Erik Jeffers finished fifth. Remco Majoor lead the most laps at 87 after a long battle with Danny Roberts, while Clifford Ebben showed good speed and collected fastest lap. The series heads into their offseason before starting Season 4 on August 28th in the Land of the Rising Sun, the tour's third visit to the tricky oval of Twin Ring Motegi. Once the new season starts you can catch all the action on PrimeTime Broadcast, a new partner for Season 4.
Meanwhile, three nights later it was a similar story. Cody Wenzen entered the Lucas Oil 250 at Auto Club with an even slimmer one point lead over Tim Silliman, but Cody took things a lot more into his own hands, leading 69 of 77 laps and taking victory by fifteen seconds to win his third race of the season, fourth overall, and take the championship by seven points. Tim Silliman did all he could and finished second, while Stephen Laarkamp was third, Lee Robinson fourth in his debut, and Taylor Dragoo rounded out the season in fifth, having already clinched the Rookie of the Year Title over Travis Bennett and Brian Sullivan. Wenzen locked up his second title. The series also heads into their offseason before getting back going August 24th on the aged surface of Daytona where many new components such as Stage Racing and a Playoff Format will be introduced.
The tour will be off for the next several weeks, but a Town Hall Meeting between the drivers, team owners, league administration, sponsors and track promoters will be taking place on July 31st on ISDC Discord at 8:00 PM Eastern.
Springfield, VA- In a week that turned on it's head every which way, Tim Silliman was able to bring out the broom and sweep.
Slick track conditions in New Hampshire combined with the low downforce package the series brought lead to a wild race in the Granite State. The race started with a crazy moment as Stephen Laarkamp had an uncharacteristic spin on the first corner that collected Taylor Dragoo and Caeton Bomersbach. Stephen was able to come away relatively unscathed while Taylor and Caeton's nights were done. Many cars made contact on the wall out of two and many of the starters would retire early. Meanwhile at the end of the night, Tim Silliman came away with a solid victory over John Ahles and Johne Martin. Will Roberts came away with fastest lap and the pole bonus, while Stephen Laarkamp came away with a larger points lead over Caeton Bomersbach.
As the tour headed south to throw-down in Georgia, Tim Silliman again looked hot. Backing up his practice speed, Tim took pole and didn't look back. The race ran caution free, allowing everyone to elect their own strategy. Some drivers took two stops while others took three but in the end, Silliman collected his fourth win on the season and sixth overall to cut Cody Wenzen's points lead down. Daytona Champion Trevor Brownlee finished second while Wenzen finished third. Silliman swept the event, notching fastest lap, pole and the most laps lead at a staggering 92.
Next week the league makes return visits to two venues. Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky will play host to it's second ever Formula World Series Event. In the summer of 2016, Alex Boffoli took victory despite a hard charge from Danny Roberts and Ken Payne late in the going. Meanwhile Grand National visits the freshly repaved Phoenix International Raceway, where on the old configuration Cody Wenzen was able to put down a stomping in the season finale last season. Lets see if he is able to do the same on the new pavement. Formula World Series will be on American Sim Network at 9:00 Eastern on Monday.
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.
Watkins Glen, NY- 48 of 51 laps were lead by Danny Roberts. Tim Silliman was able to lead 3. By those stats it seems Danny Roberts ran away with the TrueCar Watkins Glen 200 but that could not be further from the truth. The race lead was never more than four seconds and was under two seconds the entire last half of the race. Ultimately Danny Roberts was able to fend off a charging Stephen Laarkamp, putting down a blistering near Qualifying pace after the final stop to hold off Stephen Laarkamp by just over a second. Tim Silliman rounded out the Podium, Travis Bennett finished fourth and Cody Wenzen salvaged a fifth after a lap 1 incident. Leaving New York for Colonial Virginia next week, Danny Roberts holds a slim eight point margin over Stephen Laarkamp but Phoenix winner Caeton Bomersbach is breathing down his neck in third. The lone true short track on the Formula World Series Calendar, Richmond International Raceway will play host to the Suntrust Indy Challenge. Last time the series made its way to a short track at Iowa Speedway it was Roberts and Bomersbach dueling it out, may we see that again? Tune in to American Sim Network at 9:00 PM Eastern June 5th to find out!
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