Race 1 -
The trio of TX3 Commando, Mitch555, and Tactical displayed their pace in qualifying by taking the top 3 positions by 3 tenths of a second over FTR Riidge and F4H Diablo. At the start of the race, the TX3 drivers quickly developed a chain and created a gap to the chase pack as F4H Diablo, FTR Riidge, FTR Banks, and RBM Yachts got involved in an intense battle for 4th through 7th.
As the pitting sequence began, we saw an early pit from RBM Yachts which looked to be a great move to get some open racing room and perform the undercut on FTR Riidge. Unfortunately for Yachts, a wiggle through the first turn chicane on cold tires lead to a sim steering twitch and catastrophically damaged his car effectively putting an end to his race.
(Replay needed to complete recap)
After race 1, EpicSmudge19, DOR spartanfit, ACR Dunc, Tiggerwoo, and RBM Yachts were relegated to Lobby B while TX3 Mellish, VSR GGracing, ACR Suprise, EVR Ajax, and DOR Fuzzy Racing earned promotions to Lobby A.
A reverse grid start with the 10 top finishers of race 1 being inverted. iRacer 7plus and GTR Warwick found themselves on the front row for the start. Warwick with a blazing start got the jump on 7plus and found himself leading after turn 1. A bit further back EVR Murks001, TX3 Mellish and VSR GGracing found themselves falling downward through the order after separate racing incidents going into the tight turn 1.
Warwick led the pack across the line but the man on the move was FTR Banks moving up from 7th to 4th through the chaotic first lap. A few laps later iRacer 7plus was the unfortunate victim of the first chicane curbs as a spin resulted in him rapidly falling downward through the racing order.
At the head of the race, FTR Banks found a way alongside of GTR Warwick and through the final turn they both pushed wide trying to maximize their speed down the main straight. F4H Diablo with a great late apex move dove to the inside making a 3 car drag race down to turn 1. Bank's Clio had the speed over the Minis and solidified his grasp on the lead as Diablo slipped into 2nd. Warwick in 3rd was now in the sights of the rapid TX3 trio of Tactical, Mitch555, and Commando. Tactical and Commando progressed their way past Warwick but a battle between Mitch555 and FTR Riidge gave Warwick a brief relief from the pressure. The top 4 began to form a breakaway chain as the order remained FTR Banks, F4H Diablo, TX3 Tactical, and TX3 Commando.
As the pit sequence worked itself out, the TX3 drivers found themselves to be the biggest beneficiaries with Tactical and Commando getting past Diablo and Mellish moving up to 5th after the lap 1 incident found him far down the order. The train formed as the first 4 cars broke away from the rest of the pack. FTR Banks defensive skills were on full display as Tactical searched for any opportunity to get alongside. As the laps remaining began to wind down so did the patience of TX3 Commando in 3rd as he began to challenge his teammate Tactical for 2nd position, as Diablo watched opportunistically just behind them. Banks took this brief relief in pressure to quickly develop a gap of over the trio battling for second .
With 2 laps to go battles could be found throughout the top 10. Second through fourth being contested by Tactical, Commando, and Diablo. Another battle for 5th through 7th was on between TX3 Mellish, FTR Riidge, and TX3 Mitch555. GTR Warwick and EVR Murks001 were competing for 8th, and Mesasphere(F4H) was being pressured by EVR Ajax, VSR GGracing, and ACR Suprise for 10th place.
As the final lap begun, TX3 Commando made a dive to the inside of F4H Diablo into turn 1 to regain 3rd place while FTR Banks and TX3 Tactical had develop a few cars lengths gap ahead. TX3 Mellish claimed 5th as TX3 Mitch and FTR Riidge's battling slowed their pace slightly with Riidge ultimately beating Mitch555 to the line. GTR Warwick managed to hold of EVR Murks001 with some great defending over the final laps to take 8th. Possibly the best last lap battle was for 10th through 13th where Mesasphere was held off VSR GGracing and ACR Suprise for 10th after EVR Ajax was pushed wide in the last sector falling from 11th to 13th.
My "Driver of the Race" award goes to FTR Banks for the master class of defensive driving he displayed holding of TX3 Tactical, TX3 Commando, and F4H Diablo for seemingly countless laps before ultimately seizing the victory.