A review on a successful year within iRacing.
UBP333 – January
A single endurance event hosted by a long time community Virtual Oval which once a year runs a returning endurance race of 333miles (535km). In 2013 the Circuit Spa Fancorchamps was selected as venue with the familiar SFH Riley Daytona Prototype as racecar.
Rudy was able to put down solid and clean laps with 1 real opponent, an iRacing world championship driver Martin Kronke. Kronke was a solid second faster in practice.
The race was long and hard, 3 fuel stints and well over 2 hours of racing. As expected Rudy was not able to keep up with Martin although the gap stagnated after the first stint. Due to Martin making mistakes Rudy kept the margin small. After the 2nd pit stop the gap was only a few seconds and shortly before the finish Martin spun and Rudy was able to take the lead. Because the rear tires were still cooking Martin couldn’t catch Rudy and had to let the SFH Riley take the checkered flag to win the UPB 333 of 2013.
IROC2 – January
A Dutch oval league, something Rudy felt he had to support as a fan of Oval racing and knowing there are few leagues out there. This one was organized by DigitalRacing.nl and had a 6 race schedule with the Chevy Silverado Truck as it’s vehicle.
The season started off very good for Rudy who took the checkered the first race at Charlotte in a dominant way. Even after receiving a penalty for speeding exiting pit lane he was able to blaze through the field and beat his opponents.
The second race Michigan was a draft party, there was no way to get away from a truck that held the draft. A race which required patience, patience until it was time to strike. A green flag pit stop in the middle of the race was that time and after a great stop Rudy had shaken off his drafters and could display the raw speed of his #8 Silverado. He held on to the lead and took his consecutive win of the season obviously increasing his margin in the championship.
Race 3 was to be the hardest race of them all, Dover it’s venue, the concrete monster mile! In this race Rudy once again showed he mastered the track and patiently awaited his chance to attack. His main rival Jarno made a small mistake en collected a vast majority of the competitors. This basically handed the race to Rudy who took 3 in a row!.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the next track on the schedule. This time the setup choices Rudy made weren’t as good as expected. The car was hard to drive and got looser as the stint went on. Once again Jarno was his main rival and clearly done a better job on the setup. Jarno ran Rudy down and passed him for the win. Rudy ended up finishing 2nd still maintaining a big lead in the championship. Race 5 at Richmond was a lot like Indianapolis. Jarno clearly had organized himself and beat the whole field with Rudy coming in 2nd again and having a lead in the championship that was big enough to claim the championship. Unfortunately Rudy was not able to attend the last event at Daytona. Nevertheless a worthy champion with 3 wins and 2 seconds in 5 races.
March on Michigan – March
An iRacing official world tour race. The only Official race Rudy ran in 2013. The race was a fixed setup one where initially the grid would be set by qualifying time. Always wanted to run against the big oval boys Rudy put in a lot of effort into getting the best possible time out of qualifying. In the end on qualifying time Rudy would have been in de top split. Unfortunately grids were set by iRating and then qualifying. So starting from pole! The main goal in the race was to be error free and collect good safety rating. That Rudy did he dominated the event, was able to drive away from the pack and log faster laps as a single car then the drafting ones behind him trying to hunt him down. Having a clean run and a comfortable lead to take the race home a late caution came out with only 12 laps to go. At the restart Rudy lost the lead due to the draft and had to fight hard for several laps to stay in second. After clearing 2nd place there was only 1.5 laps left and the margin to the leader was well over half a second. At the exit of T4 of the last lap Rudy was able to catch the leader and make a run for the checkered. A side-by-side finish, unfortunately Rudy had the short end of the stick and finished 2nd 0.027 seconds behind the winner.
Morgan Schooley Benefitial – July
Morgan Schooley a well-known and respected iRacer within the community was battling cancer. Treatment off his illness is very expensive and therefore the iRacing community hosted a series of benefit events to raise donations and have a good time in support of Morgan. Rudy attended the race at Watkins Glen in the Ford GT. A very competitive race with a better outcome than expected. Rudy finished P3 on the podium!.
Unfortunately the sad news is that Morgan passed away in September 2013 as he lost the battle to his Illness. Rest In Peace Morgan!
Gathering of Tweakers (GoT)
GoT – Week 13 Special event Team Challenge – April
MX5(Deni), Solstice (Rudy) and SRF (Pascal)at Okayama
A horrible car (well not that bad actually) but a great battle with flying Fin Roope. Rudy battled Roope for the majority of the race running within tenths from each other. Unfortunately a driver error on Roope’s end ended the battle and handed the class and race win to Rudy. In the Team Challenge Rudy and his teammates ended up high on the board (the excact result eluded).
GoT – Week 13 Special event Team Challenge – July
Ford GT (Rudy) and McLaren (Dirk) at Road Atlanta
Rudy teamed up With Dirk. In the GT Rudy was hoping to be able to get a good battle with Roope once again, but this time Roope was to fast and able to create a gap. Passing the McLarens was a challenge as they had a higher top speed then the GT’s. At the end of the race Rudy caught his teammate who gave him nice tows on the straight. Overall Rudy and Dirk both ran a solid race and won the event.
GoT – Week 13 Special event Ford Team Challange- October
Ford GT, Ford V8 Supercar and Ford Mustang FR500 (Rudy)
A chance got give the good old FR500s a spin around Spa. A fun combo in a race that was about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Each class was assigned a teammate from the other classes. Rudy was running the slowest of the cars and was teamed up with a V8 Supercar expert Thomas and Ronnie who signed up for the Ford GT. The race was as expected a little dull except when the faster cars came blazing by. Rudy could not beat Pro Jesper and had to settle with 2nd in class. Thomas took the class and overall win in de V8 Supercar which is pretty impressive. Ronnie came home 9th in class after having some issues. Overall the team came in a solid 2nd.
GoT – Monday Tournament
Throughout the year the GoT community hosts a Monday night tournament which hosts different cars and tracks every week. 2013-S4 Rudy attended a lot of these races and ended up topping the standings at the end of the season. Among the cars ran were the Solstice, MX5, Skip Barber, Star Mazda, McLaren, Kia, Lotus 49, FW31.
GNC – GameNews 24 series 2013-2
GNC’s top league runs an oval league that follows the sprint cup schedule and runs the Generation6 Ford Fusion and Chevy SS. The league ran with the fixed setup and 60% of the realistic sprint cup distance. Nice long oval races, plenty of time for strategy. The field was big, 30-43 drivers each race.
Rudy ran the #8 Farmers Insurance in a ‘limited’ schedule, he entered 13 of 18 scheduled races. The results were up and down, not based by speed, but by tough luck. The race at Bristol Rudy dominated the first segment and got called by work and lost numerous laps and any chance of victory. A lag crash at Atlanta, failing pit stop strategy all contributed to some mediocre results. The latter part of the schedule Rudy got more and more fired up. His first win was a dominating one at Charlotte, he also won Texas, Watkins Glen (road coarse) and managed to beat the highest rated oval driver in Europe in a one-on-one 20 lap sprint to the finish. Even though driving a limited schedule Rudy ended up 10th in the standings and becoming Rookie of the Season!.
A nice field with a big number of drivers that could win any given race. So to win 4 out of 13 events is something to be proud off.
What will 2014 bring?
As the year is already on it’s way the first race win and achievement is in the bag! Rudy prolonged the UBP333 2014 driven with the Ruf Track car at Bathurst.
The series scheduled for appearance are the Piston Cup which is a Nascar Nationwide Oval series which will host 8 events. Rudy will also attend the Gen6 Chevy in de GNC – 2014-1 A Class Oval series. Unfortunately the latter will be a limited schedule in which he hopes to be battling for victory lane.
The #8 Clorox Chevy Impala and the #8 Pepsi Max / Farmers Insurance Chevy SS Gen6