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RESULTS: Race To Reality iRaceing Final Mazda MX-5 @ Oran Park

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Madison Down has taken out the honours in Racecentre’s “Race To Reality” iRacing Final. He has now advanced to the Grand Final in the chance of winning a real race drive in December this year.

Madison was looking the goods through practice and Qualify but was pushed along from his TTR Team mate Josh Muggleton and other drivers like Blake Coppo, Justin Ruggier and Dylan Gulson. The top ten all qualifying with a second.

The green flag drops on the sunny scape of Oran Park and its Josh Muggleton who has got the dream start over Madison and got the inside line through the kink and into turn 2. Madison however holds his line on the outside and gets the next run into T3. Over the bridge and its Madison in front with Muggo 2nd, Ruggier in 3rd and Gulson in 4th. The remainder of the field meander through the twisting circuit just trying to stay out of trouble. It wasn’t the case however for an unfortunate Mitchell Abrahall who was taken out by Terry Nightingale on the first lap, both retiring early.

Oran Park is not the easiest track to pass on as it is tight. The only real opportunity is to get a good run onto the main straight and out brake your opponent. Either that or wait for them to over shoot the kink and get loose on the kitty litter. That’s exactly what happened to Andrew Le who did well to move from 10th to 6th before he fenced it forcing his retirement.

The front pack consisting of 8 drivers remained together until the first run of pit stops occurred. Josh Muggleton was the first to blink as he came in for fuel only on L9 but was slapped with a speeding penalty as 1st gear on the MX-5 jumped to 52km/h in a 50 zone. Very small difference but enough for the penalty. Muggo to was not happy indeed as that cost him at least an extra 15 seconds and potentially the win. The rest of the drivers were now very cautious on when they pitted.  With all the pit stops going on Stuart Vaughan started to see the light at the pointy end of the field as he started on P12 and was now up into P2. This saw him mixing it well up front before he was forced to pit for a splash and dash.

With the compulsory pit stops all done and dusted there was nothing in it at the front as Ruggier was trying to chew away at the 5 second gap to Madison in P1. Ruggier also had Dylan Gulson on his tail making ground. Josh was charging back through the field as he was posting some real impressive laps. Driving with Blake Coppo and James Stevenson they produced some awesome viewing as they showed how to race side by side and not exchange any paint. Josh eventually dived under Coppo on the penultimate corner to regain 4th position. Coppo and Stevenson where left to battle it out and that exactly what they did. Unfortunately they ran wide in the kink into the litter and Stevenson received slight damage taking him out of contention for the minor placing’s. He did his best but there was nothing he could do as he watched Coppo pull away.

Further down the pack and it was crowd favourite Phill Rockstroh battling with Michael Manley and Marlon McMullen for P8. Phill and Michael have worked really hard to get their way into the final. Phill joined iRacing just to participate and you could see the determination both he and Robby Thomae have had throughout the series capturing everyone’s hearts. With an early mistake from them both they stuck in their to gain a respectable finish.

At the end of the 40 min race it was Madison who takes the Chequered ahead of Ruggier in 2nd and Dylan Gulson in 3rd. A big congratulations to all the drivers are they sure showed what a quality field this was. Hopefully Racecentre can run the same competition next year to give the sim driver a real racing opportunity.

Results:

Fin Pos Driver Start Pos Car # Interval Laps Led Fastest Lap Time
1 Madison Down 1 77 0 28 01:17.8
2 Justin V Ruggier 3 8 -5.74 0 01:17.8
3 Dylan Gulson 5 14 -9.185 2 01:17.8
4 Josh Muggleton 2 81 -14.379 0 01:18.1
5 Blake Coppo 4 4 -15.127 0 01:18.4
6 James Stevenson 6 426 -26.384 0 01:18.5
7 Stuart Vaughan 12 47 -41.217 0 01:19.1
8 Phill Rockstroh 13 19 -1:11.414 0 01:19.4
9 Michael Manley 16 4 -1:15.400 0 01:19.5
10 Marlon J McMullen 17 85 -1:15.474 0 01:19.4
11 Rob Hartley 14 33 -1 L 0 01:18.6
12 Robby Thomae 11 52 -1 L 0 01:18.7
13 Andrew Le 10 23 -22 L 0 01:18.4
14 Luke Emerton 18 90 -24 L 0  
15 Shaun Kelly 15 15 -28 L 0 01:19.2
16 Kris Tarrant 7 18 -29 L 0 01:22.8
17 Mitchell Abrahall 8 31 -30 L 0  
18 Terry Nightingale JR 9 99 -30 L 0  
19 Desmond Hallam 19 999 -30 L 0  
 

By Shane Gilfeather

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