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iRacing Dallara GP: Maarten van Loozenoord takes third win of 2021 at Silverstone

iRacing Dallara GP: Maarten van Loozenoord takes third win of 2021 at Silverstone

At the halfway point of the 2021 Force Dynamics Dallara iRacing Grand Prix Championship season, the title fight looks to be between three drivers between two teams. For the third time this season, Maarten van Loozenoord took top honors, this time winning at Silverstone Circuit.

These wins never seem to come easy, especially when teammates are in play. It looked like the Apex Racing Team-mates of Peter Berryman and Ben Fuller (on the affiliated SDK Gaming team) had the race completely controlled. van Loozenoord decided against that, pitting later than the rest to have the freshest tires at the end.

In the closing laps, van Loozenoord made his moves to take the lead, take the win, and take his place as a championship contender with five races to go.

NEW RULES STARTING AT SILVERSTONE

The start of the broadcast at Silverstone made it evident that there were new tire rules in play regarding qualifying and race conditions. In an effort to promote a wider variety of virtual tire compounds in race conditions, officials let racers know that the tire compound they qualify on will be the same one they must start the race on.

Of course, the red-wall soft tires will yield the fastest laps, but they will also have the greatest falloff early. Yellow-walled medium compound tires still run a respectable lap, but they too will falter quickly. The white-walled hard tires have been the go-to for most drivers this season. They don’t seem to give up too much pace early, and will last a considerable amount of time longer than the other compounds.

Marcos Núñez, who had an average starting spot of 16th entering the race, was the only driver brave enough to try an alternate strategy. Núñez put on the red-walls in qualifying and earned his first pole position of the season. The move put him ahead of the fab five this year, that being the four Apex drivers and the one R8G Esports driver van Loozenoord.

On the start, Núñez had pace to battle for the lead, but the tires went quickly. The stack-ups led to some early misfortunes for some of the contenders on the season.

CONTENDERS IN TROUBLE EARLY

While Fuller and Berryman were able to scoot around the slower Núñez, the three other title fighters found themselves in a hole of some shape in the opening laps.

Michele Costantini, winner at Spa, wound up with the most troubles. Costantini lost a part of his front win early on the first lap. As he struggled to maintain enough pace to make it back to pit road for repair, he wound up making contact with Kane Halliburton.

Halliburton retired immediately, but Costantini had to fight for every point he could salvage on the day. He fought back to finish 11th, also taking the fastest lap of the race. The end result earned him six championship points.

iRacing Rallycross champion Yohann Harth had a tough time getting around Núñez as well. The two made slight contact and that sent Harth off-track momentarily. The Harth slide occurred right in front of van Loozenoord. His reaction to slow up and loose time there was likely one of the key factors that led to him being in contention in the first place.

VAN LOOZENOORD VS APEX RACING TEAM ONCE AGAIN

Last week, the battle was four vs one with all four Apex Racing Team cars trying to keep van Loozenoord behind. They were unsuccessful in their attempts at Monza, as they were at Watkins Glen earlier in the season.

For van Loozenoord, even though he has a direct Predator Simracing teammate in the field in Przemyslaw Lemanek, most of the time he has to go about winning these races on his own accord. While Lemanik was in the conversation for most of the race, after the final stop, it was all van Loozenoord once again. The official R8G Esports drivers of Valentin Mandernach and Florian Lebigre also failed to find their way to the front this week once again.

With five laps to go, van Loozenoord made his moves to get to the top spot. The trio of van Loozenoord, Berryman and Fuller went three wide for the lead for a moment before singling out moments later. van Loozenoord pulled away and won his third race of the season quite easily after that, having the fresher tires as well.

TOP 10 RESULTS AT SILVERSTONE

  1. 69 Maarten van Loozenoord – Predator Simracing – 40 LAPS
  2. 50 Peter Berryman – Apex Racing Team +0:02.074 sec
  3. 55 Ben Fuller – SDK Gaming +0:02.253 sec
  4. 98 Matteo Ugolotti – TQ Engineering +0:11.439 sec
  5. 90 Yohann Harth – Apex Racing Team +0:16.119 sec
  6. 9 Tamas Simon – Privateer +0:20.553 sec
  7. 6 Jarl Teien – MB Racing Esport +0:25.029 sec
  8. 16 Peter Zuba – Race Clutch +0:33.510 sec
  9. 7 Gio Cortese – S2V Esports +0:34.294 sec
  10. 5 Omar Baha – Privateer +0:44.991 sec
    *Michele Costantini (11th) set the fastest lap of the race

POINTS STANDINGS LEAVING SILVERSTONE

The championship battle is hotter than it’s been now that van Loozenoord is back in the conversation. After a miserable Interlagos Grand Prix in which he scored no points, van Loozenoord has been nearly perfect, scoring 50 out of a possible 52 points (no winner has been able to set a fastest lap yet in 2021). Berryman has a pair of runner up finishes to match, but that only earns 21 points a race.

Now with half of the season to go, if the trends continue, we could see van Loozenoord continue to close in on Berryman over the next two weeks at Hockenheim and Road America. Harth, in third, will be someone to keep an eye on as well. He’s only 12 points behind his Apex teammate. One bad Berryman race, and the entire championship could be wide open.

TOP 10 STANDINGS AFTER SILVERSTONE

  1. Peter Berryman – 99 points
  2. Maarten van Loozenoord – 90 points
  3. Yohann Harth – 87 points
  4. Michele Costantini – 68 points
  5. Ben Fuller – 64 points
  6. Tamas Simon – 41 points
  7. Matteo Ugolotti – 32 points
  8. Jarl Teien – 31 points
  9. David Toth – 31 points
  10. Valentin Mandernach – 30 points
    Sam Kuitert – 30 points

NEXT RACE

Next up for the series is the Hockenheimring, next week at the same time, 3:00 pm ET. Races will be broadcasted on the iRacing social channels. the full schedule can be found below.

DATETRACK
16th SeptemberWatkins Glen International | Winner: Maarten van Loozenoord
23rd SeptemberCircuit de Spa-Francorchamps | Winner: Michele Costantini
30th SeptemberAutódromo José Carlos Pace | Winner: Peter Berryman
7th OctoberAutodromo Nazionale Monza | Winner: Maarten van Loozenoord
14th OctoberSilverstone Circuit | Winner: Maarten van Loozenoord
21st OctoberHockenheimring Baden-Württemburg
28th OctoberRoad America
4th NovemberRed Bull Ring
11th NovemberSuzuka International Racing Course
18th NovemberRoad Atlanta

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