The new Force Dynamics Dallara iRacing Grand Prix Championship visited Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Thursday for their second leg of the 2021 inaugural season. From the pole position, it was anything but easy for Michele Costantini, as he got back to the lead around Yohann Harth on the final lap to score the victory.
As the two exited La Source to begin the final lap, Harth held the lead as they powered into Eau Rouge. Costantini breathed a small gap just before powering down as he held it wide open through Raidillon. Just as they entered the Kemmel Straight, Costantini swung wide and passed Harth for the final time as he held on for the victory.
A DAY AT THE SPA
The second race of the season started off quite similarly to the first race last week at Watkins Glen. As the leaders got orderly, the back half struggled to find their space in line. The first lap saw three driver retirements while the next two brought the field size down to 20 from 25. By the end of 35 laps, only 15 drivers survived with 13 of those drivers completing every lap.
Up front, as dubbed by the broadcast team, the “Fantastic Four” of Costantini, Harth, Ben Fuller and last week’s winner, Maarten van Loozenoord, had pulled away from the rest of the field after the first round of pit stops. A second and final round of pit stops would set the tone for the remainder of the event.
While Costantini and Harth pulled to the right off of the Chicane, van Loozenoord and Fuller kept on it for another lap. Fuller fought hard to get ahead of van Loozenoord before their pit, and it may have cost them both a shot at the win. As they exited the pits, Fuller had a bit of time to make up to catch back up to the other two. van Loozenoord had other issues and cycled back to fifth, out of contention.
As Fuller caught back up with some draft help from Costantini, it became a three-driver battle for the win. Harth was able to get by Costantini on his own, but the odds were not in his favor as the laps wound down.
The passing zone became the Kemmel Straight. Both drivers would take turns building a run through Eau Rouge and Raidillon to slingshot past the other before Les Combes. Through the rest of the track, maybe Blanchimont was the only other possible passing zone, but the two kept setting each other up perfectly for passing at Kemmel.
Costantini and Harth traded the lead nearly every lap during the final stint. Costantini led the odds laps, and that meant leading on the final lap, Lap 35.
TOP 10 RESULTS AT SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS
- Michele Costantini
- Yohann Harth
- Ben Fuller
- Maarten van Loozenoord
- Tamas Simon
- Peter Berryman (Fastest Lap)
- Matteo Ugolotti
- David Toth
- James Pinsker
- Andreas Henkel
VAN LOOZENOORD STILL LEADS POINTS
Despite the pit problems, van Loozenoord was able to claim a fourth place to maintain his points lead. Harth, with a pair of podium finishes, moves up to second in the standings. Berryman had some issues early, but rebounded with the fastest lap to finish sixth, maintaining at third. Costantini jumps the most in the points, now up to fourth. Fuller rounds out the Top 5.
TOP 10 STANDINGS AFTER SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS
- Maarten van Loozenoord – 40 points
- Yohann Harth – 39 points
- Peter Berryman – 32 points
- Michele Costantini – 26 points
- Ben Fuller – 24 points
- David Toth – 16 points
- Valentin Mandernach – 15 points
- Sam Kuitert – 12 points
- Tamas Simon – 12 points
- James Pinsker – 10 points
Jarl Teien – 10 points
Matteo Ugolotti – 10 points
Marcus Jensen – 10 points
Next up for the series is Autódromo José Carlos Pace, 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.
|16th September||Watkins Glen International | Winner: Maarten van Loozenoord|
|23rd September||Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps | Winner: Michele Costantini|
|30th September||Autódromo José Carlos Pace|
|7th October||Autodromo Nazionale Monza|
|14th October||Silverstone Circuit|
|21st October||Hockenheimring Baden-Württemburg|
|28th October||Road America|
|4th November||Red Bull Ring|
|11th November||Suzuka International Racing Course|
|18th November||Road Atlanta|