Image via Justin Melillo
A few short weeks ago, the question was if Watkins Glen winner Maarten van Loozenoord could recover from missing the points entirely in Interlagos to return to the Force Dynamics Dallara iRacing Grand Prix Championship title hunt. Now, going into Thursday’s Round 7 at Road America, the question is if anyone can stifle his momentum. The race can be seen live starting at 3PM ET/19:00 GMT at iRacing.com/live and across iRacing’s full slate of social media channels.
The second visit to an American circuit of the season has van Loozenoord firing on all cylinders, namely, the 10 within the Dallara iR-01’s 3.0-liter powerplant. He responded from his forgettable experience in Brazil to win each of the last three events, with last week’s victory in Hockenheim coming in the most dominant fashion of the year. While most races have been decided within a pack of a handful of drivers, van Loozenoord was well over 10 seconds ahead of anyone else last week thanks to strategic execution and the right tire strategy.
That’s rough news for Yohann Harth and Peter Berryman, the Apex Racing Team drivers who went from the top spots in the standings to seven and eight points out of the lead, respectively. Harth’s brilliance with regards to consistency—he’s been in the top five every week, including a masterful drive from 24th to second last week due to a qualifying ban—has nonetheless yet to pay off with a win, while Berryman was on the back foot last week after opening-lap contact and had to fight to salvage a top 10.
Both will hope that Road America, with its long straightaways that will reward the draft, proves advantageous. While Berryman, Harth, Ben Fuller, and Michele Costantini have spent much of the year up front working together, van Loozenoord had spent much of the year as a lone wolf fighting them off in the lead pack. The question is, if it comes down to it, will that help up front allow Harth or Berryman to reclaim the top spot in the standings for Apex? Or, by either being up there by himself or having teammates who aren’t in the title fight to help him, will van Loozenoord have the advantage either way?
Following this week’s race at Road America, the Force Dynamics Dallara iRacing Grand Prix Championship will continue next Thursday at Austria’s Red Bull Ring, one of the fastest tracks on the schedule. For more information on Force Dynamics, visit www.ForceDynamics.com. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iRacing.com.