In this Weekly Preview we take a look at a wild comeback, a controversial finish and superb racing.
Photo credit: Ray Alfalla, Lutz H – Wikimedia Commons
The old guard is back
Half of the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series is over. So far, we have seen last year’s runner-up Keegan Leahy dominate with consistency. The Canadian won the first round and hasn’t let go of the lead ever since. But he has feisty competitors behind him. 2017 champion Ryan Michael Luza and former Ralleycross competitor Garrett Lowe are trailing by merely 12 points.
All things considered, the real story of the past weeks was the return to greatness of the King of eNascar, Ray Alfalla. The most accomplished driver in the league has managed to claw his way back with a victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway on May 26.
Alfalla set a record by lifting the eNascar champion trophy four-times and secured second three times. He is currently racing in his tenth year in the series making him the longest standing racer in the format.
It must feel good to be competitive after so many years. In an interview after his 25th win inside the oval, Alfalla jokingly said: “I guess I’m not washed up anymore.”
That being said, the G.O.A.T has been through a considerable slump recently. Ever since open setups became the go-to format for eNascar, Alfalla has had mediocre results. Alfalla has advocated for fixed setups, arguing that open setups favour drivers with more money.
With this win Alfalla seems fired up again. He currently sits ninth in the standings with a long way to go. But Nascar is known for its great comebacks and it would certainly be one of historical proportions if Ray Alfalla was to be back in the battle for the championship.
Tensions are about to boil up at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday, June 30. Maybe the most prestigious circuit in Nascar history could be a turning point for the whole series. You don’t want to miss it. Tune in to the Nascar YouTube channel .
Controversy in Porsche Cup
We already talked extensively about the Porsche Tag Heuer Esports Supercup. But nobody expected the last race weekend to go as it did. The results from the previous race at Le Mans were overturned recently. With that the next race at Nordschleife becomes even more interesting.
Controversy struck last time around, as the sprint race ended in a scuffle that saw a lot of drivers pit for fuel. You can read up the why’s and how’s in our recent article.
Up until the unfortunate circumstances that led to this situation, the sprint race was nothing short of amazing. We had the chance to see constant battles in the top four, with the lead switching hands at almost every turn. We also got to witness a breath-taking overtake by Joshua K. Rogers for the lead of the race, in what was seemingly the last seconds. As we later found out these weren’t actually the dying breaths of the race. Nevertheless, that overtake would have meant a temporary first place for Josh in the standings. You can watch the scene in the VOD at 1:36″58.
The featured race was dominated by German iRacing legend Max Benecke. He claimed his first win in the series since Spain and moved ever so closer into a championship position again. If Benecke remains at this peak he will be a real threat to those ahead of him in the standings, just like he proved last week at circuit de la Sarthe.
Unfortunately for him, he will have to do it all over again. For integrity’s sake it was a good call to overturn the result. Nobody wants to have second thoughts when it comes to important points that could decide the championship in the end.
The next round is being held at Nordschleife, arguably the most difficult track on the calendar. It will be intriguing to see if the controversy surrounding last week’s races will impact the drivers’ performances. Maybe it rekindled the fire in some of them.
Regardless of what will happen, it will be a great watch. Seeing high level racers at Nürburgring is always something special. And if you’re interested you can tune into the iRacing channel to view the next round on July 4.
Battle for the crown continues
The fourth round of the W Series awaits us. Looking back at previous races, surely makes every racing fan feel excited. The battle for first place is as tight as possible.
The 16-year-old Russian Irina Sidorkova put on a clinical performance last time at Brands Hatch. The current second place in the championship has won two out of the three races of this week, leaving her inches away from leader, Beitske Visser. Unfortunately for the Russian rookie Sidrokova, the woman on top didn’t disappoint either. She secured a second and a fourth place.
With that performance the top 2 are now seemingly miles ahead of anyone else. But because the W Series has three races at every event, a change can be sudden. Third place Caitlin Wood or number four Alice Powell would be in prime position, if the two leaders were to slip.
Someone to look out for as well the next time is, Marta Garcia. The Spaniard competing in car number 19 has secured two podiums last time around and seems to be on a run.
Interlagos is the track of choice for Round 4. The Brazilian circuit has been a guarantee for excitement. Combined with the explosive situation in the standings this round could be a barnburner. If you have time, use it to come and join the broadcast of Round 4 on the WSeries YouTube channel.