Phillippe Denes continued his winning form in the Road to Indy eSeries in a close finish with Braden Eves on Indianapolis’s road course.
The 21-year-old is due to race for RP Motorsport this year, but is still searching for the budget to compete once the Road to Indy kicks off?again?at Road America in June. The eSeries is taking place as a substitute for real racing?until then.
Previous generation IP2000 cars were used for the race, although iRacing has confirmed that the current car will be introduced to the racing simulator soon.
The RP Motorsport and Exclusive Autosport drivers swapped positions on almost every lap of the 33-lap race, and Eves even attempted overtaking him just before the speed limiter was required in pitlane when they pitted on the same lap.
Throughout the race they were in discussion online, and worked together to pull away from the field. Poleman Denes described it as being “intense” though once they decided to battle in the final few laps though, and where new strategy came into play when they also had to combat lapped traffic.
On each of their previous overtaking moves, the second-placed driver had used the slipstream from the final corner to either pass just by the start/finish or into Turn 1, and they were still doing that until the penultimate lap when Denes finally made it two laps in a row that he had led into Turn 1.
Eves decided against reclaiming the lead into the first corner on the final lap, but Denes was also playing a calculating game and let Eves by into the Turn 9 lefthander on the layout once used by Formula 1.
On the entry to the final corner Eves returned the favour in an attempt to get Denes draft on exit, but he mistimed it and Denes was able to stay ahead by 0.098 seconds.
EA’s Christian Brooks pipped Pabst Racing’s Rubens Barrichello to third despite the pair colliding with three laps to go, while Turn 3 Motorsport team boss Peter Dempsey spun himself out of podium contention a lap later and got pipped at the line by DEForce Racing’s team boss David Martinez.
Colin Kaminsky had a clean run to seventh for Pabst, with Prescott Campbell (EA), Flinn Lazier (Lazier Racing) and Danial Frost (Andretti Autosport) all surviving drama to complete the top 10.