Phillippe Denes dominated the third Formula Regional Americas Esports race at Virginia International Raceway.
The Indy Pro 2000 driver took pole by 0.339 seconds from one-time Formula Renault Eurocup racer Cem Bolukbasi, with reigning F3R Americas champion Dakota Dickerson and ex-BRDC British Formula 3 man Quinlan Lall setting the same laptime on the second row of the grid.
Both qualifying and the race took place in dense fog, and Denes literally disappeared into the distance from the start. Over the 18 laps he stretched out a lead of over 18s to points leader Dario Cangialosi, and is inclined to return to the iRacing-based series having also dominated the Road to Indy’s equivalent effort so far.
Dickerson led the ‘best of the rest’ at first, with Bolukbasi being quickly spun out of contention by Simon Sikes on the opening lap. Several huge crashes on the second lap didn’t require a caution period, with Cangialosi slotting into third.
On lap six, fifth placed Jacob Abel understeered off at the Oak Tree hairpin, with Lall claiming his position as a result.
Not long later, Cangialosi came onto the gearbox of Dickerson and accidentally span him around, with Sikes moving up to second as a result and Lall coming in behind Cangialosi in fourth.
Sikes too then spun at Oak Tree after using too much kerb on entry, and Lall gained another spot. Sikes didn’t lose too much time, returning to the track in fifth and going straight into battle with Blake Upton. Dickerson’s own recovery had brought him back up to sixth.
Lall spent the second half of the race chasing Cangialosi, but had to settle for third.
It took several laps for Dickerson to successfully make a move on Upton for fifth, and after that they continued to fight all the way through to the finish. This enabled 2018 F2000 Championship Series runner-up Sikes to escape up ahead.
Despite an early spin, Flinn Lazier beat Logan Cusson to seventh, the latter having started from 25th on the grid, while Formula Nordic Junior champion Viktor Andersson won in a thrilling scrap for ninth with Formula Renault Asiacup runner-up Bruno Carneiro.
Linus Lundqvist made his first F3R Americas appearance with a messy race that left him a lapped 19th.