Phillippe Denes dominated the second Road to Indy iRacing eSeries race after an early battle with Eduardo Barrichello at Circuit of the Americas.
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.
Denes took pole by 0.442 seconds from Pabst Racing’s Barrichello, who stuck to his gearbox for the first five laps of the 45-minute race.
On the next lap he passed Denes for the lead at Turn 12 at the end of the back straight, but the positions reversed just a lap later.
The two continued to pull away at the front of the field until their compulsory pitstop, with Denes going in a lap before his rival and exiting with an extended gap after Barrichello had a tricky stop. Denes even returned to the circuit in third, ahead of many drivers who had yet to pit.
He built up a lead of over seven seconds before backing off on the final lap, and met the chequered flag with a 4.572s advantage to Barrichello.
Turn 3 Motorsport team boss Peter Dempsey had a drama free run to third place, with Legacy Autosport’s Andre Castro putting in a stellar second stint to finish a clear fourth after being spun around early on and then undercutting his rivals.
Similarly canny in pitting to evade time-sapping battles was Exclusive Autosport’s Christian Brooks in fifth, after solving a pedal issue from the season opener, with his team-mate Braden Eves having a remarkable run to sixth.
Eves ran as high as third early on, but received a drive-through on lap seven for spinning Castro and had to fight his way back into contention. The scrap for sixth included six drivers at one point, with Prescott Campbell (Exclusive) and Reece Gold (Cape Motorsports) frequently swapping position.
Lapped traffic ruined Gold’s race, then both Campbell and Flinn Lazier (Lazier Racing) span while in battle. Eves and Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing) inherited the positions, but with the others still close behind, and after several laps of wheel-to-wheel action there was some questionable weaving by Eves that helped him secure sixth position.
Porto was seventh, ahead of Campbell, Lazier and Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing).