Thompson rules Road Atlanta!
Apex Racing Academy iRacing Porsche Cup S3 R3 – Road Atlanta
Glorious Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia played host to the third round of the Apex Racing Academy Porsche Cup Championship. For over fifty years, the swooping contours of this North American gem have been a focal point for top class sports car racing.
Last time out, Josh Thompson announced his arrival with a dominant feature race win at Hockenheim. Nevertheless, defending champion Kamil Grabowski remains on top of the championship standings.
Led by a bulging entry of enthusiastic Porsche racers, a new heat race format debuted at Road Atlanta. Starting on pole for the opening heat, was majestic Manxman Josh Thompson.
Deploying a perfect launch, Thompson led the twenty-two-car field up the hill to turn three. With only twelve grid spots available for the feature race, the mid pack scrum would be fierce. In the opening laps, Thompson flaunted his world class credentials. Breaking out of the vulnerability of the slip stream, the Williams Esports star dispatched with Mateusz Nogaj and Matias Birk with ease. Pole position for the feature race would be Thompson’s reward for a lights to flag heat win.
Max Wolf was top of the AM class in heat one and qualifying for the feature in eighth overall.
Mathias Jensen and Kamil Grabowski enjoyed a clear view to turn one from the front row of the heat two grid. Although Jensen got the hole shot to turn one, it wasn’t long before Grabowski barged through to the lead on lap two. Furthermore, Grabowski’s move had thrown Jensen into the clutches of season two vice-champion, Pascal Costa. Despite the tenacious efforts of Jensen to respond, Grabowski held firm for the heat race win. Therefore, joining Thompson on the front row of the feature race grid.
Although Kev Copeland took the AM class honours in heat two, the Evo SR driver missed out on automatic entry to the feature by one position.
In the last chance saloon of the consolation race, only six spots remained for the critical feature race. Kevin Finn and Kev Copeland started from the leading row. However, neither would reach turn one in the lead. Starting from the second row, Ross Deal darted off the line, pinching the early lead. Nevertheless, Finn wasn’t going to roll over easily and reclaimed the lead going onto the second lap.
By lap three, Lewis Ward joined the party as the third protagonist. Two laps later, Andrea Alberti completed a quartet out front. After a brief run at the front for Ward, Finn headed to the final lap in the lead. Despite pressure from a raft of PRO class drivers, Finn held on for the win.
The all-important feature race promised a battle royal between defending champion Kamil Grabowski and challenger to the crown, Josh Thompson. Winning the race to turn one, Thompson enjoyed a comfy lead on the opening lap. Meanwhile, a bruising exchange through turn one and up to turn three pushed Grabowski into the pack.
While Grabowski bickered with Birk and Nogaj, Thompson seized the opportunity and cleared off out front. Although Grabowski finally managed to dispatch with Birk and Nogaj, Thompson had already checked out to a second consecutive feature race victory.
In tenth overall, Max Wolf claimed a supreme victory in the AM class and a huge haul of points to boot.