Kessler crowned ‘King of the Ring’
Apex Racing Academy iRacing Porsche Cup S3 R6 – Nurburgring
After a fortnight’s hiatus, the iRacing Apex Racing Academy Porsche Cup drivers were dropped back in at the deep end for round six of the championship. For over thirty challengers, the menace of the Nurburgring Nordschleife awaited. No permanent circuit on earth bears such a fearsome reputation as the Nurburgring’s infamous northern loop. Corners like Flugplatz, Wipperman and Tiergarten strike fear into even the very best pilots.
Josh Thompson may have started his ARA Porsche Cup assault late, but the world championship star has swiftly made up for lost time. Arriving at the Nurburgring, Thompson trails the championship leader, Kamil Grabowski, by only 32 points.
A thrilling shoot out in qualifying saw Pascal Costa eclipse Thompson by a minuscule margin for pole position. Over 20.8 kilometres, just fifty-two thousandths of a second separated the two superstars. Thus, setting up a tantalising duel in the opening three lap sprint race.
Local star, Paul Lange, set the AM class pace in sixteenth overall.
Despite Costa’s best efforts to break away from Thompson, the majestic Manxman refused to relent. Charging up the endless drag up the hill at Kesselchen, Thompson pulled off a daring move to pinch the lead into Klostertal. Once Thompson hit the front, the Williams Esports driver threatened to pull away from Costa. Last season’s vice champion had to retaliate in the draft on the Dottinger Hohe straight, otherwise Thompson would be gone.
Aware of this vulnerability, Thompson pushed hard from Hohe acht to Galgenkopf, ensuring that enough of a cushion separated him from the chasing Costa. Unable to answer Thompson’s rapid pace, Costa had to settle for second place. Kamil Grabowski finished a distant third, but booked critical championship points nonetheless.
For the four-lap feature race, Thompson and Costa would be forced to start deep in the pack. Meanwhile, Mark Hutchinson and Herbert O’Shaughnessy enjoyed a clear view from the grid to the Hatzenbach. Max Kessler started third.
While Hutchinson and Kessler made an early breakaway, unmitigated carnage ignited at Aremberg. An honest mistake from Dominik Forster at Schwedenkreuz triggered a multi car pile up which snagged Josh Thompson’s 911, eliminating him from contention. Pascal Costa, on the other hand, managed to slip through.
Emulating Thompson’s bravery at Klosertal in race one, Kessler deployed an identical manoeuvre to dispatch with Hutchinson. Once Kessler hit the front, the German wasted no time in accumulating a lead with an extraordinary run from Hohe acht to the Stefan Bellof S bends.
Despite the incoming threat of his Impulse Racing teammate, Costa, Kessler held on to win and be crowned the Apex Racing Academy Porsche Cup ‘King of the Ring’. Far down the road, Lewis Ward completed the podium. Championship leader, Kamil Grabowski, scored another haul of points in fourth place.
Recovering from a race one setback, Max Wolf strengthened his AM championship campaign by finish top of the class in tenth overall.
In a week’s time, the iRacing Apex Racing Academy reconvenes at a brand-new venue for round seven of the championship. Join the action from the streets of Chicago on Apex Racing TV at 7pm GMT on the 23rd of June.