Szymanek emerges on top of Summit Point slug fest!
Apex Racing League iRacing Mazda Cup Round 3 Race Report
ARL Mazda Cup newcomer, Pawel Szymanek, has marked his arrival with a storming start to the season. Heading into round three at Summit Point, the Polish ace enjoys a fifty-point advantage over season one vice-champion, Calieb Hydes. However, the unpredictably of Mazda cup racing ensures that Szymanek cannot relax.
In the seven days since a barnstorming meeting at Road America, the Mk4 Mazda MX5 cup machine has received a significant update. Mirroring the wonderfully chaotic Idemitsu Mazda MX5 cup, iRacing’s software engineers have ditched the antiquated H-pattern gearbox for a race ready sequential. Now blessed with clutch less upshifts and downshifts, drivers in the ARL Mazda cup can focus on cutting the perfect line and avoiding ambush from a swarm of rivals.
Reeling from a disappointing meeting at Road America, Calieb Hydes struck back by storming to pole position. Unperturbed by Hydes pace, Szymanek nestled alongside the Australian hot shot on the front row of the grid.
Utilising real world Summit Point experience to full effect, Dan Parmelee set the AM class pace in tenth overall.
In the opening fifteen-minute sprint, Pawel Szymanek wasted no time in re-asserting his authority. Hitting the front early, Szymanek led a three-car breakaway with Hydes and Pete Newman. Throughout the race, Hydes and Newman made several attempts to overhaul the championship leader, but to no avail. Under the most intense scrutiny, Szymanek flaunted his championship leading credentials and claimed the first win of the meeting. Drag racing to the line in Szymanek’s shadow, Hydes pipped Newman for second place.
Dan Parmelee mixed it with the pros to finish sixth overall and comfortably on top of the AM class.
Following a customary reverse grid shuffle, Damien McMullen started race two from pole position.
From deep in the pack, Szymanek was on a charge once again in the second race. By the halfway mark, the Polish star had ascended all the way to the front. On arrival at the head of the field, Szymanek encountered Ivan Pinocchio, a double race winner last time out at Road America.
Heading out of Wagon bend with five minutes to go, Szymanek and Pinocchio’s feud boiled over as the pair tangled. Delighted to profit from his rivals bickering, Pete Newman slipped past and sped off to a surprise victory. Subsequent attrition promoted AM class winner, Dan Parmelee, to second overall. Ronald Moons rounded out the podium.
For the final encounter of a dramatic evening in West Virginia, Jay Walsh started from pole. However, immediately behind Walsh was a man with a score to settle. Incensed by his race two disappointment, Szymanek was on a mission to recover lost ground. Almost instantly, the championship leader carved through to the lead and marched to the win. Low Grip Racing’s Luxembourgers, Tom Maquel and Philippe Lauer, rounded out the podium after a valiant chase of Szymanek.
Darren Doherty denied Dan Parmelee of a rare AM class treble in sixth overall.
In the immediate aftermath of a chaotic meeting, a cast of ARL Mazda Cup Round 3 aces joined the Apex Racing TV broadcast team to review the action:
Dan Parmelee: “Man, that was wild! I got punted into the back going into the carousel twice. It was a slugfest out there!”
Darren Doherty: “Race three was far better. There was a few accidents in front of me and I managed to get through that. I was never so glad to see the checkered flag as I knew Daniel was coming for me!”
Damien McMullen: “The positive I can take is that I got good points. The championship is still going and I can’t wait to see what the results are going to be.”
On Monday the 21st of June, the ARL Mazda Cup paddock moves South to Interlagos. Tune in to Apex Racing TV at 7pm for live coverage.