Saul is the sensation of Summit Point!
Apex Racing League iRacing Mazda Cup Round 6 Race Report
A swashbuckling inaugural season of the Apex Racing League Mazda Cup reached its conclusion at Summit Point Raceway, West Virginia. Although Roberto Ferrari held an unassailable lead in the PRO class, a three-way AM class fight promised drama from the get-go.
Joseph Saul, Thor Tulloh and Julius Goebels all arrived at Summit Point with a chance to win the hotly contested AM class title. Unfortunately, technical issues struck Julius Goebels at the worst possible moment. The hard charging German would take no further part.
Aussie ace, Calieb Hydes, set the pace in qualifying. Champion elect, Roberto Ferrari, joined Hydes on the front row of the grid. Dan Parmelee put his local knowledge to work, qualifying fifth overall and top of the AM class.
Executing a clean launch, Calieb Hydes assumed the lead into turn one and promptly settled into a rhythm. However, Ferrari stalked his Australian rival’s every move. On lap five, Ferrari deployed a wonderfully cunning manoeuvre around the outside of turn one, setting up a pass into Wagon Bend. For the remainder of the race, Hydes and Ferrari duelled for the win, trading places on several occasions. Despite Hydes’ best efforts, Ferrari came out of the epic tussle on top. Enjoying a grandstand view of the fight ahead, Airijus Jomantas followed immediately behind in third place.
Joseph Saul staked his claim for the AM class title with a fine charge to fourth overall and first in class. Saul’s only remaining rival, Thor Tulloh, had been innocently snared in another driver’s incident and scored minimal points.
A reverse grid shuffle placed Ronald Moons on pole position for race two. Very much the underdog in the PRO class, the Belgian driver has fought tenaciously all season long against tough opposition. With his PRO class drivers starting on the fifth and sixth row, Moons grasped his chance to challenge for an overall win.
Moons led confidently until the very last lap. Flying past the white flag, Moons still held the lead but had his mirrors full of PRO class rivals. On the final lap, Ferrari, Hydes and Jomantas slipped by one after the other, relegating Moons to fourth place.
Moritz Roggentin scored an impressive class victory and fifth overall. Once again, Thor Tulloh trailed Joseph Saul. Thus, confirming Saul as the AM class champion elect.
Ismael Arreffag and Johnny Luna lined up on the front row of the grid for the final race of the inaugural ARL Mazda Cup season. Renowned as a gritty and uncompromising racer, Johnny Luna sprinted to turn one and swooped by Arreffag to claim the lead. However, from ninth on the grid, Calieb Hydes was on the ascent. By the end of lap one, the Australian star had risen to third place.
Unperturbed by his newfound status as AM class champion elect, Joseph Saul hit the front on lap three. Multiplying Saul’s delight, heavy contact between Luna and Hydes at turn one sent both drivers down the order. Airijus Jomantas was another profiteer of Hydes and Luna’s crash. By lap four, the Lithuanian driver had forged into the lead.
Fending off a stiff challenge from Ronald Moons, Jomantas held firm to claim victory in the final race of the season.
Although an unfortunate collision with Darren Doherty sent Joseph Saul into the barriers on lap six, the Evo SR driver had accumulated enough points to clinch the AM championship.
Daniel Parmelee signed off his season in the ARL Mazda Cup with an overall podium and AM class win.
Following the race, several of the Mazda Cup Round 6 stars shared their thoughts with the Apex Racing TV broadcast team:
Daniel Parmelee: “That was some good West Virginia fun right there, I’ll tell you what!”
Joseph Saul: “I couldn’t have asked for anything else, could we? It’s been a great season, I really enjoyed it. I hope we get another season!”
Calieb Hydes: “I got lucky in qualifying because I got the perfect draft. Roberto was really good today on his attacking, getting past me and making sure I couldn’t get back around. Roberto did a brilliant job today as he normally does and that’s why he’s won the championship so congratulations to him.”
Damien McMullen: “It was really enjoyable. I put a brand-new t shirt on for this race and it is hanging off me with sweat because it was just battling all around!”