A turbulent encounter in the windy city!
Apex Racing Academy iRacing Porsche Cup S3 R7 – Chicago
Pascal Costa began his Apex Racing Academy Porsche Cup championship renaissance last week at the Nurburgring. Arriving at a brand-new circuit on the streets of Chicago, could Costa continue his chase of defending champion and championship leader Kamil Grabowski?
Signalling his planned ascent back to the top, Costa threaded his Impulse Racing Porsche between the walls of the Chicago street circuit, claiming pole position. With Kamil Grabowski absent and Josh Thompson back in ninth, Costa poised to take full advantage.
Paul Lange set the AM class pace in eighth overall, two spots ahead of AM championship leader, Max Wolf.
Scampering away from pole position, Costa avoided a colossal pile up which ensued almost immediately behind. In the opening laps, a four-car breakaway including Costa, Kristiansen, Isaksen and Alberti made their escape while others negotiated the wreckage.
However, as the laps ticked by, Costa’s pace became impossible to match and the German ace cruised to a straightforward sprint race win. Over six seconds back, Roger Kristiansen crossed the line second. DRS Wave Italy’s Alberto Alberti finished third.
Max Wolf extended his AM championship advantage by winning the class in seventh overall.
Although race one had been relatively serene at the front, an all-time ARA Porsche Cup classic lingered just around the corner in the thirty-minute feature race.
Starting from pole position, Mark Hutchinson rocketed off the line and into an early lead. Following in Hutchinson’s path, Copeland, Lange, and Ward completed another four-car breakaway. While Hutchinson threatened to escape, Lewis Ward was carving his own path to the front. After ten minutes of running, Ward had pushed through to second and quickly began reeling in Hutchinson.
Moments after the halfway point, Ward clambered all over the back of Hutchinson’s Evo SR Porsche. However, the Team Eleven ace couldn’t find a way through. Meanwhile, Paul Lange had recovered from an earlier mistake to join the lead fight, only to crash shortly afterwards.
Embarking upon the final third of the race, Hutchinson had his hands full with both Ward and Alberti too. Eventually, the intense scrutiny broke Hutchinson’s resolve as Ward finally forged to the front. However, Alberti remained stuck behind the Evo SR ace.
With five minutes to go, Alberti made a deep lunge on the brakes to pinch second place from Hutchinson. Despite being short of time, Alberti risked it all in the pursuit of victory over Ward. Heading onto the final lap, Alberti still trailed Ward by half a second. Yet, the gap continued to close.
Quickly running out of time, Alberti deployed another deep dive on the brakes. Arriving at the apex of the corner, a light touch sent Ward wide and Alberti swept through to win a thrilling encounter.
In spite of several incidents, Paul Lange continually fought back to win the AM class and fourth overall.
After a dramatic encounter, Paul Lange and Sam Fitzpatrick joined the Apex Racing TV broadcast to share their experience:
Paul Lange: “That was crazy! I couldn’t believe it! On the last lap there was a big shunt and somehow I got the AM lead!”
Sam Fitpatrick: “That was the longest meeting I’ve had in my life. The first race felt like an hour and the second race felt like two hours because it is so draining to keep putting in those laps. Especially, when you considered the lack of practice we’ve had at this circuit.”
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario welcomes the ARA Porsche Cup paddock on the 30th of June for round eight of the championship. Tune in to Apex Racing TV at 7pm GMT for live coverage.