Thompson brings his Manx magic to Hockenheim!
Apex Racing Academy iRacing Porsche Cup S3 R2 – Hockenheim
A virtual Hockenheim welcomed the Apex Racing Academy Porsche Cup paddock for round two of a brand-new season. Kicking off his title defence in style, Kamil Grabowski took the early championship lead at the Oran Park season opener. With a little more room to roam than the wickedly fickle Oran Park, Hockenheim should allow drivers to stretch the legs of their near 500 horsepower Porsche cup racers.
Season one champion, Nick Madsen, returned to form in qualifying to claim pole position. Missing out on pole position by an agonising two thousandths of a second, Andrea Alberti joined Madsen on the front row. Kairos Competition’s Kevin Finn set the AM class pace in twelfth overall.
Catapulting his 911 off the line, Nick Madsen led the fifty-one-car pack into turn one. Throughout the opening half of the twenty-minute sprint, Madsen continued to lead but couldn’t shake off a lingering Kamil Grabowski. Doubling Madsen’s concern was Jo Vegard Goderstad, who followed closely in third place.
Heading into the second half of the race, Grabowski pounced at turn one. However, Madsen appeared to have a counter for ever one of Grabowski’s move. A thrilling exchange of door-to-door action ensued all the way around the lap to the stadium section where Grabowski finally made the move stick for the lead.
Any ideas of a cruise to the flag for Grabowski were immediately quashed by Madsen’s constant attempts to reclaim the lead. Perhaps inevitably, this rapidly intensifying duel came to a head on the run to the stadium section. A firm stance from Grabowski resulted in contact and damage to Madsen’s machine. Thus, allowing Grabowski a window to attempt an escape at the front.
Despite nursing a wounded car, Madsen rallied once again and applied yet more pressure to his Polish rival. No matter what Madsen threw at Grabowski, the defending champion exhibited his prowess in combat and took a well-earned race win. Madsen and Goderstad followed immediately behind to close out the podium.
Backing up his superb run in qualifying, Kevin Finn continued his giant killing run for Kairos competition in the AM class with a seventh-place finish overall.
Following a partial reverse of the order for the race two grid, Lewis Ward and Paul Lange started on the front row. Lingering behind in third, was BSR Radical Winter Series champion, Sam Fitzpatrick. Making full use of his optimum grid position, Lewis Ward scampered into an early lead. However, Roger Kristiansen and Josh Thompson posed a threat immediately behind.
On lap four, Josh Thompson pounced at the hairpin and the marvellous Manxman took the lead from Ward. During the next phase of the race, Thompson led confidently but couldn’t leave Matias Birk behind. Only in the closing laps could the Williams Esports star bridge a decisive gap to triumph over Birk. Fighting through from fourteenth on the grid, Kamil Grabowski cemented his championship lead with a third-place finish.
Kevin Finn doubled up on AM class delight in eleventh overall. The Kairos Competition ace has clearly stated his case as a contender for the AM class crown.
Immediately after the race, several of the ARA Porsche Cup stars joined the Apex Racing TV commentary team to share their thoughts:
Josh Thompson: “I knew that a few of the guys at the front will be doing the ‘Road to Pro’ which I’ve got to go back into next season. This is the best way to keep myself up to speed.”
Nick Madsen: “All in all I think I had a great evening, finally! I never expected a pole position in qualifying. Thanks to Kamil, I was in his draft on my hot lap!”
Kevin Finn: “Race one was grand. Even after steering damage on lap one! It was a bit off but I don’t think it affected the pace too much.”
Sam Fitzpatrick: “Qualifying was a bit rubbish, but I somehow got through the lap one wreckage. The rest of the evening was driving consistently while others crashed around me.”
Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta welcomes the Apex Racing Academy Porsche Cup paddock for round three of the season on the 19th of May. Tune in to Apex Racing TV at 7PM GMT to catch all the live action.