Braun’s the boss at Motegi!
Wave Italy Apex Racing League iRacing Prototype Championship – Motegi
Round six of the Wave Italy ARL Prototype championship took place under the cover of darkness at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan. Owned by the Japanese giant that is the Honda Motor Company, this complex circuit provides a perfect venue for the firm to test their impressive range of racing cars and motorcycles. Renowned for its heavy braking zones, the Wave Italy Prototype paddock will be glad of their state-of-the-art carbon brakes to reel in their 200mph missiles.
Once again, Alexander Spetz led the way in LMP1 qualifying. However, Alex Salmon was back on form and only missed out of pole position by seven hundredths of a second.
Timo Heyden was fastest of the LMP2 pack, but the spotlight shone on Julius Braun. Top of the AM class and second overall, Braun had punched far above his AM class weight.
As Alexander Spetz led the five car LMP1 field into sixty minutes of racing, a bizarre mistake put Alex Salmon on the back foot. Locking up on cold tyres into turn one, the defending champion tumbled into the gravel, losing significant time. Continuing his supremacy, Spetz constructed a sizeable advantage at the front and pitted for fuel at the halfway mark. None of Spetz’s rivals could live with the Swede’s exceptional pace as he cruised to yet another Wave Italy ARL Prototype championship win.
Timo Heyden punched the throttle and sped into the P2 lead immediately. Bruised after being usurped by Braun in qualifying, Wes van Dijk quickly sneaked into second place and set off in hot pursuit of his Impulse Racing teammate. However, around twenty minutes in, a mistake from van Dijk dropped the Dutchman off the scent of his teammate.
Despite the start-stop nature of the Motegi circuit, Timo Heyden squeezed every drop from his Dallara’s tank and pitted after a forty-minute stint. Heyden’s teammate, van Dijk, emulated his strategy. After a flawless pit stop, Heyden cruised to a dominant victory in LMP2 PRO. Van Dijk could only manage a distant second place in class.
In the early stages, Julius Braun kept pace with the Impulse Racing P2 pair and pulled away from his AM class rivals, Kieran Smart and Tim Perry. While Perry and Smart bickered over second in class, Braun made his escape in the AM class lead and third overall. Coupled with superior speed, Braun’s efficient driving style allowed the Sport Sofort Racing star to run an extra lap over his competitors.
Not only did Braun waltz to the P2 AM class victory, but also second overall in the P2 ranks. A fine achievement.
Post race driver quotes
Immediately after a race under the lights at Motegi, the class winners shared their emotion on a successful race meeting:
Alexander Spetz: “It feels amazing, to be honest! I am really comfortable in the car and it feels nice to race.”
Timo Heyden: “I am happy about two in a row. I’m happy to be the first to do that this season in LMP2 PRO.”
Julius Braun: “Three wins in a row is pretty nice. I wasn’t expecting to be that fast! It’s getting better and better.”
On Friday the fourth of June, Road America hosts the seventh round of the Wave Italy ARL Prototype championship. Tune in to Apex Racing TV at 7pm GMT to catch all the live action.