Spetz reigns supreme at Hockenheim!
Wave Italy Apex Racing League iRacing Prototype Championship – Hockenheim
A brand-new circuit to the iRacing simulator hosted round two of the Wave Italy ARL Prototype Championship on Friday. Hockenheim has a rich heritage and has been gradually modernised over time. Now, the German circuit has been painstakingly replicated in digital form by the software wizards at iRacing’s Massachusetts headquarters.
After a dramatic victory for Alex Salmon at Hockenheim’s domestic opposite number at the Nurburgring, the bulging field of LMP1 and LMP2 prototypes headed to Baden-Wurttemberg seeking glory.
Alexander Spetz edged out RLR Abruzzi teammate, Jan Koerbs, by three hundredths of a second for pole position in LMP1. Round one winner, Alex Salmon, started third.
In the LMP2 ranks, Alexis Bebert clinched pole position in the PRO class. Keiran Smart followed up on his round one win with the AM class pole position.
Unleashing the full might of his Audi R18’s turbo diesel hybrid powerplant, Alexander Spetz sprinted to turn one in the lead. At the back of the five car LMP1 field, contact between Niclas Laubisch and Phil Baldwin took both cars off the circuit.
While Alexander Spetz made full use of his swift early getaway. Jan Koerbs and Alex Salmon engaged in a duel of accumulating intensity. Koerbs and Salmon’s battle came to a bitter conclusion with a collision in the stadium section. Salmon continued relatively unharmed while Koerbs’ Audi ploughed into the nearby barrier.
Salmon’s race unravelled further a few laps later. Tangling with LMP2 frontrunner, Timo Heyden, the defending ARL Prototype champion lost precious time. With Koerbs and Salmon out of contention, Alexander Spetz crusied to a maiden victory of the Wave Italy ARL Prototype season.
Alexis Bebert strived to break away early at the front of the LMP2 PRO field. However, round one runner up, Timo Heyden, stalked the Frenchman’s every move. Unfortunately for Heyden, the incident with the LMP1 Audi of Salmon thwarted the German’s progress.
Although Wes van Dijk and Owen Caryl threatened to mount a challenge to Bebert later in the race, the pair eventually tripped over one another. Thus, allowing Bebert to escape to the win LMP2 PRO class win. Combined with Heyden’s misfortune, the race win catapults Bebert into the LMP2 PRO championship lead.
A disastrous start for Keiran Smart saw the Scotsman drop way down the order from LMP2 AM pole position. Only too happy to grasp the opportunity, Tim Perry hit the front of the class while Smart scrambled to begin a recovery. Once Perry took control of class honours, the Englishman forged ahead to a comfortable AM class triumph. Although Smart recovered to third in class, Perry now leads the LMP2 AM standings by the slender margin of three points.
Post race driver quotes
Immediately after an incident packed race, a few of the Wave Italy ARL Prototype stars joined the Apex Racing TV commentary team to share their thoughts:
Alexander Spetz: “It was a good race. I had some really bad luck at the Nurburgring. I was comfortable with the set up and the race went well.”
Joost Bouwmeester: “Wow! That was some work out! I don’t think I’ve every pushed so hard in an Apex League race.”
On Friday the 7th of May, the Wave Italy ARL Prototype championship heads to hallowed ground for sports prototypes – Le Circuit de la Sarthe. Home of the world’s greatest race, the 24 hours of Le Mans, LMP prototypes are built with a laser guided focus on this very circuit. Tune in to all the action of Apex Racing TV at 7pm GMT.