Down Breaks His Drought In The Netherlands
By: Dylan Sharman
Round 11 of the iRacing.com V8 Supercar Championship headed into the Netherlands to tackle Circuit Park Zandvoort, which has a challenging 13 corners and with it being the penultimate round of the series, things where heating up.
Justin Ruggier captured pole position with a blistering 1:40.532 while Madison Down pipped Rens Broekman for second in a final qualifying sessions leaving Broekman to start third and alongside Championship leader Richard Hamstead. Vail Riches and Shaun Kelly started from fifth and sixth while John Emerson and George Maris would start from the fourth row in seventh and eighth. Rounding out your top 10 starters were Mitchell Abrahall and Michael Fabian.
When the lights went green, the field dropping the clutch and Ruggier was able to hold position with Down just behind heading into turn one. Unfortunately Kelly had a big ping and going into turn one Kelly netcoded Abrahall which sent Abrahall into the back of returning to racing Maris. This ended Abrahall and Maris night and lucky for others, including Riches and Emerson who only managed to receive a few bent panels and continued on.
At the end of lap five Broekman made a strategic call and came into pit lane early, but this would put Broekman into the traffic returning to the circuit.
On lap 10 Carwyn May ran wide at turn one, unsettling his rhythm and only moments later he would blow his motor ending his night.
Hamstead pitting on lap 12 trying to regain some of the time lost to the leaders Ruggier and Down.
Down pitted the following lap leaving Ruggier out on track although this would become costly for Ruggier, re-joined the track finding he had lost more than 2 seconds and the lead to Down. On the same lap as Down took the lead away from Ruggier, Broekman lost connection to the server. Although momentarily ahead of Down, he was not able to complete full leading lap and opted a DNF after re-joining some time later but multiple laps down.
On lap 17, going into turn two, Ruggier became the second ANZ Motorsports Falcon to blow a motor during the race blew his motor while chasing Down, resulting in a DNF for Ruggier.
Madison Down wasn’t challenged for the remainder of the race taking a dominating victory over Richard Hamstead by 9.5 seconds, tightending the championship points coming into the final week. Vail Riches would finish 6 seconds behind team mate Hamstead to round out the podium.
Shaun Kelly had another impressive run and finished in fourth place just ahead of John Emerson rounding out the top five. Michael Fabian finished behind Emerson while Jon Latham would have a great battle with Clayton Brooks and Samuel Collins. David Hingston round out the top 10 by being the biggest mover and gaining 13 positions during the race.
Top Five Drivers – Championship Points – Overall
1. Richard Hamstead – 2005
2. Madison Down – 1983
3. Justin V Ruggier – 1879
4. Rens Broekman – 1823
5. Vail Riches – 1717
Split Two Winner: Wayne G Hewitt
Split Three Winner: Matt Burgess
Watch the full race here: youtube.com/watch?v=lUDFghusHw8
Broadcast done by the crew at www.v8sonline.com.au