Strong showing, but no break in the E1 Series at Indianapolis
Date posted on September 16, 2021 · Published by eurasiapr
TThere was a new challenge to the E1 Championship this week, with the virtual race series competing on the daunting Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time. In order to compete on the oval circuit, the series opted to utilise the Dallara IR18 within the iRacing sim environment.
Through it all, the GT Radial Eurasia Motorsport Filipino duo of Inigo Anton and Joaquin Garrido steered clear of trouble – and no less than 11 safety car periods – to finish ninth and 14 respectively, both within six seconds of the eventual race winner, underlying their pace in this, the third round of season two.
“Our drivers and race engineer, Oliver Aquino, put in a lot of effort for this race and with just a bit more luck we could have had a great result,” said Team Principal Mark Goddard, “A GT Radial car has already taken the chequered flag first this season and we fully intend for it not to the last!”
In a change to the regular eSports event, it was a move to IndyCar and the Indy 200 for the 20 racers, with a standardised car setup. There was also a change to the race format, which this week included a short ten-minute qualifying session, followed by 83 laps of competition, totalling almost 90-minutes of sim racing.
Inigo qualified fifth for the 200-mile race, right behind his Montreal rival Josh Purwien. A lap one safety car was the first of four in the first 12 laps, with the #8 racer maintaining his top six position throughout. The racing resumed with Inigo chasing Ar Muhammad Aleef, stretching his fuel mileage before brushing the turn four wall and pitting on lap 26. It was largely status quo as he exited behind eventual racer-winner Naguib Azlan.
By lap 53, the race leaders were pitting under yellow, leaving Inigo second behind Aleef. A strong pass for position followed on lap 57, giving him a brief run at the front of the field before he, too, had to box for fuel. Into the final stages, and in the lower top-ten positions, he enjoyed a good battle with Muhammad Ibrahim before taking the chequered flag in ninth place, just 2.8-seconds behind the race winner.
Joaquin’s race in the early stages was dominated by strategy and incident, pitting from 17th to top off on fuel amongst the various safety car period. A further incident, where he was collected by a spinning rival. Ultimately on this occasion, he did not have the pace to run towards the front, and whilst he was able to make a lap back from the early issues, had to be content with 14th.
While the third round of the championship didn’t produce the desired results, GT Radial Eurasia Motorsport looks forward to next week’s challenge, which will not be unveiled until three days before the event. The only clue given away by Race Director Alex Yoong is that it may well be a street circuit, the first of the current campaign…
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