Following an intense wheel-to-wheel battle, pole-sitter Darius Trinka edged out Simon Sikes in the final moments of Round 5 in the Formula Regional Americas iRacing Invitational Championship at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Trinka marks the fifth winner in the ultra-competitive esports championship.
“The race was super fun,” said Trinka. “Simon (Sikes) and Nelson (Mason) kept the racing clean. It came down to an exciting finish. Wow, that was a blast.”
Trinka claimed pole-position over Sikes by .042-seconds in qualifying, and from that moment on, the pair spent nearly the entire 25-lap race exchanging the lead.
In the closing moments of 30-minute session, Trinka and Sikes charged side-by-side through the last four corners of the legendary Canadian circuit, down onto the front straight, drag race style, tires nearly touching. Sikes, pushing hard, lost grip, dropping four tires off into the grass right before the finish line, forfeiting his fight for first. The Lithuanian pilot crossed the stripe .467-seconds ahead Sikes, the closest margin of victory of the season.
“I feel that my momentum is picking up in the series,” said Sikes. “I had the pace in a couple of the races, but mistakes put me out of battling for the win. This is the first real battle for the win. I didn’t get enough drift to make the move work on that last turn but I really enjoyed this race.”
Mid-way through the session, FR Americas prospect Nelson Mason was challenging Trinka and Sikes for the point before abruptly losing power. Nelson fell back in the order before making a tactical drive from a fifth to finish third, his first podium of the season. FR Americas Vice Champion Benjamin Pedersen finished fourth with two-time FR Americas iRacing podium finisher Flinn Lazier capping off the top five.
“I was in the thick of a three-way battle and I don’t know what happened,” “I suddenly lost power and I couldn’t get into top gear on the down the back straight or out of turn one or turn two either. Finally on the last lap everything came back so I could finish strong.”
Blake Upton and F4 U.S. rookie Viktor Andersson were also embroiled in a tense battle for sixth place. In the final corner after dicing side-by-side the entire final lap, Upton slipped into the inside of Viktor to take sixth. The strong finish, propelled Upton from third-place in the overall championship into first.
Round 1 winner Ben Waddell finished eighth ahead of another battling duo Nico Rondet and Zachary Rivard.
FR Americas Masters driver Dominic Cicero dodged several incidents on his charge from a near last place start to finish just outside the top 10 in 11th. FR Americas rookie Jordan Missig leads the Sabelt Hard Charger season battle with a total of 51 advances. The Sabelt Hard Charger contingency prize pack, complete with a Sabelt product certificate, will be awarded to the driver with the most position advances in the seven-race iRacing championship.
The FR Americas iRacing Invitational Champion will win a set of Hankook Tires while the Vice Champion will be presented with a 90-day virtual training package from PitFit Training. Third overall in points will receive an Omologato watch.
The top-three competitors in each event will be awarded with official Druck FR Americas merchandise to sport during the 2020 season.
The FR Americas iRacing Invitational Championship returns to action on Tuesday, April 28, with a mix of new and returning drivers. The penultimate event will be held at Sebring International Raceway with live streaming coverage sponsored by Sabelt starting at 7:10 p.m. Eastern.
The event schedule will include one 10-minute practice, one 10-minute qualifying and one 30-minute race with points following the FIA FR system. The championship will be calculated based on the top six results (allowing one race to be dropped).
Round 5 replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJWvmNQuXQs