Prestige and speed was the name of the game as the crews put every Left Front tire to the test at Hockenheim this week.
For the first dozen minutes of qualifying Tyler McIntosh (MacAttack0922), Mark Kaelin (Bubba18), Charles Sumner (Hootius) and Kyle Spencer (KDawgHonda777) took turns trading the Pole around and only being separated by .2 secs. Then when the final lap hit, Tyler and Mark K. flexed their muscles and broke the 1:37 barrier. This was Tyler’s 5th pole this season, and Mark K.’s best ever qualifying effort. Charles and Kyle shared the 2nd row together for the 3rd time this season, with Vince Nadal (TSpottr723) rounding out the Top 5 in qualifying.
When it came to the lead and the deciding factor on who would win, that only took 2 laps to really sort out, however it was a crazy 2 laps. Right off the light, Charles had a great jump and was able to take the momentum from the outside line of Turn 1 and complete the pass on Mark K. before the start of Turn 2. At this point, Tyler took that battle as a chance to open over a 1 sec lead early, but the curbing on the inside of Turn 3 bite Tyler and spun him into the wall. Tyler was able to continue with the damage, but lost a lot of pace until he was able to pit and repair it. With 4th place pretty locked up by the end of the race, Tyler made a late pit for fresh tires and on the very last lap, secured his 4th Fastest Race Lap award of the season. Back to the action, at the end of Lap 1, Charles was in the lead but the curbing in the last set of corners made him wiggle and miss the last turn, suffering a 5 second time penalty for leaving the track. Mark K. was able to take advantage of Charles’ mistake and take the lead, however that would only last 1 turn as the curbing on the exit of Turn 1 spun Mark K. and caused him to make contact with the inside wall. Unfortunately that damage was very severe and cost Mark K. a chance at a solid finish after that great qualifying run. The remainder of the race saw Charles and Kyle run 1/2 for the entirety of the race, minus the lap or 2 of pit cycles. Charles was able to keep a little bit of a faster pace than Kyle, mainly due to the McLarens suffering from a little bit worse tire wear than the RUF this week. For Charles, this was his 3rd win in the past 4 races, and for Kyle, this was his 5th runner-up effort of the season. For his 3rd straight race he has been in, Vince survived the early onslaught of battles and had a solid rest of the race after that to round out the podium. The battle for 5th came down to the very last lap as Mark Miller (Mark_LD) overtake on Dallas Johnson (Porq_Chopz) in Turn 2 to claim his first Top 5 of this Season. While that late pass denied Dallas of a Top 5, it however did not prevent Dallas from taking the Hard Charger Award for the 4th time this season.
In the Driver’s battle, Charles Sumner (Hootius) extended his points lead over Kyle Spencer (KDawgHonda777) to 17 points with 2 races to go. Vince Nadal (TSpottr723) now sees himself just 14 points back over the absent Patricio Campos (Pitricio) in the battle for 3rd. Vince will have a chance to completely close the gap with Patricio missing one more race, before returning for the Season Finale. In rounding out the Top 5, Tyler McIntosh (MacAttack0922) 4th place finish has now tied Dallas Johnson (Porq_Chopz) for 5th place in points. But as the trend goes, neither driver can focus too hard on the other as only 14 points separate 5th through 9th in the points.
In the Team battle, Cromo Ramrod’s (Patricio and Charles) lead shrank to 55 points to Attack Racing (Tyler and Kyle S.). Behind both drivers having Top 5s, Vin Rin Racing (Mark M. and Vince) finds themselves comfortably in 3rd place in the Team standings with a 47 point lead over 4th.
Next week is all about survival as the crew tackles the very long and very demanding fantasy road circuit of Bannochbrae.