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IVRA Clubsport Series: Impulse Racing Victorious in Fuji Debut

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It was IVRA’s first ever race at Fuji, and Impulse Racing were more than up to the challenge, taking a slender margin over the line for the full 100 points. It was a close one – three cars were separated by only 10 seconds on the line as Maniti Racing and Treq Esports pushed them all the way.

The afternoon started with a breathless qualifying session, and Impulse Racing’s day got off to the best start with a TCR pole. Newcomers Brabham Esports and Ingersoll Rand sprung surprises with a top three, but it would be reigning champions Team Heusinkveld with the biggest shock as they languished down in 8th.

It was Mercedes dominance in the Sport category, as Michal Limon took pole for RSR by Buttkicker, while RPC eSports took pole in a relatively uneventful Cup qualifying session. They started well despite the surprise position, but a storming start from Leipert Esports saw their lead shortlived.

© IVRA

As lap 8 approached, the two were fighting into turn 10, but an unfortunate bit of contact saw the Leipert Porsche off the road. RPC eSports wouldn’t have to feel the repercussions of the incident though, as another turn 10 crash saw them clipped by multiple cars, eventually retiring due to the damage.

Elsewhere, the pole sitters dominated through to the first pitstops, where it was the Cup cars involved in the action once again, and ATRS Esports shaking things up. They managed to get their slightly slower #13 Porsche into a brief lead, but then contact pushed them out wide at turn 6, and so they dropped to third.

Thankfully for them, their teammates in the #12 were ready to take over in the lead, while Maniti Racing challenged them distantly from 2nd. It took nearly 20 laps for the inevitable battle to eventually take place, and it was a battle that Pedro Burger was destined to win for Maniti, taking the overall lead.

© IVRA

Their lead held through the next pitstop phase which was characteristically precise from the veteran IVRA team. RSR by Buttkicker came under a little pressure in the Sport category lead as Ted Loewendick took the wheel, and would be involved in a fight against Alpinestars Geodesic Racing’s Jon Boetefuer through the entire stint, but as the next pitstops drew closer, the race would change completely.

Much of the discussion in all three categories throughout the race was about making the race only four stops long. The leading cars managed this well with 31 lap stints or more, however this blessing turned out to be a curse, as a Safety Car came out at exactly the wrong moment for the leaders in all three classes.

In the Cup category, this allowed Impulse Racing and Treq Esports, who had been fairly quiet all afternoon, to rise up into the lead positions, while RSR and Impulse who had been leading in Sport and TCR from the start, were also put way down. The Safety Car came in with 55 laps to go, no team really needed to save fuel, and it would be all action to the very end.

© IVRA

TCR was settled decisively in the early moments as reigning champions Team Heusinkveld were promoted to the lead through this phase, and they used their experience to get through the early traffic, and hold a 16 second lead all the way to the end. Long-time leaders Impulse Racing saw a 1-2 fade away dramatically, and would only recover to third. Things were much more complicated up ahead for the other class leaders.

RSR by Buttkicker were never really able to find their way back in the pack, and a late problem resigned them to a 15th placed finish. Their main rivals throughout the race Geodesic had better luck, getting back into 2nd in just 16 laps with a nice pass on HPDS Academy into the ever problematic turn 10.

It wouldn’t be a runaway win, however. Hugh Jass were the leaders, and they weren’t about to give it up easily, holding the lead through the final pitstop phase. They fought hard, Boetefuer needed an expertly delivered pass around the outside of turn 3 to seal it, but the Alpinestars Geodesic Racing McLaren was too much, and took the win.

© IVRA

Finally in Cup, Pascal Costa came under initial pressure from ATRS eSports for nearly 20 laps, when Maniti Racing became involved and as the fight for 2nd went on, the gap to 1st increased. Maniti Racing would battle through, as ATRS hit problems, but the gap was three seconds at the time and wouldn’t close for the remainder of the race.

An entertaining start to the HyperX Clubsport Series by IVRA, but certainly a lot more to come too. Teams will now focus their efforts in South America, as the 700km of Interlagos approaches in November.

Source: IVRA