The 2013 iRacing WCS: It's over!


Julien Dill On October 8, 2013
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The 2013 iRacing World Championship Series came to its conclusion at the Québec's Gilles Villeneuve Circuit last weekend. 

So it's time to sit back and reflect on what happened during the season. But before we do that, a little recap of the last two races of the season is in order. 


Suzuka: 
The trend continued from the previous races and we seemed to have our best pace ever this year. Preparation went great and the starting grid showed it all: Ilkka managed to secure the 2nd position, his best qualifying effort this season, with a lap that was not perfect. 

Davy managed to get 11th, Matthias 14th and Dion 24th. So that was not ideal but we knew we had a monster race pace so it was all about avoiding any lap 1 incident...

...which did NOT happen. Ilkka had a reasonable start but Hugo Luis came to the outside in turn 1. Haapala went maybe a couple of feet wide at the apex and without any room left to Hugo's car that was enough for a collision. Ilkka went sideways but got hit from a car behind while recovering. This, coupled with another contact behind, was enough for a huge pileup. 

Davy and Matt showed good awareness and slowed down just enough to avoid collision in front. But the cars behind didn't and ended both their races. It also put an end to Davy's goal to be in the top 25 and requalify for next year. He will now have to go through the Pro Series. Lookout for the unsatisfied Frenchman! 

Dion miraculously escaped all these incidents and started to make his way to the front, with a promising finish shining in the distance. But he got pushed out of the track before the 130R for no apparent reason. That appaling incident put an end to our Japanese fantaisies of the season. But we will do our best and bounce back next year! 


Circuit Gilles Villeneuve:
Preparation was ok but it seemed we were lacking a few tenths to be really competitive. It appeared we were not that far but as many of our competitors, qualifying proved to be tough, with no one really getting a satisfying lap. Davy, Ilkka and Matthias ended up together on the grid 19th to 21th with Dion further behind in  27th.  


Ilkka, lacking in qualifying but showing flashes of speed later in the race 

As usual we wanted to do well and get to the finish! The race unfolded beautifuly offering many enjoyable battles on the broadcasts (actually, having both GlacierTV and iRacing Brazil broadcasts opened at the same time -keeping only one of the commentaries obviously- proved to be pretty nice!).


Our best performer at Montreal, Davy will be back in the Pro Series, watch out! 

However our strategy wasn't the best this time and we lost some positions around the pitstops. But all the Orioneers did a great job and got solid points out of the race! Actually Ilkka showed a great consistent pace near the end, often as fast as the top 3 so that was interesting. 


Dion, or Mr consistency: 788 Laps completed this season (3rd best total overall)

So, to the results; Davy climbed up 8 positions to finish 11th with Ilkka right behind him in 12th. Matt and Dion also finished together, respectively 16th and 17th. While we were not really satisfied with the result, we were happy to see the checkered flag to finish a tough season.


Matthias & Ilkka at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve



About our season... 

As the team manager I am more than happy of how the season went for us. Not in terms of results as we can always do better -and there were way too many lap one incidents to witness- but in terms of how we got stronger as a team. There was a nice flow of exchanges going on between the drivers and as a result, we kept improving, we got faster and faster. I can't thank the guys enough for all their efforts.Ilkka, Matthias, Davy, Dion... A big thanks also to Aleksi Uusi-Jaakkola for his contribution, as he decided to part with the team and join his Finnish friends at Glacier Racing. We wish him the best for the future! 
It was a long season, very demanding, but we learned a lot on all aspects and we can't wait to put all this new knowledge and experience together to push even harder next year. We also hope to be announcing exciting news in the winter break so stay tuned! 

Finally thanks to everyone involved, iRacing, GlacierTV, iRacing Brazil, and to all the drivers and teams who made this the toughtest iRacing WCS ever, offering us great challenges. 
 

I'll leave the last words to our trackside director of operations, Ilkka Haapala:

"2013 iWCGPS was a pretty up and down season for all of us. On the first part of the season we just weren't quick enough usually, but as a team we worked well together. Towards the end we found some much needed performance, but unfortunately it seemed Lady Luck just wasn't on our side on many occasions. I'm very pleased in the way we worked on the technical side all year and think we built a good foundation for next year. Biggest challenge for us remains in the qualifying and we need to find more consistency there.

Due to Davy's commitments in the Caterham series during this season, he's going to be competing in the iRacing Pro Series to secure his place for next year. All of us are already looking forward to the 2014 season and hope to start the year much stronger!"


See you all on the track, before the next season starts! 
 





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