The fastest online Sim Race in the world took place last weekend at one of the oldest and most famous race tracks in the world the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 2018 iRacing Indy 500 attracts hundreds of drivers to dare to brave the 500 miles in order to drink the virtual milk and become immortalised in iRacing’s ranks. JBH went into the week struggling for pace in qualifying as Wyvern Racing struggled once again to get a handle of the new IR-18. But some how Joseph managed to make it into Top Split for 13:00 GMT race and what followed was the greatest sim race of his career so far.
Full race report: JBH took the green flag in 33rd and dead last after just managing to make it into Top Split out of the 14 splits. By the end of lap 3 JBH had moved all the way up into the 23rd position gaining 10 spots in the 3 laps. Due to the aero wash of the field the race became stationary with each driver holding position until disaster struck on lap 6 with a 2 car incident that resulted in the first caution of the race. After the restart Joseph made use of new tyres and moved into the top 20 before caution #2 came out which led to further strategy alterations. Taking use of the new tyre option once again JBH manged to get inside the top 15 as the green flag runs began. 80 laps later and just past the half way point Joseph came to pit road for another regulatory pit stop but was caught out after a caution came out on the out lap which meant he went a full 2 laps down due to being stuck behind the pace car. After taking the wave around stuck a lap down in 21st position it was all down to strategy and luck in order to gain any sort of result out of the race. Over the next 50 laps JBH worked his way all the way back up into the top 5 after a couple lucky cautions and some good strategy calls but it all came down to a fuel number to hit lap after lap in order to make it to the end. Sitting in 3rd with 10 laps to go it became clear that the Wyvern Racing #2 car was around 3 laps short and would have to pit for a ‘splash and dash’ in what would hopefully hold on to a top 5 finish however everything was about to change. With just 7 laps to go an incredible chain of events took place with the leader getting into a lapped car which resulted with a caution and JBH being elevated to 2nd! A 5 lap dash to the finish was all that was left of this dramatic race. After getting a good jump on the restart Joseph managed to jump into the lead on the backstretch and with 4 to go he had to somehow come up with the greatest defensive drive of his life in order to win. Lap by lap side by side with 2nd the Wyvern #2 car crossed the line to take the win by just 14 thousandths of a second.
Complete shock is the only way to describe it.. I had absolutely no contemplation that I would win the iRacing Indy 500 waking up that morning. We were so slow in qualifying I was surprised to make the final position in top split. I knew we had a much better race setup than qualy setup so I just need to make the most of the restarts before the field spreads out with the aero wash from the cars in front. We got ridiculously unlucky when the pace car came out right after our 3rd pitstop yet some how thanks to a few cautions we managed to get back on the lead lap inside the top 10. We made some adjustments to the car which gave us the pace to get up inside the top 5. Unfortunately due to having to take the wave around on the final stop we had to fuel save to make it to the end. That data was showing us 3 laps short so all hope seemed lost for a win and it was likely that we would also loose a top 5 finish before all of a sudden the caution came out and we were in 2nd! I managed to jump the leader on the lap after the restart and then had to keep the lead at all costs. It was probably the best defensive driving I have ever conjured up and somehow we crossed the line in the lead by a few centimetres. This is by far the biggest win of my short sim-racing career and now I look forward to both the Spa and Le Mans 24 hour race where hopefully we can add to this success. “
Below is a highlight reel of the race where you can see how all the action took place!
With another great result on the iRacing special event calendar JBH and Wyvern Racing will be taking a 2 month break before the 2018 iRacing 24 hours of Spa. You can catch all the action by subscribing to Joseph’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeNUlQjeIKUSoV4ctpcJKEQ/