Peter Mcann - 10/10/2020
DEMPSEY AND MURRAY TAKE VICTORIES IN A FRANTIC ROUND AT ROAD ATLANTA
Turn 3 Motorsport took both wins this week at Road Atlanta, probably what will be known for some time as the busiest and most frantic nights racing we will see for a long time. While the drivers were fast one wonders was it only for sheer luck, they ended up at the front of a pack that had to not only race each other but the danger of moving through the M4 field on this tight track. What came of all of this was two great races lead by some fantastic drivers, but also what would be a war of attrition for some of the field.
“THESE GUYS ARE A FANTASTIC EXAMPLE, KEITH DEMPSEY AND JORDAN KELLY. KEITH IS A SERIAL WINNER BUT JORDAN IS HERE AND LOOKING FOR THE CROWN”
Coming out of round 1 in LeMans, VRA Racing’s Jordan Kelly was looking to make the move to extend the lead he had developed at his ease. Practice had gone well for him, but the gap that he held over the competition was gone. Keith and Peter Dempsey, Josh Malin, Niki Meredith, James Holman and many others were right back on the money and looking just as fast this time around.
In qualifying, Peter Dempsey would take pole from Kelly by 0.14s, followed closely by Malin, Robert Moore and Keith Dempsey. The race would be started rolling from the pace car with Peter given the control to start the race on its entry to the pits. Peter Dempsey hung back and went early out of the chicane and what unfolded was probably the best watch but the most heart stopping drive as a sim racer for some time!
Everyone gets away clean enough, with Keith Dempsey capitalising on an early move to steal 4th from Robert Moore. Contact in the early laps saw great drivers on the grid drop down the leaderboard and out of contention early, guys like the ever unlucky Adrian Campfield suffered early while David Yamamoto, new face but old stock was unlucky too. Tomas Seirys was also involved in numerous incidents that saw him drop away too.
“ LOOK AT THAT, THIS IS JUST INCREDIBLE. HE’S CRAWLING ALL OVER THE BACK OF HIS BUMPER… SO MUCH PRESSURE ON DEMPSEY”
While the lap timings gave a guide meeting of the classes around lap six, they had had their own issues and the clash of the classes begin as early as lap four. Peter Dempsey drove a flawless race it has to be said, but turning point of the race would come on the last lap when Keith was narrowly holding onto second with Jordan breathing down his neck. Everyone knew it was coming, Jordan makes the move down the back straight having forced Keith to tighten up his line through the ninety degree right that immediately precedes it. Jordan would make the pass completely on the straight and tightened Keith up once again. With braking zones and all the moving around, Keith would make contact with Jordan down the inside but would make it through as the first of the two.
Meanwhile Josh Malin had watched this all unfold and robbed both places from the effective sitting ducks out of the chicane to rob second on the line. Leaving Keith and Jordan to take third and fourth. They were followed by Jason Cooper, Tom Ingram, James Holman, Rory O’Shea, David Yamamoto and Niall Murray who would now take reverse grid top 10.
No breaks and we were straight back into it for race 2! Niall Murray does the right thing and never looks back off the start line to cruise to victory, yet again all the action was in the field chasing him down. Only one first lap incident in this one, BTCC driver Tom Ingram was put around into the final chicane trying to pass around the outside of the left hander. Tom is as good a driver in the sim as he is in his day job, but it’s crazy how much bad luck he is blessed with when it comes to Digital-Motorsport events, always getting knocked about but always right up there until it happens, it will have to fall his way eventually!
Josh Malin, second in race one, got tagged into turn three by Turn 3 driver Peter Dempsey as they both battled to drive back towards the front after the reverse grid.
It somewhat settled down and we found Yamamoto demoted to third after Keith passes him to chase Niall, this would all be undone in a somewhat similar last lap incident. David and Keith were still close and David took incentive during traffic that kept Dempsey wide, we got alongside but unfortunate contact puts them both around allowing the wall of cars behind to get through
“YAMAMOTO IS HAVING A LOOK DOWN DEMPSEY’S INSIDE, THEY TOUCH AND THEY SPIN….”
Murray runs on a few seconds later to take the chequered flag while the newly promoted Jordan Kelly takes second from Yamamoto in third. Niki Meredith and Brian McManus fought a good battle towards the end and come home fourth and fifth. Dempsey got his car recovered for sixth ahead of Airijus Jomantas, James Holman, super safe and consistent as always Sergej Grabun and Josh Malin rounding out your top ten.
In the post-race interviews, Jordan Kelly said “It was about having patience, know and trust the other class, it was a very difficult race and you never had a second to relax”. The championship leader is looking forward to Spa and is optimistic about his chances.
So where now?
Two weeks break again. Well two weeks for you. As we write this I know of at least one practice server already running for Spa Francorchamps. The Belgian track that affords a little more room than that which we had here. We go back to the endurance format, a single race once again with it all to do in one go. See you in two weeks, tune in on the 19th of October for the Digital-Motorsports Off The Grid show, where the guys talk to the drivers, talk on previous rounds and will give the insight as we prepare for spa. They talk tech and sim gear too as well as answer your questions. It’s a great addition to an already busy series!
See you in two weeks.