Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, in Indianapolis, Ind., provided some spectacular action this evening as the TireRack.com Road to Indy iRacing eSeries Presented by Cooper Tires hosted another pair of 20-minute virtual races. After scoring the most points during last week’s opening at VIRginia International Raceway, Road to Indy Prospect Alessandro de Tullio, from Miami, Fla., once again played a starring role today on the challenging 0.686-mile oval. De Tullio won the opening race from the pole position and then scythed through from 10th on the reverse grid to finish second in Race Two behind Road to Indy regular Josh Green (Turn 3 Motorsport), from Mount Kisco, N.Y.
De Tullio was in a virtual class of his own during the opening race. He jumped into the lead at the start after claiming the SimMetric Driver Performance Labs Pole Award and was never seriously challenged as he led all 61 laps to win by over seven seconds from fellow Road to Indy Prospect Frank Mossman, from La Verne, Calif.
Evagoras Papasavvas, from Loveland, Ohio, who recently confirmed he will step up from karting to drive for Jay Howard Driver Development in this year’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, finished a strong third ahead of former USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 champion Matthew Brabham, who will return to the Road to Indy this year to drive for Andretti Autosport in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. Brabham showed good form as he made up a couple of positions from sixth on the grid.
RTI Prospect Mac Clark, from Toronto, Ont., Canada, a winner last week, once again showed strong as he ran among the leaders until being involved in an incident with Indy Lights regular Benjamin Pedersen, from Copenhagen, Denmark.
Fellow Indy Lights driver Nikita Lastochkin, from Moscow, Russia, benefited from the incident to finish fifth.
The top-10 finishing positions were reversed for this evening’s second race which saw Green starting from pole position ahead of Sweden’s Viktor Andersson, who this season will compete as a rookie for VRD Racing in USF2000.
Green took full advantage by taking the lead at the start, although he remained under pressure from RTI Prospect Titus Sherlock, from Prosper, Texas, and Andersson for most of the event. Finally, after 42 laps, the two challengers made some contact in Turn Two as Sherlock tried to fend off a determined challenge from the Swede.
It was Sherlock who came off worst and Green who benefited most. The incident allowed de Tullio, who had displayed a potent mixture of speed tempered by being able to resist the temptation to be too aggressive, to move into second place. The youngster continued to press on after Green, despite himself having been involved in a scrape earlier on with Lastochkin, but Green was up to the challenge. He eventually took the checkered flag just over a second clear of de Tullio.
Andersson recovered impressively to maintain third ahead of Papasavvas, who started eighth, and Clark, who forged through to fifth after starting 16th.
After a one-week hiatus, the Road to Indy Prospects will return to action for two more races to be held at a virtual rendition of the challenging Barber Motorsports Park road course in Leeds, Ala., on February 2.
Alessandro de Tullio (#20 Pole Position Motorsports/Parolin/Carbel LLC Tatuus PM-18): ”Honestly, I didn’t have much confidence coming into this race. It was still difficult, but I thought I was going to have to chase people. I am not really familiar with the ovals, but I think I adapted. The lapped traffic was managed quite well. They were very aware of me coming through and thanks to them. [On starting 10th after the grid was inverted] After starting P10, finishing P2 was definitely more than I expected. I hoped for a top five. I think I had the pace to be first, but I had to settle for second. You had to risk it a bit to make a pass here.”
Josh Green (#3 Turn 3 Motorsport Tatuus PM-18): “It was a very good run. I just kept my head down and was able to keep ahead. It is really hard with the aero wash to keep up with the cars behind. People would start catching me and fall back and a few people crashed, so a bit of a lucky break. We were running a much different line than in real life. When it came to lapped cars, it was really about trying to get them out of the way as quickly as possible. When you pick up the aero wash and the cars behind you also have aero wash, it makes it very easy to be caught. It was definitely a bit of a struggle and got worrying here and there where other cars were catching me and I was stuck behind a lapped car, but everyone seemed to get out of the way more or less.”