A pair of talented young racers who aspire to compete in the real-world Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires took top honors as the TireRack.com Road to Indy iRacing eSeries Presented by Cooper Tires visited a virtual rendition of the classic Road America venue in Wisconsin. Frank Mossman, from LaVerne, Calif., inched out Road to Indy racer Josh Green, from Mount Kisco, N.Y., in the first of two 20-minute races, while fellow karting star Alessandro de Tullio, from Miami, Fla., bounced back to score yet another victory after spinning out of the lead in the opening race.
De Tullio once again was the driver to beat, turning the fastest lap during qualifying to secure his third successive SimMetric Driver Performance Labs Pole Award. Mossman started alongside on the front row of the grid ahead of Green, who won the final round of the 2021 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship and will step up to the next level, the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, this year with Peter Dempsey’s Turn 3 Motorsport organization. Legacy Autosport USF2000 competitor Simon Sikes, from Martinez, Ga., qualified fourth.
The quartet immediately edged clear of their pursuers at the drop of the green flag. De Tullio maintained his advantage at the front, albeit this time unable to break clear of his rivals. The pressure finally told when he spun after straying a rear wheel onto the grass under heavy braking for Canada Corner on Lap Three. Sikes also was involved in an early incident.
Mossman took over the lead and was engrossed in a thrilling battle with Green for the remainder of the race. Green hit the front on Lap Five, but Mossman refused to give up. The pair even exchanged positions a couple of times on the last lap before Mossman took full use of the draft to slingshot past Green just inches before the checkered flag. Mossman’s margin of victory was a scant 0.02 of a second.
De Tullio set the fastest lap of the race as he fought back to finish third ahead of USF2000 racer Dylan Christie, from Princeton, N.J.
As usual, the top-10 finishing positions were inverted to form the grid for Race Two, which saw another RTI Prospect, Dean Dybdahl, from Grand Island, Fla., on pole position.
Unfortunately, after an impressively clean opening race, a series of incidents on the first lap broke up the order and allowed de Tullio to negotiate the carnage and rise from eighth on the grid into the lead before the end of the first lap. But once again he was unable to shake off his pursuers, led by Mossman, Green and Sikes. The top four waged a tremendous battle until Sikes unfortunately was caught out at Turn Five, spinning out of contention for the win. Green also was delayed, although he resumed in third and gained some consolation by setting the fastest lap of the evening at 1:59.88, an average speed of 120.541 mph.
Mossman tried everything to displace de Tullio from the top spot, but the Floridian held on to win for the fourth time in eight starts.
The fourth season of the TireRack.com Road to Indy iRacing eSeries Presented by Cooper Tires will conclude on Wednesday, March 2 with an All-Star Invitational event at the World Wide Technology Raceway oval – just a few days after the real-life season bursts into life at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix in Florida on February 25-27. The virtual finale will be spearheaded by several highly accomplished Road to Indy graduates who will compete against the Road to Indy regulars and the top-five point scorers from two previous events held specifically for Road to Indy Prospects.
Frank Mossman (#77 Offset Sport/Hennessey Digital/Persist Group/Stilo Helmets-Mossman Motorsports Tatuus PM-18): “At this track, it doesn’t matter how fast you are even if you are a second quicker. It’s the draft that makes for a great race as you saw. I just had to position myself right going into the final laps. [On the eSeries] It’s been great. Everyone on the staff have been really helpful to make me a part of this, especially all of the other racers. It is cool to race against Josh (Green) with how smart he is and all the experience he has under his belt and especially with de Tullio, with how fast he is on the simulator and in real life.”
Alessandro de Tullio (#20 Pole Position Motorsports/Parolin/Carbel LLC Tatuus PM-18): “Race Two was definitely better, especially with the reverse grid. I think this is the first time I have made it out of Lap One (unscathed). Good job to Frankie (Mossman) today. He was quite fast. It was good to redeem myself from my Race One mistake. [On Race One going into Canada Corner while leading] I saw the gap increasing a bit and I knew if I got the gap to over a second, the draft would have been broken and I could possibly pull away. I was pushing to the limit and also there was some shade in that corner, so I didn’t really see the grass. I just put a rear wheel on it and spun off.”