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Race Report: R2 Okayama International Circuit

Some were calling it The Japanese Monaco. However, with this field of immensely talented drivers, overtaking is always possible...

Round 2 is upon us and we don't have far to travel, from Tsukuba over on the east side we travel west through Japan to Okayama.


Jeremie Agard will be sitting out of Round 2 and Round 3 due to other commitments but we are still here with 31 drivers round the short layout of the Okayama International Circuit.


The trend of 30 drivers being within 1s continues in practice.

Cranstone enters round 2 with a 4 point lead from Jack Lewin. Pulsus leads by 10 points from masters of torque who look ready to mount a challenge this season.


Perhaps somewhat ominously Cranstone takes pole 0.1 ahead of Lewin with Ridley and Dempsey lining up on the second row. Alfer-Henrisken and Bayliffe on row 3, King and Christopher smith on row 4, Farr and Germany row 5 and Burkhard and Caylor make up row 6 just 0.28 away from pole.


Sprint Race shocked us all as there were no lap 1 incidents.

Gregory Ottley was the first to be involved in a collision with Dan Downing into T6, Ottley was lucky to not be collected by the train behind.


Oliver and Blake have a nice scrap in T4 and T5 for P14 with Blake coming out on top, this gives Marais and Van Der Woude the idea to go side by side through T6 and T7, Alexander gets the move done into T7 but with Duncan still in close proximity contact was made and Alexander loses out. A very tight battle for P20 between Wallace, Vanolst, Fox, Amundaray, Van Der Woude was taking place. Jesus was tagged round in T7 by Alexander.


King proves you can pass round the outside of T6 and T7 and on Bayliffe no less, one of the more difficult drivers to pass. Christopher Smith tries to take advantage on the straight but Bayliffe slams the door shut.


Cranstone wins with Lewin and Ridley rounding off the podium. Ridley being the 17th new podium sitter in the Jetta Cup. The titan fight though was for P17 which Vanolst leads from Wallace, Fox, Downing and Lekue who just misses out on one point but all of them pass Ryan Smith on the line who runs out of fuel in the ORD machine.


Feature Race sees an all-American top 3 with Morse on pole, Farr in 2nd and Burkhard 3rd. As the green flag drops Bayliffe's mechanics were still working on the car in the pits so he sits out this race start but does re-join the race 2 laps down for some Win it or Bin it Racing testing.


Caylor and Van Der Woude have a decent fight in the midfield for P13 which comes to an abrupt end as they make contact in T5, Caylor spins round nicely and gets back on in P26.


Dan Blake puts up a Stern defence from Cranstone's moves for P11, whilst Downing makes a clumsy move in T1 taking out both Majerech and Ottley in the process, the second time this Round him and Ottley have clashed.


It was almost like it was rehearsed in the Sprint Race, King sends it up the inside of Christopher Smith in T4, holds the outside of T5 and makes the move stick round the outside of T6 and T7 again. Christopher not giving up though looks at T1 and nearly locks up into King but they both survive for P5 and P6.


As the pitstops get under way things looked tight for Germany has he comes out with Christopher Smith round his outside for T1 and has to defend T2 from Lewin but he succeeds and takes a net P2 with only King, Blake, Vanolst and Caylor yet to stop.


Were Pulsus eSports going to rectify the mistakes from the previous Round? After the pit stops had settled yet again they were 1, 2 and 3, but yet again it wasn't to be as Round 1 winner Henry Morse had a raft of mistakes - under fuelled, drifted at T2 and then a speeding penalty.


Andy Fox pulls off a textbook switch back on Iker Lekue who then loses a further position to team mate Jesus Amundaray finishing P18 P19 and P20 respectively.

King and Germany keep a team 1-2 making it a 3rd 1-2 for the only team to do so. Christopher Smith claims his third podium for ORD equalling his best finish.


Downunder Sim eSports took away 99 points from this round scoring the 2nd highest out of the teams thanks to strong performances from Farr, Ridley and Oliver. In contrast, Cristiam Ribeiro took 15 penalty points for 3 separate incidents during the event.


Re-watch the action here


Official Results:

Qualifying

Sprint Race

Feature Race


Official Standings:

Drivers' Championship

Teams' Championship

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