2011 F1RWRS United States Grand Prix
The 2011 F1RWRS United States Grand Prix was the fifteenth and final race of the 2011 F1RWRS season, and the inaugural United States Grand Prix. The race was held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and was won by Jeroen Krautmeir, his first ever victory, for the JLD Motorsport team.
Pre-qualifying was hotly contested once again with two of the three Mann-backed cars going out early. Pippa Mann was dead last and failed to qualify (incidentally, it is the last time that Pippa failed to qualify in an F1RWRS race). In the main qualifying session, Gary Cameron narrowly took pole but the championship contenders were the main story. Nathanael Spencer grabbed a front row start with Daniel Melrose in fifth. Melrose also had to deal with Spencer's teammate David Koczo who started third.
Cameron bogged down at the start, falling back quickly into fifth place. Spencer dived into the lead while Cameron repasseed Koczo and Frank Zimmer at the Corkscrew. Melrose fell one spot to sixth place. Melrose then made a spectacular move at the Corkscrew on Lap 3. Dave Simpson passed Spencer for the lead on Lap 2 which dropped Spencer into the clutches of Melrose. However, Simpson and Spencer kept a slightly quicker pace than Melrose and battled for a few laps. Then, on Lap 7, Melrose shot back into the lead and took fastest lap at the same time! With Spencer behind Simpson, Melrose was in position to win the championship.
After fighting off Spencer and Redman (who would receive a penalty after the race), Melrose was able to keep the lead until Lap 14 when he pitted for tyres. Jeroen Krautmeir pitted three laps earlier, a crucial decision for the German. On Lap 13, Thomas De Bock speared into the wall after contact with Kay Lon. De Bock was the second-highest of the cars that had already stopped, leaving Darren Older Jr. and Giovanni Roda's Trueba as the highest stoppers. Unfortunately, Melrose and Spencer were both held out too long, with both diving into the pits on Lap 15. Neither seemed likely to score points, essentially giving the championship to Spencer. Both desperately battled for position at the back throughout the race but neither played a major part in the battle at the front.
As the pit stop rotation continued, it became clear that Roda had the upper hand. He had pitted on Lap 6 and was rapidly catching up Older Jr.. Older Jr. pitted on Lap 2 and was running very old tyres. Roda dispatched him easily on Lap 16. Now Roda had a large lead with De Bock out and Krautmeir (the next-best stopper) well down in the field. Krautmeir was quick but he appeared to be too far away from Roda to make a difference. That all changed on Lap 24 when Roda spun while in the lead. Krautmeir and Dagnall charged past Older Jr., sensing blood on the water. It all boiled down to a thrilling finale. Roda held the lead heading into Lap 30 but Krautmeir was all over him. Then, Krautmeir made a spectacular move around the outside of Roda at the Corkscrew, taking the lead. Jeroen held on to win one of the most exciting races in F1RWRS history.
Roda came in second place, a fine result for the privateer Trueba team. Chris Dagnall drove a superb race to take third for Jones Racing. He was followed by Frank Zimmer and Dave Simpson. Darren Older Jr. finished in sixth with Douglas Mann seventh and Ashley Watkinson in third. Melrose handled his defeat well and congratulated Nathanael Spencer on a job well done. With that, the 2011 F1RWRS season came to a close. Preparations for the 2012 F1RWRS season began almost immediately.
Standings After the Race
- Bold text indicates who still has a mathematical chance of becoming champion.
- Drivers' Championship standings
- Constructors' Championship standings
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