The fifth round in the 2019 IronMan series would see Jose da Silva lead the field away for the second time this year, the field of thirty drivers taking to the Tecnico layout for the hour long contest. It was not only the fifth of ten rounds in the overall championship, it was also the deciding round for the Winter Sub-Championship, a best 4 out of 5 contest with four drivers still in the hunt.
Da Silva would maintain command of the race for the opening quarter of the event, tailed by Diego Morales -who started in second- and then by Chris Huerta. Huerta would take over the top spot on lap, but shortly thereafter felt something was amiss, and checked his ballast tube for weight, which came up disappointingly empty. That would spell the end of his hopes for a possible win, and knowing he would essentially finish last no matter what, parked it for the event.
Huerta’s misfortune however would see Paulo Franca inherit the lead, the point leader having worked his way up from the 14th position to top spot in twenty laps. The race would be in control of Franca over the next 20 or so laps, with the aforementioned Morales and da Silva working to together to stay in touch.
Pit stops would be what would remove Franca from the top spot, making his way down pit road for the first time on lap 40 with just a little under twenty minutes to play. His rivals to the top spot would both have pit already, and when he exited he would still be clear of their advances. Electing to pit again just two laps later, an error in the pits would yet again see the leader forced through the penalty box.
With the top three taking to pit lane, this gave title hopeful Sean Fite a chance to lead, snagging the valuable bonus points for his single lap out front before heading down pit lane himself. This would hand the lead over to Adam Nagao, who would stay there until about three to go. Although he may have been the leader on course, the proper fight for the win would be from the original trio, fighting further back in the field via their alternate strategies. But before there was a fight for the lead, there was the need for a rebound; Franca bounced back from his penalty to first catch and pass Morales, and then set his sights on da Silva.
Catching him with just a couple of laps to go, Franca made the move into bypass as they came to the white, the duo exiting on to the main straight side by side. Da Silva would win the drag race into the first corner, and then proceed to hold off his fellow Brazilian to score his second win of the season. For Franca, the frustration at the podium was clear of having another win slip through his fingers, but he could take solace in knowing he did enough to secure the Winter Series Sub-championship. Making it an all-South American podium, native Colombian Diego Morales would join them on the box with his second podium of the season.
IronMan Series Round #5 Top 10
|1)||Jose da Silva|
|7)||Max Demoss Sr|
Points Standings after 2 Drops (Best Drop)
|3)||Jose da Silva||273||(48)|
|10)||Max Demoss Sr||216||(51)|