For the second event in a row, the Sportivo layout will be in play for the CalSpeed IronMan Series, taking to the track for Round #4 of the 8 event championship this past weekend. With about a third of the field making their first start of the year, traffic was on the minds of all of the series regulars, with one of two strategies in mind: get out of the mess, or get to the front and stay there…
Pietro Moro would lead the sold-out show of thirty drivers to the drop of the green, with Sheng Wu and Max DeMoss in tow. Before long, however, it was Jose da Silva putting the pressure on, working up from 7th on the grid to take over the point by lap 5. Da Silva brought friends however, as Michael Hazlewood, Diego Morales, and Andres Prieto all infiltrated the front along with him.
Jose’s reign at the front was short-lived, however, as Hazlewood took over the lead on lap 7, and from there never looked back. Electing to stay out until the end of the race to complete his stops, he steadily gapped the field behind through pace, their infighting, traffic, and maybe a little luck. The only slight hiccup was a brush with the wall when making his final pit stop, the post-race penalty not enough to derail his mighty performance. It would be his second podium of the year, but his first IronMan Series win of his career, good enough to move him up into third in the overall standings, just 5 points out of first.
The race to finish out the podium was a little more convoluted than Hazelwood’s straight-forward attack, with varying strategies playing out through the field. Right around the time that the lead was changing hands for the first time, the first pit stops were happening from the eventual front runners as well. Title contender Sean Fite would be one of the first to duck into the pits, making his first stop on lap 5 after being mired in the midfield, while former race winner Scott Milne followed suit 1 lap later. This would immediately see them deal with the traffic that was at the back of the field, however, stifling their attempt at quick laps right on exit of the pits.
For several others though, it was the strategy of working through each driver on track step by step, and of all of the front runners, it was Alyssa Yauney that made the slow and steady climb through that she is known for. Last month in her 2020 debut, she once again methodically worked up through the ranks, and by halfway was into the second spot. While bolstered with some of her immediate challengers coming on some bad luck, it was more of a cruise-to-second program for her, making it two podium finishes in a row to kick off her season.
The last podium spot would go to the aforementioned Scott Milne, who after coming out behind Fite, would work with him -as well as Patrick Britain- to click off fast laps whenever they were in clean air, smartly working the traffic as it came. Just before halfway, he would become the leader of the trio, and slowly start to add to his advantage. When the second and final pit stops came with about 10 minutes to play, he was the first to duck in and would hold on to score another podium to his name.
IronMan Series Round #4 Top 10
Point Standings Top 10 (drop)
|7)||Jose da Silva||213||(45)|