Last night’s third-last round of the ARG eSports Cup featured Formula 3 cars on the classic Sliverstone circuit, and produced a few twists and turns in the championship contest. Here’s our analysis of how the event played out.
WORDS: Lachlan Mansell
IMAGES: Australian Racing Group
Thumbs Up – Cody Burcher
When it comes to online open-wheel racing, Cody Burcher is proving to be quite a star. He was a winner last time the ARG series used the F3 car at Phillip Island a fortnight ago, and backed up with a dominant lights-to-flag victory in Race 1 last night. He was also looking good for a podium finish in the reverse-grid race before sustaining damage in a late incident.
Burcher’s wildcard status means he’s not a title contender, but last night he took points away for some of the main players with his speedy performances.
Thumbs Down – Dylan O’Keeffe’s fuel calculations
Dear oh dear… just when he was on target for a solid top five finish in Race 1, O’Keeffe’s car coughed, spluttered and coasted across the finish line outside the top 10.
O’Keeffe blamed himself for a fuel miscalculation with the race running a lap longer than he perhaps expected, but what made it particularly embarrassing was the fact that the broadcast commentators had quizzed him on the subject of fuel strategy earlier in the race. Fortunately, O’Keeffe salvaged his night with a podium finish in the reverse-grid race.
Thumbs Up – Luke King
Another wildcard entry best known for his exploits in the Toyota 86 Series, King showed impressive pace in Race 1, although he fell down to 14th late in the race.
A ripper start in Race 2 enabled King to avoid the mid-pack shenanigans, and from there he put a committed, outside move on Michael Caruso before powering to the race win.
Thumbs Down – Nathan Herne Race 1 crash
For the second round in a row, Nathan Herne was out of luck; while he was battling for a top three position in Race 1, he was caught in a contretemps with Ash Sutton and Harley Haber which launched his car into a spectacular pirouette. The damage knocked him outside the top 30, ruined his weekend and left him a yawning 85 points behind the series leader with two rounds remaining.
Thumbs Up – Jordan Cox
The driver who became an internet sensation with his spectacular moves at the top of the Mountain in a Bathurst 12 Hour Improved Production support race a few years ago, Cox has been quietly accumulating points in the ARG eSports Cup and his consistency is starting to pay dividends.
Last night, he finished sixth and eighth in the two races, and now finds himself inside the top five in the championship.
ARG eSports Cup – points after Round 8 of 10
- Harley Haber – 446
- Jaden Ransley – 421
- Dylan O’Keeffe – 401
- Ash Sutton – 391
- Jordan Cox – 364
- Nathan Herne – 361
- Garth Tander – 322
- James Golding – 206
- Tim Brook – 270
- Nic Carroll – 259