The Race of Champions eModified Series threw in an extra twist – or seven of them, to be exact – as they visited the virtual road course of Lime Rock Park Thursday evening. Adam Gordon proved the best of the Modified racers at turning both left and right, dominating the 61-lap feature.
Gordon had long hoped to have the opportunity to race the Modifieds at Lime Rock Park on iRacing. However, the track has not been featured of late on the service’s official iRacing calendar.
The strong showing proved Gordon had reason to want the road course as part of the predominantly short track iRacing Modified menu. Still, he found himself plenty nervous as he closed in on the win.
“It was very stressful, but I was glad to hear [the series] was hosting it,” Gordon told Speed51. “I have been waiting for it to come on officially, so maybe this will push them over.”
While Gordon is a short track racer at heart and in real life, he is a fan of all forms of racing and took some of the lessons he has learned from watching road course racers to heart.
“I’m a short track guy, I race at Wall and New Egypt, but I like watching road racing, F1. I was trying to apply all that stuff I see on TV, but it comes down to staying clean.”
It was a team effort for the victory, as Gordon had worked with Derek Hopkinson and Alonzo Morales throughout the week on racing lines, lap times and strategies in preparation for the race. The trio took three of the top four spots in the final running order, with Hopkinson finishing third to join Gordon on the podium.
“Me, Derek and Alonzo Morales were having fun cracking away at the lap times and the setups. Our own little internal competition was really what helped us, because we wanted to beat each other, and that’s what made us quicker than the rest of the field.”
Briggs Danner split up the party with his runner-up finish, capitalizing on pit strategy to move ahead of Hopkinson.
“I knew going into the race Adam had us covered and was pretty fast,” said Danner. “Adam started pulling away and I tried a different strategy. I pitted a little bit earlier and I think it paid off for second.”
Hopkinson ultimately finished third, hoping a slightly different pit strategy would give him an edge over Gordon. Instead, a miscue while entering pit road cost him vital time.
“I knew I was going to take a little bit different strategy,” Hopkinson stated. “Adam and I have been working together all week trying to help each other get better. We were going to be similar strategy, but I wanted to differentiate myself to try to get an advantage.
“I just made a pretty large mistake trying to get on pit road and had to serve a penalty in the pit stop. It bit me, but that’s what you get trying to find that edge.”
Morales finished fourth, with Charles Buchanan rounding out the top five.
A new series of Race of Champions virtual events, the RoC iRacing Festival, will kick off next Thursday, May 14. Click here for more information on that series, which will conclude with a virtual Race of Champions 250 Modified event at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Click here to watch a replay of Thursday’s race at Lime Rock Park.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans