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A Fighting Finish at Laguna Seca

The team end an action-packed Lockdown Cup in fitting fashion with battles-aplenty and an important last-minute overtake to seal fifth spot in the championship at the famous Laguna Seca Raceway.


Qualifying

A solid final qualifying performance of the series put Jordan 4th on the grid for the opening race of the evening. Championship-contenders Stuart McPhaden and Sandy Mitchell lined-up on the front row ahead of Jack Eyre, with Jordan next ahead of Peter Butcher.


Race 1

Gronkowski made a solid start to hang onto P4 through turn.

The opening few laps allowed the race to settle at the front, with Gronkowski hanging onto the top three, but unable to try a move on Mitchell ahead and Butcher keeping a close-eye on his bumper behind.


Mitchell eventually retook second and the top three started to pull away from Gronkowski, who himself also pulled a small gap to Butcher behind.


The race then settled for the majority of the 15-minute run-time, until the penultimate lap when Mitchell accidentally taped the rear of McPhaden into the hairpin, sending the leader into a spin. The pair then slowed, allowing Eye into the lead and Gronkowski up to second. The order stayed the same until the flag, Gronkowski picking-up a podium in the ultimate example of how the race isn't over until the flag drops!


Race 2

Gronkowski's start from P2 unravelled at the first corner as he understeered wide on the exit, dropping to sixth before re-joining. At turn five he moved inside Cameron Evans and up to fifth, but lost-out around the final part of the lap to drop back to seventh.

At the three-minute mark, Gronkowski was back past Evans at the hairpin, as Weddell simultaneously went wide, allowing him up to 5th in a single corner.


A battle with Butcher followed, with Gronkowski moving ahead into the Corkscrew, but Butcher missing the braking point and spinning him wide at the corner. Back down to 7th again for Gronkowski as Evans, Weddell and Butcher moved by.

Gronkowski moved back ahead of Evans with two laps to go, holding onto the place until the flag and taking a 6th pace finish behind Butcher. That put Gronkowski and Butcher a point-apart in the championship battle for 5th going into the final race of the series.


Race 3

Gronkowski's final start involved a little too much wheelspin and he was down from 3rd to 6th after the first corner. That was soon 8th after some contact, but then quickly seventh as the opening lap chaos ensued.


A multi-car battle with Butcher, Scott Smith, Vic Covey Jnr, Weddell and Tom Davis then began, with places changing constantly through the race.

At the six-minute mark, Gronkowski has muscled his way to the top of the pile in P4 and was shifting his focus to pulling a gap and trying to catch the lead trio, when he drifted slightly wide through the Corkscrew, triggering an automatic 'slow-down' penalty for tack limits. As he moved aside and slowed to serve it, the pack he'd just came through streamed past and it was back to square one again!

After more hard battling, it was put to 6th again in the closing stages of the race, with Butcher and Weddell ahead. As the drivers entered the final corner for the penultimate time, Gronkowski darted to the inside of Butcher to take fifth spot on the road, and also in the championship standings. He held on for the final lap, securing the team's top-5 position in the series.


"...the highs were all there - a pole position, a win and multiple podiums..."

"That was another fantastically eventful evening!" said Jordan. "We got a bit lucky in race one to steal P2, but that is ultimately what racing is all about and you have to be in the right place to pick up these things. The rest of the night just seemed like one long door-to-door battle! It was really great fun and I loved all of it, expect getting punted around at the corkscrew in race two of course. I think it was an honest mistake though and nothing malicious from Pete."


"Overall to finish in the top-5 of a 40-strong grid, and against some fantastic and experienced sim-racers, I am very happy with how the season went. Of course if it wasn't for a couple of small mistakes we could potentially have finished a little higher, but the highs were all there - a pole position, a win and multiple podiums - so no complaints here. It was fun to sign-off on such a brilliant season with some doughnuts after the final flag as well!"


"A massive thank you to everyone who was involved in arranging and running the series as well as everyone I've raced against over the past few weeks. It's been great and I can't wait to hit the track (real or virtual) again soon!"


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