until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Brljak wins Indy FSR round as pursuers clash

by Matt Beer
2 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Petar Brljak won the third World Championship round of the 2020 Formula SimRacing season, becoming the third different winner.

He took pole position for the race around the Indianapolis road course, with previous race winner Jernej Simoncic qualifying in seventh.

But Simoncic ultimately came through to second place ahead of Jeroen Kweekel.

A Turn 1 incident, where Sander Kallas ran wide to defend third place from Janos Bracsok, forced Bracsok onto the grass and down to 10th and gave Kallas a slow exit from the turn that meant a fast starting Simoncic was able to take third from him.

Kallas’ race got worse as he was overtaken by Alex Siebel and then entered the pits too quickly and smacked a wall, giving his car damage and an extended pitstop that put him out of contention.

As was the case in the previous round of the championship pitstop strategies proved to be key as Simoncic jumped Jeroen Kweekel for second place by stopping two laps earlier.

Overtaking moves were sparse until the final 10 laps.

Kirill Birulkov, who is the third different driver to partner Tomasz Wach in the other HM Engineering Yellow car, finished in fourth but was briefly in third.

His short run in the top three came courtesy of contact between Simoncic and Kweekel.

Jeroen Kweekel and Jernej Simoncic collision Indianapolis Formula SimRacing

Kweekel lunged up the inside of the first corner forcing Simoncic to the edge of the track, and as Simoncic tried to avoid the grass he hit Kweekel’s sidepod and sent him into the gravel.

Kweekel fought back to take the final podium spot away from Birukov.

Brljak revealed that while his car was set up well for overall lap time, he may not have had the straightline speed needed to keep back other drivers had they not been fighting each other so hard.

“I pushed through the whole race, had a few scary moments with traffic and that didn’t help me.” Brljak said.

“But at the end I guess something happened with Jeroen and Jernej so that sealed the win.”

“Because we had so much higher wings, I don’t know if I could’ve defended.”

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