November is that special month which is the true indicator of pace. The three roads to pro warm up and the leagues of endurance kick back into life while making everyone want to watch for the long future. Many a driver uses the winter to make their developments forward while major companies use it to showcase their forward thinking. Either way you look at it, November has been tough to call.
Top 5 Drivers of November 2017
5. Aday Coba – Iberica Racing Team
Aday Coba has been very noisy in the early hours of the morning going almost invincible this month in the Skip Barber Race Series events. Beating some of the best like Philippe Leybaert on a regular basis is no slouch and must be respected from a driver of Aday’s caliber. Yet while Aday is one of the best “Jack of all trades” drivers in the world, I haven’t seen the best out of him in Blancpain qualification and arguably could need a couple more tenths to improve in that regard. A solid month regardless and it’s nice to see Aday back on the big screens.
4. Fabrice Cornelis – Vendaval SimRacing
Fabrice has built back up the ability to fight at the very top and deserves a lot of plaudits for the way he works and operates. Second place again in SCO would not have been what he was looking for with Coen Klopman however Cornelis rallied back in GT3 at Silverstone by leading the beginning of the one two with teammate Robin Esterson. Drive and determination are things that Fabrice does very well and he will need to keep that bolstered because disappointing results like fifth in the second round of NEO will not be very helpful moving forward, but good signs are there.
3. Joshua Rogers – TTL Esports
Who says I don’t mention Australian drivers? Josh has been a massive breath of fresh air in the Road Pro Series and arguably with the championship lead in his hands, could now be the favourite to go and qualify and solidify top ten finishes next year. His ability to remain cool under pressure was highlighted in his victory at Suzuka which showed his defensive capabilities against Michael Dinkel and David Williams. Not only that but Josh was very impressive in the V8SCOPS event at Monza which saw a hard fought fourth crop up and show the attacking capabilities as well. Next stop for Rogers, the WCS!
2. Patrick Wolf – Pure Racing Team
Patrick Wolf has been everywhere this November and has done everything whilst nerding out with Pokemon as well. Wins in both NEO and DGFX have made Wolf a vital part of the Pure setup and when Pure don’t want to play ball, then Wolf does a very good job of running with the pack with SimRC in SCO. I can’t really criticize Patrick’s driving too much as he has been fantastic in the LMP2 Honda and with LMP1 just around the corner, what is to say that Patrick Wolf could become one of the best drivers in the world come 2018?
1. Frederik Rasmussen – CoRe SimRacing
Frede is OP and everybody knows it. Three rounds raced in the iRacing Road Pro Series in a vehicle some may argue he is still trying to get to grips with and the next Sim Racing darling has made great strides with two vital victories at Montreal and at Silverstone. While there is some work to do on the mid-race pace that has put him back into the clutches of his teammate Sebastian Job, there is the typical consistency that has allowed Rasmussen to stay right at the front end on top 5 WCS pace and be freely able to take a week off for the F1 Esports finals. Frede is a special driver and the multi-talented Dane could do wonders in the next ten years.
Top 5 Teams of November 2017
5. Trans Tasman Racing
It isn’t often that I head to the land down under to talk about V8 Supercars of all things however November has been a fantastic month for the Trans Tasman team after locking out a Tasman sweep at Monza. Holding the two greatest drivers in SCOPS history in Jarrad Filsell and Madison Down has made sure to keep TTR at the top of the pile with the ever impressing Jake Burton there in the mix making big results happen. What will surprise a lot of people though will be the fact that TTR seemingly look like a massive core unit and work amazingly well together, and I would love to see more of them in 2018.
4. Vendaval SimRacing
With so many teams at the top of their game, the dizzying heights of October have slowly declined in November for Vendaval, having just Blancpain and SCO success. Vendaval again found in SCO that they were outclassed by Mivano and would need to find work despite another victory for their GTE effort. The comparison would be very different at Road America without a machine inside of the top four which could be classed as a failure now by expected standards however the one-two at Silverstone went a long way to repaying the debt. There is a massive reliance on Cornelis and Klopman and it now falls on drivers like Dekota Fripp and Dave Gelink to pick up the pieces. December needs to be back to winning ways.
3. Thrustmaster Mivano
Two from two and looking very handsome in SCO, eyes will be on maintaining form in 2017 for Mivano after Hamilton and Evers again delivered this time at Monza. The victory coupled with a respectable fourth in NEO looks to set Mivano up as one of the main protagonists heading to Daytona in January for the 24 hour event and with Tomasso Carla also in great shape, Mivano as a collective could possibly have the best dynamic for endurance racing in all of Sim Racing right now. Consolidation needed and they now need to keep the form up which is the toughest thing to do.
2. CoRe SimRacing
Three wins out of four in the Road Pro Series and not many people would expect me to put them second but it hasn’t been the easiest of rides for CoRe. Despite the wins, Sebastian Job has had horrendous finishing that has seen him crash out of two events coupled with terrible starts left and right. The SCO effort has run into some issues in GTE being completely outclassed by Vendaval, and their GT3 effort firmly embroiled in the title picture. To further this, NEO was solid and a lot closer in 2nd for prototypes but by no means is eighth in GTE what they would be hoping for. It has been the true definition of a mixed bag in an incredibly strenuous month for CoRe and they will be happy to have a certain Isaac Price back to help man the helm.
1. Pure Racing Team
Statistically dominant in NEO and DGFX, Pure are hitting a purple patch in form by going back to back in NEO prototypes. Patrick Wolf arguably has been the stand out man but without the resolve and the talent that Maximilian Benecke brings to the table, Pure would just be a bunch of drivers instead of a well oiled machine. No team though was perfect this month however as a sixth place finish in GTE’s showed a lack of development in a key World Tour vehicle of the future and caution has to be garnered now for Pure as they need to keep their Prototype push going while also making sure GTE doesn’t fall away too much before Daytona.
Sebastian Job: For deciding to allow Frederik Rasmussen to win the iRacing Road Pro Series race after making contact on the final lap. Job could have easily pushed home for the victory and certain points but decided he wanted to make the move the right way and as such, should be applauded for his level headed decision at a pivotal point in a major series.
Arjan de Vreede – Evolution Racing Team
Sebastian Job – CoRe SimRacing
Kim Eriksson – Black Star Racing
Madison Down – Trans Tasman Racing
VRS Coanda Simsport
Apex Racing UK
Sparey’s Eye: December 2017
Ricardo Castro Ledo – CoRe Sim Racing
Michael Dinkel – Apex Racing UK
Tommy Ostgaard – Positive Sim Racing
Dayne Warren – All Star Motorsport