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PCA Sim Racing: Series 5, Round 8 recap: Daytona

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Above: Challenge Class racing.

Article by Matthew Mitchell

The finale of PCA Sim Racing Series 5 took place at iRacing’s virtual Daytona International Speedway. Our event started off with an interview hosted by our Podium eSports announcer James Pike with Justin Moreno, the Vice President of Marketing at Hagerty. Justin told us about his involvement with PCA Sim Racing and how it benefited him personally with his real-life driving events. He also spoke about Team Hagerty and the passion they have towards elevating and promoting driving events amongst enthusiasts.

Challenge Class sponsored by Hagerty

Above: Challenge Class winner Eon Simon.

The Challenge Class started with a walkthrough of the course by Taylor Burris. Eon Simon got the jump at the start of the race from his pole position and accelerated away from the rest of the field. Behind him, some of the drivers went three-wide at the start of the race before narrowing down and conceding positions amongst the field. Chris Ciborowski held onto the second spot with John Crooke in third. Justin Moreno made a pass into the third position early on when Crooke got a slowdown penalty. Moreno made his way to the second position midway through the race with Ken Tubman close behind in third and Simon still leading. Trouble for Tubman saw Ed Eijsenring take the third position. Simon ended the race with the win. Ed Eijsenring made a pass with just a couple laps left and was able to finish in the second position. Justin Moreno was able to hold on and finish in third. 

Sport Class sponsored by Leland West

Above: Sport Class winner Earl Artz, Jr.

The Sport Class started its final race of the series with very close competition at the top of the field for the series points. Earl Artz, Jr. took first from the green flag with Chris Duffy and Jensen Benet close behind. Duffy and Benet made contact on the straight after just a few minutes of racing, causing damage for Benet's car. Sebastiano Balestrieri took the third position due to the contact. Artz and Duffy kept their cars within a second of each other, making for some very close racing. There were some fierce battles throughout the field, with several drivers drafting each other on Daytona’s long, banked “straights.” Julian Velez used the draft to make his move into third position near the midway point of the race. Velez wasn’t in third for long, as Gregory Samson passed him soon after. After several laps racing within a second of each other, Duffy was able to pass Artz for the lead. Balestrieri was in the fight for a podium position and also used the draft to make a pass to take over the third spot. Duffy finished in first, while Artz, Jr. took second, and Velez crossed the line in third side-by-side with Artz, Jr. However, due to a penalty after the race, Earl Artz, Jr. took the win.

Club Class sponsored by Michelin

Above: Club Class winner Ed Nelson.

The Club Class had an exciting start with most of the cars running side-by-side for most of the first lap. Rafael Amorim was able to get into the first position with Jeff Smith and Jared Rodeheaver close behind. Smith and Rodeheaver were able to get past Amorim from the draft on the oval sections of the track. Another race with very close competition amongst the top runners meant most of the top 15 were within a second of each other, allowing for exciting drafting-induced passing. A slight mistake by Smith put Rodeheaver into first with Amorim in second and Smith in third. The top three were side-by-side for several laps, with Amorim slowly gaining on the field before making a pass into first. Sean Benet lost out in the braking zone when Ed Nelson made a pass to take third going into the bus stop. Nelson was on a mission, making his way into the first position and finishing with the win. Rodeheaver battled it out amongst the top runners and finished in second. Sean Murphy crossed the line in third with Rodney Campbell and Jeff Smith less than a second behind.

Pro Class sponsored by Porsche

Above: Pro Class winner James Huth.

The Pro Class once again did not disappoint, with the top 17 drivers qualifying within a second of each other. A clean start had Josh Vieira in the first spot with James Huth in second and Peterson in third. As we saw from the other races there were several position swaps from the drafting advantage on the oval sections of the course. Midway through the race had Vieira in first with Christopher Paiz in second and Huth in third. The pro class broke up into three very close packs with the front five cars running together, the midfield running extremely close, and the rest of the pack not far behind. Paiz was able to take the lead for the last couple laps, but it was Huth who was patient and made a pass at the last second before the line, finishing just 0.036 seconds in front of Paiz. Matthew Kuekes battled hard this race and was able to finish in third.

This may have been our final event of Series 5 but the action with PCA Sim Racing will not stop any time soon! Stay tuned for more events including, endurance, international PCA races, and Zone level excitement. Zone events are starting in as little as 10 days! If you aren't a part of the action now is a great time to get involved, visit for more information!

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