Simraceway F3 Summer Series
12 races in 4 months held over 4 weekends
August 18-20, 2017
The Simraceway F3 Summer Series final three races were about to kick off. The long summer all led up to this weekend as there were multiple championship outcomes yet to be finalized. The anticipation was thick—and the drivers arrived focused and ready for battle. There were three drivers in the championship hunt for the top standing: John Schauerman, John Purcell and Jonathan Haswell, all of whom had a chance to clinch the title. The pressure was on and you could tell there was some great racing to come.
For qualifying, the drivers split into two groups from the practice times of the morning. The first group headed out and began their session. Walter Kuhn would start P8 as he came in with his best time of a 1:43.612. Gus Doppes was able to set a 1:40.905 good enough for P7. Joe Gardner set a 1:39.576 on his third lap earning him P6. The remaining 5 drivers watched as the track was heating up. They climbed into their cars and headed out. John Schauerman’s best lap of a 1:38.407 was only good enough for the 5th spot on the grid as he uncharacteristically struggled with pace. Mark Siegel was looking strong and laid down a 1:38.158 on his 5th lap good enough for the 4th spot on the grid. Kai Schuette came out swinging and put down a smooth fast lap of 1:37.738 that would earn him the 3rd starting position. Jonathan Haswell was eager to start this weekend off right and threw down a 1:37.646 earning him the 2nd spot on the front row. John Purcell headed out and did what needed to be done and was fast right from lap one. On his third lap he bested the field with a blistering 1:36.269 and claiming the pole position.
Race 1 Results [table id=86 /]
The green flag dropped and the field started the climb into turn one. John Purcell did his job well and got a good jump cleanly from the lead. Kai Schuette from the third spot had a great run and passed Jonathan Haswell claiming the second spot into turn two. Gus Doppes pounced on Joe Gardner as he was a little slow at the start and moved up one spot to 6th. Jonathan Haswell on lap two, eager to repair his slow start, closed in on Kai Schuette and showed him that he wanted the spot back. Meanwhile from the lead, John Purcell started to stretch his legs and gap the field with a 4 second lead by the fourth lap. Mark Siegel on lap four was a little too eager to the gas and spun on the exit of turn 2. The car became unable to continue when it became stuck on the edge of the grass and curb. While this was happening, just before the yellow flag came out, Jonathan Haswell got a great run out of turn six and closed up on Kai Schuette in 2nd place. He was late to the brakes and dove to the inside of turn 7 claiming his spot back. Moments later, the course went full course caution and the pace car was deployed to pick up the leader in turn 7. The disabled car was cleared and the restart was underway. All cars cleanly had a good restart and were underway. Kai Schuette from the third position spun his car on the exit of turn 9 and John Schauerman dove off the track and into the dirt to avoid him. Both cars continued eventually after many of the cars passed, but this appeared to hurt Schauerman’s campaign for the championship. Gus Doppes now running in the third position ran wide at the exit of turn 7 and this was all Joe Gardner needed to pounce and reclaim his spot he lost at the start of the race. They had a drag race all the way from turn seven and into turn eight. Joe was able to get to the apex first and take the third spot. John Purcell had this race almost won as they were in the closing laps. Unfortunately, his car became disabled in turn 12 and his day was over. Meanwhile John Schauerman was trying to claw back every point he could and stay in the championship. He was able to make a good pass on Walter Kuhn into turn 9 and take the 4th spot. An unexpected outcome in a tough race that would give the win to Jonathan Haswell who fought hard early on. Joe Gardner kept his nose clean and finished second. Gus Doppes third. John Schauerman battled back to fourth. Walter Kuhn fifth. Kai Schuette sixth. Mark Siegel seventh and John Purcell eighth.
As day two rolled off and the drivers were climbing in their cars you could tell there was an eagerness in the air to try and seal this championship. The weather was again ideal and clear.
Walter Kuhn would start 8th with his time of 1:43.805. John Schauerman struggled with some problems in this session and would start 7th with his best time of a 1:40.782. Gus Doppes was able to go over a second quicker than the previous qualifying and would start 6th with his lap time of a 1:39.887. Mark Siegel 5th with his 1:38.913. Joe Gardner surprised the field with his fastest lap of the weekend in the 1:38’s. He would start 4th with his 1:38.672. John Purcell wasn’t able to put a clean lap together and would have to settle for third with his lap of 1:38.445. Kai Schuette had a great run on his sixth and final qualifying lap and his 1:38.134 was good enough for the 2nd spot on the grid. Jonathan Haswell shook up the grid with the fastest lap of the group. His 1:37.208 would take the pole position on the front row.
Race 2 Results [table id=89 /]
Kai Schuette from 2nd, got a great jump on the green flag and took the lead from Jonathan Haswell. John Schauerman moved up one spot on lap one into the sixth spot. At the end of the first lap, John Purcell from the third spot felt his car lose power due to a broken driveshaft. This was not an ideal way to try and clinch a championship. The car was rolled back into pit lane and he was given a spare car and try to recover some points. Joe Gardner on lap 4 was able to close in on Jonathan Haswell and put some pressure on him. For the next 5 laps Joe filled Haswell’s mirrors looking for a way by. Haswell, feeling the pressure, occasionally locked the tires under braking. Meanwhile, Mark Siegel was able to reel in Haswell and Gardner and make it a three-car battle for the second spot. Mark was trying hard to get on that podium, but he almost spun on the exit of turn 7 as he jumped on the throttle. Kai Schuette was continuing to stretch his comfortable lead as he was clicking off smooth fast laps. Towards the closing laps of the race Mark Siegel was trying to keep the pressure on Joe Gardner and had a spin coming out of turn 7, losing two positions. Gus Doppes and Johsn Schauerman took those two spots and ultimately had a drag race, side by side into turn 8. Gus narrowly took the position for 5th.
Kai Schuette confidently took the win with a comfortable 7 second victory. Jonathan Haswell finishing a solid 2nd. Joe Gardner 3rd. John Schauerman 4th. Gus Doppes 5th. Mark Siegel 6th. Walter Kuhn 7th. John Purcell 8th.
John Purcell was eager to have a good day as he had to retire from the last two races with rare mechanical failures. If he was going to clinch this championship he knew he had to keep it together today and perform.
At the end of qualifying Walter Kuhn’s best lap of 1:42.250 put him in the 8th spot on the starting grid. Joe Gardner’s 1:41.670 would start him 7th. Gus Doppes would start 6th with his best lap of 1:39.657. Kai Schuette coming off of his first race victory the previous day had a good lap of 1:39.107 earning him the 5th spot. Jonathan Haswell’s 1:38.749 was a solid lap and good enough for the 4th spot on the second row. Mark Siegel narrowly edged out Haswell with his lap of 1:38.529 taking the 3rd spot. John Schauerman was looking back to his usual self on the front row with his 1:38.171 lap earning him the 2nd spot. John Purcell got the job done and blistered the field with another pole position in the 1:36’s. His lap of 1:36.981 was a warning shot announcing that he wanted this championship.
Race 3 Results [table id=90 /]
After the past two days of racing, the championship was down to either John Schauerman or John Purcell taking home the title. This was looking like it was going to be a tense battle as they were both starting on the front row. Every point would be valuable in determining the outcome.
The pace car slowly released the field and the green flag flew. John Purcell got the best of the field and cleanly took the lead into turn two with John Schauerman close behind. Everyone else filed in nicely nose to tail. Jonathan Haswell had an attempt on Mark Siegel heading into turn four but was not able to close the deal. He would have to wait for another opportunity. Then again, he looked for a way by in turn Six. He was close enough to him into turn seven he attempted to out brake him on the inside and made the pass claiming the third spot.
Jonathan Haswell, after getting by Siegel, was not settling. He closed up on John Schauerman and showed no championship mercy and went for a pass again down the inside of turn seven. He was not able to make it stick and would have to stay close if he wanted another chance. The battle between Joe Gardner in 7th and Guss Doppes in 6th had been brewing all weekend with some great racing. Joe had some weaving and several attempts to pass but was not able to complete the task. At the halfway point in the race John Schauerman’s car momentarily shut off in turn eleven and wouldn’t power for about 8 seconds. He finally got it going again but lost the position to Haswell and was pushed back to the third spot. This was very concerning to the championship outcome. Joe Gardner was still battling with Gus Doppes and went side by side into turn eleven but again could not find a way by. John Schauerman was determined to close back up on Haswell and reclaim his position. He kept his head down and put together some great laps closing the gap to Haswell. Schauerman would make several attempts to get by but would have to keep trying. Towards the end of the race Haswell had a lock up heading into turn four. This allowed Schauerman to get inside and they headed into turn six again side by side! Haswell got a better exit out of turn six. As they were approaching turn seven Schauerman dove to the inside for a pass. Haswell went wide and again they were in a drag race towards turn eight. Haswell would keep the spot. They both had smoky lock ups in turn seven and in eleven! This was a nail bighting battle that had been brewing all summer. Again, in turn four Schauerman dove to the inside for a pass and this time was able to make it stick. Haswell stayed strong and tried to take it back in turn eleven but couldn’t do it. On the last lap and in true dramatic fashion John Purcell was comfortably in the lead and looking to win. But as far as the championship went, the outcome of John Schauerman’s finish was yet to be determined. If he finished second he would claim the title but if Jonathan Haswell could find a way by in the next couple of turns he would squash those chances. Schauerman was driving slightly on the defensive in turn seven and Haswell looked to the outside, but couldn’t make it stick. Haswell made a good run out of turn 9 and had one more chance to grab the second spot. They barreled into the hairpin right handed turn eleven. Schauerman driving down the right-hand side of the track on the defense, forcing any attempt to be made on the difficult outside. Haswell rolled the dice and was late on the brakes locking up the tires, gathered the car back and put his car side by side with Schauerman on the exit of eleven. Schauerman had to get to the line before him to claim the championship. But it wasn’t meant to be. Haswell was able to get there first, narrowly beating him by .012 of a second! Mark Siegel Finished 4th. Kai Schuette 5th. Gus Doppes 6th. Joe Gardner 7th. Walter Kuhn 8th. What a great finish to a great season. John Purcell was able to do the impossible–after having two mechanical failures the past two days. He knew he had to be flawless and he was. He claimed the pole position in qualifying, lead every lap, won the race, and ultimately clinched the championship!
The trophies were out and shining. The champagne was set to flow. The winning cars were aligned nearby. The season finale came to an end in a great way. John Purcell was able to win the championship with 523 points over the 12 races. John Schauerman finishing second with 510 points. Johnathan Haswell in third with 483 points.
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