Christopher Hill and Chris Braun scored closely contested race wins at Road America in the first official broadcast event of the BMW CCA Club iRacing Series.

The first BMW CCA sanctioned Club iRacing Series brings professional drivers, club racers, sim racers, and BMW enthusiasts together in competition on tracks pulled from the real BMW CCA Club Racing schedule in one of the latest machines added to the iRacing platform, the BMW M4 GT4.

Christopher Hill leads from the start.

The first of this fall’s three events powered by the Podium eSports network was broadcast Live on October 27 from Road America and is available to watch right now on the BMW CCA Facebook page and YouTube channel. The next event on the calendar goes live from Road Atlanta on BMW CCA channels, Thursday, November 5 at 9PM ET/6 PM PT.

“I got enough of a gap, so I was feeling a bit more comfortable,” said Hill after his win in race one. “Just had to click off the laps…not make any major mistakes.”

BMW Performance Center driver Christopher Hill began the first of two twenty-minute virtual club races at the 4.048-mile Road America circuit from the inside lane after a strong 2:17.2 pole time. Buckeye Chapter driver Kurt Polter held the front row’s outside line with Dave Heinz from the Allegheny Chapter close behind.

Kurt Polter chases down Christopher Hill.

Separated by less than a second, the top three BMW M4 GT4s showed strong pace as a group while they quickly extended a gap of several seconds on the rest of the field. All three were nose-to-tail through the first ten minutes of race one, no driver gaining a distinct advantage over the others, until a solo spin by Heinz dropped him back to eighth as Boston Chapter driver Chris Braun avoided the incident to inherit the third place position.

Behind the top three, Ismel Sierra, on a hard charge through the field after starting ninth, was hot on the rear bumper of fourth place Matt Kalish. The two New York Chapter drivers battled closely, with Sierra slowly gaining tenths as the race approached its final lap. Capitalizing on a fast run down the front straight, Sierra positioned himself on the outside into the sweeping turn one right-hander with Kalish defending inside. Down the hill and along the straight they fought, with Sierra finally sticking the pass in the tight turn five left-hander to firmly take fourth.

Matt Kalish defends a pass attempt from Ismel Sierra.

Ahead, Hill took the advantage in the now two-way battle at the front, the Performance Center driver opening a 1.5-second lead on Polter through the penultimate laps; a lead he would maintain to the flag.

Rounding out the top ten in race one were Adam Poll, Rafael Omar Rivas Espinal, Dave Heinz, Peter Eacmen, and Peter Lanik.

Identical in format to the previous round, race two at Road America was a second twenty-minute sprint around the historic 4.048-mile road course. The finishing order of race one would be carried into the start for race two.

“Once I had the lead, I was gonna keep it,” said Braun about his victory in race two.

Kurt Polter leads on lap one.

The early stages of race two featured an immediate continuation of the first race battle between Polter and Hill. The two leaders fiercely faced off in the first frame of the race, with Braun close behind ready to capitalize on any mistakes. His opportunity came just past the race’s halfway point, when Hill made contact with Polter’s rear bumper in the heavy braking zone of turn one and sent both drivers wide as Braun slipped past into the lead.

Hill and Polter rejoined the track just ahead of fourth place Sierra and a dialed in Heinz, the latter driver making up positions from his spin and eighth place finish in race one. As the clock ticked below five minutes, the group of four jockeyed for position as Braun extended his lead beyond the 2 second mark. Hill passed Polter for second position a lap later as Sierra grew more aggressive close behind.

Adam Poll in Canada corner.

As the white flag waved, Sierra made a late-braking move down the inside of Polter into turn one, but overshot the corner entry. Contact between the battling BMWs sent Polter into the dirt again as Heinz passed both to seize the final podium spot with Kalish and Adam Poll of the Trillium Chapter slotting into fourth and fifth, respectively.

Ahead of the incident, Hill pushed hard through the final lap in a bid to catch first-place Braun. He made up ground, but not enough. Braun took the race two win by 1.25 seconds.

The top ten in race two was rounded out by Kurt Polter, Ismel Sierra, Peter Eacmen, Alex Perry, and Peter Lanik.

Chris Braun leads through the final corner.

Next up, the BMW CCA Club iRacing Series takes a trip south to Georgia for two races through the rolling hills of Road Atlanta on Thursday, November 5. The stream begins at 9 PM ET/6PM PT on the BMW CCA Facebook and YouTube pages, as well as on Podium eSports network. For more information on BMW CCA Club iRacing visit BMWCCAClubRacing.com/iracing.—Matt Kalish

Watch live on the BMW CCA YouTube Channel.

Full BMW CCA Club iRacing Series results from Road America are as follows:

Race One

Finish  Start    Car #   Driver                          Chapter                       Interval

1          1          1          Christopher Hill Pacific

2          2          44        Kurt Polter                    Buckeye                       -2.182

3          4          17        Chris Braun                  Boston                          -2.617

4          9          19        Ismel Sierra                  New York                     -10.874

5          5          54        Matt Kalish                   New York                     -11.454

6          6          11        Adam Poll                    Trillium                        -14.824

7          17        82        Rafael O Rivas Espinal  North Atlantic               -21.624

8          3          57        Dave Heinz                   Allegheny      -27.087

9          10        488      Peter Eacmen                New Jersey                   -27.114

10        11        294      Peter Lanik                   National Capital            -29.934

11        12        35        Colin Kortanek             National Capital            -34.754

12        13        141      Yakov Bielak                National Capital            -48.728

13        15        33        Charlie Copper             Buckeye                       -51.465

14        8          176      Cameron Evans             Tejas                            -58.286

15        22        50        Jose Williams                Tarheel                         -1:02.234

16        21        507      Matthew Scott              Boston                          -1:25.615

17        7          609      Robert Gagliardo          Blue Ridge                   -1:31.925

18        18        142      Matthew Kogan San Diego                     -2:02.151

19        16        22        Steven Flanagan            National Capital            -2:17.090

20        20        26        Alex Perry                    Golden Gate                 -1L

21        19        28        Tyler Perry                   Roadrunner                   -2L

22        14        77        Brooks Ezell                 Tarheel                         -2L

 

Race Two                                              

Finish  Start    Car #   Driver                          Chapter                       Interval

1          3          17        Chris Braun                  Boston

2          1          1          Christopher Hill Pacific                          -1.148

3          8          57        Dave Heinz                   Allegheny      -3.558

4          5          54        Matt Kalish                   New York                     -10.196

5          6          11        Adam Poll                    Trillium                        -15.142

6          2          44        Kurt Polter                    Buckeye                       -17.834

7          4          19        Ismel Sierra                  New York                     -19.335

8          9          488      Peter Eacmen                New Jersey                   -23.361

9          20        26        Alex Perry                    Golden Gate                 -34.024

10        10        294      Peter Lanik                   National Capital            -40.962

11        15        50        Jose Williams                Tarheel                         -47.019

12        21        28        Tyler Perry                   Roadrunner                   -48.344

13        13        33        Charlie Copper             Buckeye                       -48.958

14        11        35        Colin Kortanek             National Capital            -55.602

15        12        141      Yakov Bielak                National Capital            -56.642

16        14        176      Cameron Evans             Tejas                            -56.981

17        18        142      Matthew Kogan San Diego                     -1:07.403

18        19        22        Steven Flanagan            National Capital            -1:08.942

19        16        507      Matthew Scott              Boston                          -1:11.904

20        7          82        Rafael O Rivas Espinal  North Atlantic               -1:24.111

21        17        609      Robert Gagliardo          Blue Ridge                   -2 L

22        22        77        Brooks Ezell                 Tarheel                         -2 L

[Photos courtesy Matt Kalish.]

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