Inaugural BMW CCA Club iRacing Series Broadcast Event Sees Christopher Hill and Chris Braun Take Race Wins at Virtual Road America

Article written for the BMW Car Club of America and posted on BimmerLife here.

Words and Photos by Matt Kalish, mattkalish.com

October 28, 2020

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 iRacing league, the 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 ‚Äď the BMW M4 GT4.

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

‚ÄúI got enough of a gap, so I was feeling a bit more comfortable,‚ÄĚ said Hill after his win in Race 1. ‚ÄúJust had to click off the laps…not make any major mistakes.‚ÄĚ

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.

Separated by under 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 1, 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 1 right-hander with Kalish defending below. Down the hill and along the straight they fought, with Sierra finally sticking the pass in the tight Turn 5 left-hander to firmly take fourth.

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

Rounding out the top ten in Race 1 were Adam Poll, Rafael Omar Rivas Espinal, Dave Heinz, Peter Eacmen, and Peter Lanik.

Identical in format to the previous round, Race 2 at Road America was a second twenty-minute sprint around the 4.048-mile historic road course. The finishing order of Race 1 would be carried into the start for Race 2.

‚ÄúOnce I had the lead, I was gonna keep it,‚ÄĚ said Braun about his Race 2 victory.

The early stages of Race 2 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 1 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 1. 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. 

As the white flag waved, Sierra made a late-braking move down the inside of Polter into Turn 1, 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.

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 2 win by 1.25 seconds.

The top ten in Race 2 was rounded out by Kurt Polter, Ismel Sierra, Peter Eacmen, Alex Perry, and Peter Lanik.

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 kicks off 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.

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

   
Race   1   
   
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   
   
Bluegrass Bimmers   
   
-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   2   
   
    
   
    
   
    
   
    
   
    
   
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   
   
Bluegrass Bimmers   
   
-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   
mk
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