- 21 April 2019
April 20, 2019
In the dry but heavily overcast conditions Dixon took the lead in turn 1. Jenks followed with Goikhberg in third, Durrett in fourth, and Gonzalez in fifth. By the end of lap two Dixon held a strong advantage, he was three seconds up, but second place was now held by Goikhberg. He made the pass at the end of the back straight under braking into turn 10a, Jenks locked his front left tire and Goikhberg moved through cleanly.
As Dixon pressed on, the fight for second intensified. Durrett and Jenks now were knocking on Goikhberg’s door. Goikhberg responded with a polite slamming of the door as the two drivers stacked up behind him. Meanwhile, the fight that Gonzalez and Wright put on in race one was on replay. The two prodded each other, they were running within a tenth of a second of each other’s lap times.
Dixon looking procedural at this point, the pressure was off. Less than two seconds covered second to fourth, but they were now some eight seconds behind the leader. The pressure was on for these three, and it was visible on the lap charts, each uping their game lap for lap. Fourteen laps remain.
Gonzalez and Wright were playing the same game of chicken and they too trade fast laps amonst their battle. There remained a half second between the two, Wright chasing Gonzalez just waiting for any opportunity. It paid off, if only briefly. Wright got the brake zone secured in 10a and took the spot. Gonzalez played it coy and got the run off 10b to retake Wright before they even reached start finish. Eleven laps to fight.
Meanwhile the race for second cooled off a bit. Goikhberg pulled out a little less than two seconds on Jenks. Similarly, Durrett lost about two seconds to Jenks. The group now evenly spaced but plenty of time left for shenanigans. One mistake and they are back at it. All three drivers bettering their fast laps again, all while Dixon runs steady out front.
Nine laps to go and the rain has started yet again. Megan Gilkes holds down seventh overall and Dave Weitzenhof out of the picture but following in eigth with his interim Van Diemen.
Lap times slowing a bit with the rain, but that hasn’t discouraged Gonzalez and Wright any. They go side by side through 10a, Wright this time comes out the better, he crosses the line and officially leads Gonzalez for the first time in the race. Gilkes stalks the two, slightly out of touch, but a single error by either Wright or Gonzalez and Gilkes will have the better of them.
Six laps to go and Goikhberg seems safe from Jenks as does Jenks from Durrett. Wright and Gonzalez continue to duke it out, Gonazalez with the advantage again. Less than two tenths of a second between the pair as they cross the line. Gilkes is now five seconds behind, but she’s lapping at nearly a second per lap better than the battling Wright and Gonzalez. Gilkes might arrive just in time to have a words with Wright and Gonzalez.
Out front, Dixon proceeds to extend the gap. Goikhberg, Jenks, and Durrett are comfortable in their positions as well. Three laps left to go, Wright takes Gonzalez deep into 10a. Gonzalez locks the front, a touch of understeer strikes, Wright takes the spot. Gilkes is now less than two seconds off of Wright, the battle for fifth is getting even hotter.
Back into view, Gonzalez takes Wright into 10a. Wright fights back on the exit of 10b, it’s Gonzalez to the line though, holding the fifth spot once again. Two laps remain, Gilkes is in striking distance.
There was no change in position as the field crosses the line for the white flag. Dixon cruising at this point. Goikhberg will take second, Jenks third, and Durrett fourth. It is worth nothing that Gonzalez and Wright both ran their fastest laps of the race with two to go, but nevertheless there was no swap of spots. The master's podium was filled with Dixon first, Jenks second, and Gonzalez in third.