Dan Clarke’s remarkable debut season in the Intercontinental Trophy Cup Racing Series continued last weekend at Virginia International Raceway as the Indianapolis based Englishman took his eighth win in a row. Clarke, clearly buoyed by his dominant performance in the previous rounds at the challenging Road Atlanta track, took pole position, two race victories and two fastest laps in a clean sweep of the weekend.
On paper, race one’s ten second margin of victory over 2011 Champion, Tim Fox, looked very straight forward but the win was far from assured. “The race started in light rain”, Clarke explained. “The back half of the track was wet enough for rain tires but the front half was just greasy. At the start I had no idea how much grip I had to race into turn one in the damp on grooved slicks so I took it easy.” The ITC Porsche Caymans started behind the NASA sanctioned American Iron and GTS categories and it quickly became apparent that the damp track was not the only issue to worry about as traffic became a significant factor. “We were on them inside of three laps and so it was a real challenge to get around cars without hitting any of them and without Tim [Fox] getting by. I really did not want to damage the Isringhausen Motorsports car.” A calm head was required and Clarke drove with the confidence and control of a driver yet to taste defeat in 2012. “I knew I had 1.4s on Tim again so I was just patient and bided my time. By the end of the race I’d pulled out pretty big gap.”
Race two took place in more favorable dry conditions but the Porsche Cayman drivers were still faced with the issue of traffic. The early stages of the race delivered the closest and most exciting lead battle there has been all season as Clarke and Fox passed and re-passed through traffic. Ultimately as with every other race he has entered this season, Clarke prevailed and crossed the line 10 seconds clear of his main rival.
Car owner, Geoff Isringhusen was once again thrilled by “Speedy” Dan’s performances. “The conditions and the level of competition at VIR were a real test” Isringhausen explained, going on to say that “Dan’s speed, control and decision making throughout both races was truly astounding!”
Clarke goes for ten-in-a-row in the Intercontinental Trophy Cup Series at Mid Ohio on August 11th and 12th needing only 5 points from the last four rounds to clinch the title.
- 9 Sixty Two | Photos: © 2012 Ken Hills