Majors – Round 14 – Myrtle Beach 400

This past weekend featured the finale of one of the biggest series on iRacing, the Majors. In it’s first year as a multi-region series after previously being Pacific-focused, over 1100 drivers signed up for the season, split across the International, European, Atlantic and Pacific regions.

Team Buschfink Racing entered a team of 3 drivers for the season, consisting of Fraser Williamson, James King and Teemu Toikka. Over the course of 13 rounds, only one was left in a competitive position by the end: FAT TEEMU #46.

This brings us to the final round of the season, the Myrtle Beach 400 held at the track of the same name, using the Late Model car: the Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS. For the event, James and Teemu got themselves fired up for the European split, looking forward to the season finale. It started with a 25 lap heat, to determine the grid for the main feature race. With Teemu starting 10th, and James 16th, it wasn’t going to be easy to make up a lot of spots to start the feature well. Teemu’s rival for the title, Pete Harrod, was starting just in front of him in 9th. Being a short track race, it was a scrappy heat, with a caution coming very early on. Over the course of the 25 laps, both Teemu and James managed to climb up the order, Teemu securing 6th place for the feature, and James 12th. 

This put Teemu in a good spot to begin his attack to try and wrestle the title away from the clutches of Pete Harrod (being 4 places further ahead on the grid) and needing to finish 11 places higher to outscore him enough. Pete’s approach to the race was simply a case of survival, keeping out of battles and incidents to keep himself within reach, whereas Teemu had to go in to full attack mode and could only afford a poor finish in the event that Harrod was taken out of contention early on and forced to retire. The race began much the same as the qualifying heat, with a lot of aggressive driving throughout and many early incidents. James was caught up in the first two cautions, both as a result of contact with other drivers, and quickly fell a lap down on the leaders because of this. He would spend the race playing catch-up, although further incidents ended up leaving James 3 laps down by the end of the 250 laps.

Teemu faired better through the race, he never left the top 10 whilst Harrod struggled with incidents of his own, being forced to play catch up from the back. Caution after caution meant the race took much longer than 250 laps should take, but this also helped Harrod keep a hand on the title, whilst Teemu struggled to progress towards the podium. By the time the chequered flag finally flew, Teemu had managed to get on the final step of the podium, but unfortunately the fairytale was over: Pete Harrod brought it home in 9th place after an incident coming to the white flag led to a number of front runners losing countless spots. James ended the race 3 laps down, in 12th place. It was a long season, and Teemu fought hard against a number of more established teams, but in the end it wasn’t to be.

TBR are planning on returning with a vengeance next season, going for both the team and driver’s championships in at least the European region, with the potential to expand across the International and the Americas…

Results are here

Racespot coverage is here.

Thanks to James for the write up.

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