Cresci Takes Win and Championship at MX-5 eSeries Finale

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Cresci Takes Win and Championship at MX-5 eSeries Finale

3 June 2020 – The final round of the RicmoTech iRacing Global Mazda MX-5 Cup at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca was set to be an epic battle between Matt Cresci and Brian Lockwood.

With a schedule that visited tracks on the real-life Battery Tender® Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires® calendar, the RicmoTech iRacing series  echoed the real life series with close competition through the field at every round.

The championship fight continued to escalate ahead of the green flag as Cresci scored pole position, as well as the bonus point that comes with it, with Lockwood taking second on the grid.

It could have been a fight that lasted all the way to the checkered flag, but contact and a trip through the gravel dashed Lockwood’s hopes. Cresci, who launched his championship campaign with a win to open the season, scored the race win to lock in the championship title.

Cresci (No. 59 Slipstream Performance) held the top spot through the opening laps before relinquishing to Lockwood (No. 43 Sick Sideways Racing). To have a real shot at winning the championship, Lockwood needed to win the race. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t lead for long.

Stevan McAleer, who finished second to Lockwood last week at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, wanted his turn up front. Second is not where Lockwood wanted to be, especially with Cresci right behind him. Lockwood made his move to retake the lead in Turn Two, but he and McAleer’s No. 28 McCumbee McAleer Racing machine came together, sending both into the gravel.

Lockwood got the worst of it. He tumbled to 12th, while Cresci retook the lead.

“The start of the race was a ton of fun,” Lockwood said. “The race was super hard. I was hoping we’d all have a clean and hard fight to the finish, but unfortunately that’s not how it worked out.”

Cresci was in cruise control mode from there on out. At his home track, he was able to build a 7.691-second margin of victory and claim the $1,500 championship prize.

“This has been amazing,” Cresci said. “The first half of the race was brutal, but it was fun to take the gloves off after being very conservative the rest of the season. I made a mistake into Turn Five and the other two [Lockwood and McAleer] got by me. If it had stayed that way I wouldn’t have won the championship.

“It was nice to have a bit of fun and make a bit of money while most of us are out of work because of the COVID shutdowns,” Cresci added. “Big thanks to Mazda and RicmoTech: this is the most fun I’ve had virtual racing.”

Aaron Jeansonne (No. 37 Mazda Road to 24) had his best race of the series. After qualifying fourth and avoiding the incident in Turn Two, he was up to second. Behind Jeansonne was Glenn McGee (No. 23 Sick Sideways Racing). The duo were unable to make up any ground on Cresci during the 40-minute race. Jeansonne appeared to have a comfortable gap to third, but McGee very nearly caught Jeansonne for second in the final laps.

“This series has been a very steep learning curve,” Jeansonne said. “I’ve been working really hard at it and experiencing different cars and different scenarios has helped me adapt very fast.”

A third-place finish was McGee’s second trip to the podium in this series, his first came in Round One at Barber Motorsports Park.

“I’m trying to not be too serious and have some fun with this, but you definitely need to be on your game to compete with these guys,” McGee said.

“Some of these guys I haven’t raced in real life, so it’s a good opportunity to learn everyone’s personalities. Their personality on the simulator is the same as real life, so if I race them again in real life, I have some knowledge I can use from racing this series.”

Selin Rollan (No. 87 eSelin Motorsports) finished fourth on the race track, but third in the final point standings.

“At one point Michael Carter made a mistake and that gave me a little cushion,” Rollan said. “I was fourth and saw how far away the top three were. I knew I wasn’t going to catch them. I focused on not making any mistakes. I didn’t have a whole lot to gain, but I had a lot to lose.”

After his dust up with Lockwood, McAleer charged his way back through the field for a fifth-place finish.

“I was having a lot of fun out there,” McAleer said. “I knew very well that the two guys [Cresci and Lockwood] were racing for the championship. To be honest, I was enjoying being amongst them because I knew they were trying to be careful and I was there to get the race win.”

Lockwood made it back to ninth at the checkered flag. It was enough to hold onto his second-place finish in the championship.

“I want to say congratulations to Matt,” Lockwood said. “He drove a fantastic season. He didn’t put a foot wrong and really stayed out of trouble. He really deserved this championship.”

Though the RicmoTech iRacing Global Mazda MX-5 Cup has come to a close, a new eSeries is already scheduled. The RicmoTech Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Super Series starts on Tuesday, June 9.

The championship will travel to the world’s most challenging race tracks, amounting to a dream season for any driver. Streaming will continue on ApexRacingTV at 8 p.m. ET each Tuesday evening and both the race purse and championship purse will remain the same.

Once the Super Series wraps up it’s time to put the rubber to the road when the Battery Tender® Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires® begins its season at Road America, July 23 – 24.