I would like to officially introduce you to the 2018 “Mario Andretti‘s” of the Majors Series on iRacing. After a grueling and diverse 14 race, ten month grind, these four men best embody the spirit of Mario Andretti himself. Race anything, anywhere, anytime and kick your butt doing it. These... are your Champion Drivers of the Year.
International Region / Josh Noack
Josh is a nineteen year old driver from Australia and racing for @Kinetic. He is the only one of the four champions to miss a race having started in 13 of the 14 races. He had the second most wins across all regions with four. Taking home victory at the; World 600, 2.4 hours of Spa, Pocono 500 and Bathurst 500. In the end he carried his region by the largest margin of anyone, a 233 point gap to 2nd place and he accrued more points in the series across all regions than any other driver.
European Region / Pete Harrod
Pete is a thirty one year old driver hailing from the UK and racing for @Team MAD. Pete “the handsome” is also “Pete the shy”, as we rarely hear a peep from the man who just seems to go about his business, turning fast lap after fast lap, staying out of trouble and under the radar.
His record this season is a match for his persona. He started all 14 races (earning the Iron Man Award), but won zero. He is this seasons version of Matt Kenseth, a picture of consistency amassing seven Top 5’s and almost no “bad” finishes. Pete had the closest championship fight of all the winners as he held off Team Buschfink driver Teemu Toika by just 20 points and the result was not confirmed until the checkered flag in the final at Myrtle Beach.
Atlantic Region / Mike Kelley
Mike Kelley is a fifty year old driver from the Great Plains Club and is team owner / driver for Turn 1 Heroes. Mike is the only Legends Division driver (50+) to win the overall drivers championship this year. Mike took home the checkered flag at the Copper World Classic and the World 600 and finished in the Top 5 a total of eight times. He also claimed the Iron Man Award by starting all 14 races.
For the championship Mike had a fight on his hands and it only got tougher as the year went along. His main rival? Turn 1 Heroes teammate Riley Thompson. As the season wore down the difference truly came down to who made the fewest mistakes, as costly errors at Suzuka and Bathurst cost Riley a better shot at the title heading to the final. In the end Mike had the pace and the consistency to bring home the title.
Pacific Region / Blake Reynolds
Blake Reynolds is a 19 year old Texan driving for Ridin’ Shotgun Motorsports. Blake is the most dominant driver in the Majors Series history with 13 race wins in his career. Ironically, this year, his first championship season, he was limited to just one win which came at the Daytona 500. That does not tell the whole story though as Blake amassed a series high TEN Top 5’s while competing in all 14 events. 2018 is the first year Blake has won the Iron Man Award and it is no wonder that he also secured his first title.
The Pacific Region was a year long,epic battle of two rivals as Kinetic (and fellow NPAS driver) Christian Challiner brought the fight to Blake in earnest. Christian seemed to mimic Blake’s results from years past, as he accumulated six wins, but had just enough misfortune and (crucially) one missed race. At the end of the day, all those things combined would result in Blake taking the championship by 60 pts.
Congrats on a mammoth achievement!