McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris rebounded from a mid-race spin to win on his IndyCar Esports debut at a virtual Austin in the latest IndyCar Challenge race.
Norris earned pole position after being invited to the fifth round of the series and he showed formidable pace through practice and qualifying.
He led Will Power after a clean start, but in the early laps Oliver Askew spun at Turn 1, collecting Robert Wickens.
Norris pitted from the lead – just prior to the mandatory competition caution – which handed control of the race over to Power.
At the restart, Norris ran sixth but made quick work of Scott Dixon and Santino Ferrucci to re-enter the top five, but soon after that he lost traction going out of the final corner and spun.
This was a huge break for Power, but he tossed it away following a green-flag pit stop by crossing over the curbs in the sector one essess on his out lap and spinning off.
He then had a secondary spin, nearly colliding with Penske team-mate Scott McLaughlin as he tried to quickly regain control.
Pato O’Ward inherited the race lead, but Norris was far from done. He made his final stop just as he caught O’Ward with nine laps to go.
O’Ward would make his stop four laps later, briefly handing the lead over to Alex Palou before he too pitted.
Felix Rosenqvist then spun from the lead as he was trying to hang on with a one-stop strategy and Norris narrowly avoided a collision, retaking the lead in dramatic fashion.
O’Ward was charging with more push to passes available at the end of the race, but could not quite get to his Arrow McLaren SP team-mate in the closing moments of the 32-lap race.
Behind O’Ward came Rosenqvist in third, ahead of McLaughlin and Ferrucci in fourth and fifth.
Power, Rinus Veekay, Marcus Ericsson, Palou and Josef Newgarden rounded out the top 10.
Published at Sat, 25 Apr 2020 20:26:56 +0000
Red Bull Esports sealed the Le Mans Esports Series Pro Team qualification championship title, winning the final race of the season in changeable conditions at a virtual Spa.
Red Bull led the standings by just 10 points ahead of Lazarus Racing coming into the final event of the five-round qualification series for the LMES Super Final.
A win for Lazarus’ Daniel Nyman in the opening sprint race using GTE-spec Porsche 911sleft the two teams level on points heading into the final reversed-grid endurance race.
Nyman had started the sprint race down in fifth place, while championship rival Red Bull (with Aurelien Mallet racing) was on the front row alongside Solar Vision Racing’s Michael Thomas Coyne.
Mallet spun on the opening lap and fell to 10th place, while Nyman moved up to fourth.
Successive spins at the exit of Eau Rouge for Total Performance Racing’s Jacob Bowkett and Geves Renaud (Ryze Motorsport) promoted Nyman into second place behind SVR’s Coyne.
On the penultimate lap, Nyman battled his way around the outside of Coyne on the exit of Les Combes and moved into the race lead.
He converted this into Lazarus’ first race win since the opener at Silverstone, with Coyne second ahead of Mallet, who recovered to complete the podium.
Robin Betka took over the Red Bull for the reverse championship order 25-lap endurance race, while Nyman stayed in the Lazarus entry.
Betka started in 14th place and battled through the pack, with Nyman in close company on a damp track.
But Lazarus’ title hopes took a critical blow in the opening laps when Nyman was handed a five-second penalty for causing a collision with Spanish Ford racer Miguel Molina.
Betka was able to undercut early race leader Light Speed Esports’ Mariano Rubalcava Ocana and take the race win and the qualification series title.
Red Bull’s fifth win of the season was enough to secure the $10,000 for the championship title and they’ll battle for $100,000 in the LMES Super Final at the 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours – alongside the rest of the teams in the top six in the standings.
Nyman rose to fifth from 15th on the grid but Lazarus was forced to settle for second place in the standings ahead of Total Performance and Fast Racers Forza.
Solar Vision’s best event of the season paid off handsomely as they leapt from seventh to fifth place in the championship.
Ryze took the final qualifying spot in sixth place after Renaud finished second in the endurance race, with Virtual drivers by TX3 narrowly missing out on a place in the Super Final in seventh, as Ford completed the top eight.
Gamers can still qualify for the LMES Super Final by taking part in the latest Pro Rivals event on Forza Motorsport 7.
The fastest driver from each of the three regions will earn a place in the final.
Published at Sat, 25 Apr 2020 20:04:40 +0000