Morad and Eng win iRacing Pro Series Championships
Scott Andrews and Rodrigo Pflucker took the class victories in the final round of the IMSA iRacing Pro series presented by SimCraft on Thursday night. Daniel Morad and Philipp Eng left with the championships.
Andrews commanded the hour-long race at the virtual Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, taking overall and LMP2 honors by nearly 15 seconds over Morad. It was Andrews’ second victory in the three-race series, but as the Australian missed the middle lap, Morad won the LMP2 title finishing second in all three events.
Morad entered Thursday’s action with a one-point lead over Mirko Bortolotti in LMP2, but when Bortolotti was a late scratch in the race, Morad only needed a middle-of-the-field finish to win the championship the first year for LMP2 in IMSA iRacing. That didn’t stop Morad from charging throughout the No.70 Alegra Motorsports / Moradness Satellite eStars Dallara P217. He and Ross Gunn (No.9 on Team Dallara The Heart of Racing) clashed for third place just 15 minutes into the race, Gunn crashing and Morad continuing.
Morad then almost hit a virtual wall halfway through, but saved the car and dragged it back to second place.
“I really, really worked on the savings for that first stint, and after that I was pushed to the end,” said Morad. “I didn’t remember anything and got very aggressive. I didn’t need P2 today, but I wanted it and I’m a competitor.
Meanwhile, as Pflucker (No.47 Forty7 Motorsports / PRT Ronin Simsport BMW) led to victory in the GTLM class, Eng backed up the wins in the first two laps with a third place – avoiding a few heartbreaking moments of his own. – to sew the GTLM crown in the BMW Team RLL / BMW Team IMSA BMW n ° 89.
“It was really a race,” said Eng. “There were a couple of times when I was ‘game over’ and thought I should hit escape, which I ultimately didn’t have to do. I didn’t quite have the pace today for some reason. But the main thing was to win the championship, which is a great honor for me. Thanks to IMSA for setting this up, it’s really cool. “
Race winner Andrews is undefeated in the IMSA iRacing LMP2 competition, winning the Preseason Invitational when the Dallara LMP2 chassis debuted on iRacing in January and winning two of three iRacing Pro Series events this spring. He must have missed the event two weeks ago at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on his way back from a race in Europe.
Starting from pole on Thursday night, Andrews was never challenged in the # 74 Riley Motorsports / R8G Esports Dallara.
“The strategy for me was just to get a good first lap because I ran a lot more downforce than I think a few guys around me,” Andrews said. “I knew I would be very vulnerable in the straight line and I just had to make sure I got the most out of the corners, but I knew it would come to me at the end when the track got hot and the tires were wearing out and would become a little deg.
Pflucker started second in GTLM but made a daring pass over poleman Agustin Canapino (No 86 Juncos Racing / Williams Esports BMW) eight minutes after the start of the race. Pflucker built a margin of over seven seconds over Canapino at the end.
“It was a tough, pace-driven race,” said Pflucker. “At the start, it was all about taking the lead. After that, I didn’t know much about what had happened in the race behind me.
One of the most inspiring rides of the night came from Robert Wickens, the crippled driver who did laps in an actual Hyundai Veloster N TCR car prepared by Bryan Herta Autosport earlier this week at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Using a simulator from SimCraft, main sponsor of the IMSA iRacing Pro series, Wickens (No.6 Bryan Herta Autosport Dallara) fell to the back of the 27-car field on Thursday night when he slipped off track on the first lap, but he struggled to come back. in fifth place overall and in LMP2 at the end of the race.