The ultimate spherical of the VCO ProSIM SERIES for 2021 headed to the Sebring Worldwide Raceway inside iRacing to determine the title – and for the winners, a further $three,000 championship bonus was up for grabs.
As ever, the night was break up into two warmth races, with the highest 15 from every warmth progressing right into a closing ‘Bonus Race’ to spherical out the night. Every Dallara P217 LMP2 automobile was shared between a racing esports skilled driver and a real-world motorsport driver, with present Components 1 championship chief Max Verstappen becoming a member of the sector for this finale.
Within the opening warmth, Maximilian Benecke within the #11 Group Redline machine lined up on pole place – a really perfect location for the championship chief heading into this spherical. Maxime Brient for Apex Racing Group was in second, forward of Luke Bennett for Redline in third and Peter Berryman in one other Apex entry.
On the rolling begin, Benecke pulled off a really perfect launch, main by way of the opening corners with Redline teammate Bennett up into second place.
Behind, nonetheless, all hell broke unfastened at Flip three, on the Berryman within the #50 and Tuomas Tähtelä within the #21 KOVA Esports Dallara appeared to make slight contact on the nook’s exit. The rub was sufficient to spin each automobiles in entrance of the pack. The sector desperately tried to keep away from a large pileup, with a number of automobiles taking to the grass in avoidance.
As a number of automobiles re-joined at Flip 5, Yuri Kasdorp for Purple Bull Racing Esports was rotated, with a lot of automobiles colliding as soon as extra.
This meant the highest three of Benecke, Bennett and Brient broke free, with house to struggle amongst themselves. As they entered Sundown Bend to finish the primary lap, Brient tried to go across the exterior of Bennett however was pressured huge.
After a frantic midfield scrap, however static lead struggle, the primary pitstops began with slightly below 10 minutes left. The chief Benecke pitted at hand over to Chris Lulham, whereas these in second and third waited for one lap longer to change.
After taking the reins of the third-placed #72, 2019 Asian Le Mans Sequence – GT Cup champion Benny Simonsen sadly spun on the Hairpin, dropping the crew out of competition.
Lulham then cruised unchallenged to victory, and with it sealed the Drivers’ title for himself and crew member Benecke. Bennett and Gustas Grinbergas completed in second, forward of Julien Soenen and Elliott Vayron in third for R8G Esports.
Spherical three podium finisher Jamie Fluke within the #99 Apex Racing Group prototype lined up on pole place for the second 20-minute warmth, forward of #89 driver Rainer Talvar for BS+COMPETITION in second, Alejandro Sánchez for MSI Esports in third and Group VRS driver Mack Bakkum rounding out the entrance two rows.
On the inexperienced flag, Fluke bolted, gaining sufficient of a result in take the traditional racing line by way of Flip 1. Simply behind, Talvar misplaced second place to Sánchez on the Hairpin. Additional again, Martin Sirotek within the #82 ENTROPIQ Inexperienced automobile made heavy contact with the limitations.
Within the opening stint, the principle focus was on an excellent battle between Dominik Blajer and Ross Woodford for seventh place. The 2 traded locations for greater than half a lap, however sadly, it ended with the previous taking to the exit street at Flip three.
As soon as once more, as we reached the midway stage, the pitstops started, with Sánchez the primary of the highest three to cease, handing over to Nils Koch. Dominik Hofmann within the #6 Group Redline entry handed throughout to Max Verstappen and as soon as all of the necessary driver swaps had performed out, he sat in eighth.
Upfront, Taylor Barnard now led within the #99, forward of Phillippe Denes within the #89 with Koch in third.
Whereas the main positions remained static, Verstappen was placing on a present behind. First, diving by Johnny Guindi for seventh, then Raoul Hyman for sixth on the ultimate lap.
Ultimately, Barnard and Fluke held on to take Apex Racing Group’s first warmth victory of the season, with BS+COMPETITION’s Denes and Talvar in second and MSI Esport’s Koch and Sánchez in third.
BONUS RACE FINAL
Verstappen wowed onlookers as he put the #6 Group Redline automobile on pole place for the 30-minute Bonus Race, forward of newly-crowned champion Lulham by simply over one-tenth of a second.
Because the race started, the 19-time Components 1 race winner led the sector away and stored that place within the preliminary levels, with Lulham shut behind however with Denes seeking to pounce in third.
Automobiles in strife on the primary lap included Sindre Setsaas, Brian Lockwood, Raoul Hyman Robby Foley and Visser. Fortunately, although, these incidents have been effectively contained, and there was no multi-car incident like within the first warmth.
With 10 minutes full, the battle for sixth heated up, with Enzo Bonito going across the exterior of Nicolas Varrone at Flip 10, earlier than squeezing the R8G Esports driver huge by way of Collier and permitting Johnny Guindi and Alex Dunne to additionally comply with by way of.
Sage Karam additionally tried to capitalise however ended up on the grass in-between Tower and Bishop in a hair-raising second leading to retirement.
With 14 minutes left on the clock, and the pit window open, Lulham and Denes swapped for Benecke and Talvar respectively, whereas Verstappen stayed on observe for an additional lap earlier than handing over to Hofmann.
As soon as all of the necessary driver adjustments had cycled by way of, it was a straight struggle between two Redline automobiles on the entrance – Hofmann main Benecke.
Regardless of the championship in his pocket, Benecke wished to win the ultimate Bonus Race too and swept into the lead into Flip 1 with simply over seven minutes left. That’s the place the positions would keep till the chequered flag.
With that, the VCO ProSIM SERIES was full for one more 12 months. It was an exemplary efficiency from Group Redline drivers Benecke and Lulham all by way of the season and so they take residence a well-deserved championship with the prize cash to match.
VCO ProSIM SERIES, Spherical four, Sebring Bonus Race outcomes
- #11 Group Redline, Maximilian Benecke and Chris Lulham – 17 laps
- #6 Group Redline, Max Verstappen and Dominik Hofmann +1.980
- #89 BS+COMPETITION, Rainer Talvar and Phillippe Denes +three.171
- #80 R8G Esports, Phillippe Denes and Rainer Talvar +7.460
- #888 R8G Esports, Gustavo Ariel and Vlad Khimichev +9.305
- #70 Group Redline, Enzo Bonito and Gianni Vecchio +15.360
- #28 YAS HEAT, Johnny Guind and Ross Woodford +15.400
- #67 Logitech G Atlus Esports, Alex Dunne and Luke McKeown +16.734
- #59 Group Redline, Gustas Grinbergas and Luke Bennett +17.069
- #92 BS+COMPETITION, Bruno Spengler and Kay Kaschube +1.604