Max Verstappen wins the iRacing Petit Le Mans | FOS Future Lab
This week may not have brought good news off the track for F1’s Max Verstappen, with Honda set to leave F1 at the end of 2020, but on it – or at least on the virtual version – he’s enjoyed success again.
The latest victory came at Road Atlanta, in iRacing’s Petit Le Mans. This event mimics the real race, held each October at the circuit in Georgia, albeit with LMP2 machinery in the top class. It features two-driver teams, running for ten hours from the moment the lights go out.
In fact Max Verstappen and team-mate Jonas Wallmeier, one member of the victorious German team in the Cup of Nations earlier this year, didn’t have the best qualifying session. With all teams running identical Dallara P217 LMP2s, the duo could only place fifth. However, somewhat belying the traditional quote that “you don’t win an endurance race at the first corner”, Verstappen was soon up to second in his Team Redline Orange car. The only car ahead was the sister Team Redline Red machine of Max Benecke, also in that Cup of Nations squad for Germany, and countryman Dominik Farber.
The Redline cars swapped places at the first round of pit stops. A slightly more frugal Verstappen was able to take on less fuel and nip out ahead of Benecke into the race lead – and it was a position that the team wouldn’t relinquish.
While it seemed like a Redline 1-2 for much of the race, that changed just after half distance. Farber experienced connection issues, and his car speared into a tyre barrier, while lapping a GT-class car. The resultant damage forced the team to retire the Red car, but the Orange car was unbeatable. As well as crossing the finish line with 501 laps completed, a lap clear of the Apex car of Michele Costantini and Yohann Harth, Verstappen also set the fastest lap of the race.
Sister team Porsche24 Redline also kept the lead of the V10 R-League series after the fourth round at Vallelunga, but by only a point from Williams. A surprising result in the relay race saw Porsche only just edge out the Jean Alesi Esports Academy Suzuki team 2-1, yet it was enough to keep Williams behind after it too could only win 2-1, against the BMW squad.
Red Bull jumped up to third in the standings, ahead of BMW, with a 3-0 win over the new Yas Heat team, and Fordzilla faced a fourth straight defeat with a 2-0 defeat by Racing Point courtesy of a tie in the team race. Porsche could extend its lead next week, with the fifth round at Laguna Seca seeing second take on third as Red Bull faces Williams.
There’s another chance for you to qualify for a major esports event this autumn too. As the 2020 F1 Esports competition gets underway, the process for getting to the 2021 finals has also started.
Players on any platform – PC, PS4, or Xbox – have the opportunity to take part in a qualification event using the F1 2020 game. There are two main events, with one running through October and a second in November, that test out your capabilities. In the first you’ll try to equal Valtteri Bottas’s second-place finish in the 2019 Italian Grand Prix, using his car to go as fast as you can. However there’s a twist: the fewer driver aids you use and the more difficult the AI drivers are, the more points you’ll score.
Those who achieve the top scores in the two events will qualify for a Challenger Series on their chosen platform. That will put them through a series of online races against each other, to qualify for the Pro Draft in 2021, and the chance for one of the F1 squads to select them for the finals.
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