Sim champ scores podium in first ever real DTM race | FOS Future Lab
Reigning DTM Esports Championship champion Moritz Löhner scored a remarkable podium finish in the DTM Trophy at Monza this weekend, in what was his first ever real-world race.
Löhner’s prize for winning last year’s Esports series was in fact a test drive in a DTM Trophy car at the official test day in May. However the German – who also won the GT Masters and Porsche Esports Carrera Cup Deutschland series last year – impressed enough that FK Performance offered him a drive in the first round of this year’s championship.
Despite giving away a significant amount of experience to the rest of the field, Löhner came within a whisker of pole position, setting a lap time 0.169s slower than his team-mate Ben Green – who’s also spent some time in esports competition. In fact, the entire front two rows consisted of drivers as likely to meet each other in sims, including defending champion Tim Heinemann who lined up fourth.
The two BMWs looked comfortable at the front for much of the race, with Green leading Löhner but not able to drop him. However, William Tregurtha caught back up to the pair and slipped past Löhner as he slithered through the first Lesmo. Lohner managed to retake the position after a safety car restart, with a brave late-braking move into turn one, but Tregurtha got back past – again at first Lesmo – on the penultimate lap.
After the highs of a podium finish, Löhner had a more challenging second race, making an error at the race start to drop away from fourth, then dropping through the field to ninth – being bullied off the circuit at one point. Nonetheless, Löhner sits in fourth in the championship standings overall after a very first ever race weekend.
First team to ever win ALL THREE CLASSES of an @iRacing endurance race
Back in the virtual world, Team Redline managed an unprecedented clean sweep of class victories in an iRacing special event endurance race, with its teams placing first in all three classes of the iRacing 6h of Watkins Glen.
Matt Farrow and Patrick Wolf took the overall victory for Team Redline Purple, in the LMP2 class Dallara P217. The duo could only start in fourth, behind a pair of R8G cars – the esports team of Romain Grosjean – and its sister Team Redline Orange machine, but Farrow hit the front with just under an hour gone and never relinquished the lead outside of pit stops. The two Apex Racing cars of Jamie Fluke and Yohann Harth, and Kevin Ellis and Peter Berryman, kept the race tight, but Redline took the win by just over nine seconds.
The Porsche24 driven by Redline car, of Jeffrey Rietveld and Gianni Vecchio, won the GTLM category, and although they did start from pole position it was by no means a straightforward race. For a time it looked like the Williams duo of Lasse Bak and Josh Thompson would be able to use the Corvette’s better fuel economy to win, but the team disconnected with just over two hours remaining. That allowed the Redline 911 to win by nearly 30 seconds.
Completing the Redline domination was Maximilian Benecke and Patrik Holzmann in the GTD class BMW M4. Racing as Team Redline Red, Benecke put the car on pole – ahead of Enzo Bonito in a sister machine – and led throughout to win by almost 40 seconds.
Lead image courtesy of FK Performance Motorsport and DTM Trophy