Esports News | Max Verstappen wins at iRacing 24 Hours of Daytona
F1 world champion Max Verstappen has started his 2024 season off with a victory in Esports, as part of a three-driver car taking the GTD class win at the iRacing 24 Hours of Daytona – a race that Williams Esports won for the second year in a row.
Without the controversy that dogged last year’s qualifying session, it was the #5 Williams car that set the fastest time of all around the Daytona road course, just edging out the sister #6 machine by a little under four-tenths of a second. In the one-make LMP2 class it was WSR Esports on pole, while Williams also topped the GTD qualifying with a one-two of the #3 and #5 Ferrari 296s.
A bizarre first lap incident saw the #9 Scherer Esports car lose control right on the start line after appearing to lightly tag the #7 Altus Esports car ahead, with the resulting crash accounting for five of the 21-car GTP field. That included one of the two highly fancied Team Redline BMW cars which was able to carry on as walking wounded.
The two Williams cars swapped places early on, and it seemed like that would be just about the last anyone saw of the #6 which quickly gained 30 seconds on the chasing pack.
That was assisted a little by some dramas further back, as several cars tried their hardest not to be second. The #98 Apex car received damage by rear-ending a GTD Williams out of turn seven, the #92 and #91 Coanda cars collided with each other in the Le Mans Chicane, and – agonisingly with three hours to go – the #5 Williams suffered a disconnection while leading, to drop two laps back.
Instead it was the brand-new Drago Racing squad that would emerge as the nearest challenger to the Williams, eventually closing up to just six seconds behind at the flag and holding off the vastly experienced #8 Porsche Coanda team to round out the podium.
iRacing 24 Hours of Daytona – Overall Results
Williams #6 (Canapino, Jansson, Kauppinen, Sirica – Acura ARX-06) 920 laps
Drago Racing #69 (Hofmann, Lemanek, Roorda – Acura ARX-06) +6.375
It was the pole-sitting car of WSR Esports that claimed the LMP2 class win meanwhile, eventually taking victory by more a lap after leading the entire race – but it wasn’t entirely as one-sided as it seemed.
The squad was pushed all the way by the Calce Team car until a little over three hours from the end at a fairly constant six-second gap. However an equipment failure saw the Calce machine collide with the overall leader through turn seven, releasing all pressure off WSR which now had that one-lap lead over MAG Performance.
An entertaining battle for the final podium spot appeared settled on the last lap as the #12 Porsche Coanda car just finished ahead of the #76 SimRC machine, but also picked up a penalty on the final tour to drop down one spot after the flag.
Of course it would be F1 world champion Max Verstappen’s presence in the race that would attract more attention than any other, as he was part of a three-driver effort – in, with some irony, a Mercedes – that took the GTD class win.
They did have it all to do however, starting a lowly ninth, but a good first four hours brought the #4 car up into the podium spots along with the sibling #2 before Verstappen got into the car.
Working with the #2 to slipstream – although tripping over each other once – they’d gain a lap over the chasing #199 Stormforce car.
However the #4 would then hit the front on its own after the #2 lost a lap with a disconnection. They’d rejoin to resume for a formation one-two-three finish, split by the Stormforce squad.
iRacing 24 Hours of Daytona – GTD Results
Team Redline #4 (Steinbraten, Vecchio, Verstappen – Mercedes-AMG GT3) 819 laps
DTM Esports has announced its return for the 2024 season, with a six-race calendar beginning on 8th March – and qualification already underway.
Indeed this weekend marked the first of two qualifying shootout events for the season, with three races at Oschersleben to select the first 16 spots on the grid when the championship begins.
2024 DTM eSports Championship calendar
Red Bull Ring
2021 DTM Esports champion (and DTM Trophy racer) Moritz Lohner will be one of the first on the list, with a flawless grand slam in the first qualifying race. He’d lead the field from lights to flag, beating British racer Jack Keithley after Emre Cihan had a poor start to slip two places off the grid. Third-place finisher Tim Jarschel also qualified, along with Bence Banki and Erhan Jajovski.
DTM Shootout Oschersleben Race 1 Results
Moritz Lohner (Porsche 911 GT3 R) 16 laps
Jack Keithley (Porsche 911 GT3 R) +1.593
Tim Jarschel (Porsche 911 GT3 R) +3.517
Lucas Muller was similarly rapid in qualifying for the second race, but didn’t quite have things his own way as he was chased from start-to-finish by Marko Pejic.
Alessandro Ottoviani was on his way to the podium before a disconnect dropped him out of the race. That bumped up Gianmarco Fiduci, Marcell Csincsik, Isaac Price, and newly minted Ferrari Esports racer Isaac Gillisen into the qualifying spots.
DTM Shootout Oschersleben Race 2 Results
Lucas Muller (Ferrari 296 GT3) 16 laps
Marko Pejic (Porsche 911 GT3 R) +0.342
Gianmarco Fiduci (Ferrari 296 GT3) +3.414
One last chance awaited the drivers with a repechage and a top-four finish required. Leonardo Krippner was on form in qualifying, and would lead Ulas Ozyildirim from start to finish. Florian Hasse rounded out the podium, with Michael Romanidis bagging the final qualifying spot.
DTM Shootout Oschersleben Race 2 Results
Leonardo Krippner (Ferrari 296 GT3) 16 laps
Ulas Ozyildrim (Ferrari 296 GT3) +0.014
Florian Hasse (Ferrari 296 GT3) +0.807
If you want to attempt to qualify yourself, you’ll need to set a time in the relevant event on the RaceRoom platform before 29th January, ahead of the second shootout.