Pagenaud beats Penske teammates to win 2nd straight virtual IndyCar race

A second straight victory in digital racing for Simon Pagenaud and Workforce Penske, and tempers had been sizzling on the finish of this one.

Pagenaud, the reigning Indianapolis 500 winner, competed in his firesuit and captured IndyCar’s race Saturday at a simulated Twin Ring Motegi in Japan. A frantic ultimate 10 laps determined the iRacing occasion.

Basically, Penske drivers Will Energy and Scott McLaughlin had been racing one another for the lead — and doubtless the win — after they stumbled on the lapped automobile of Oliver Askew that brought about Energy to the touch McLaughlin’s automobile.

McLaughlin, the V8 SuperCars champion and winner of the digital race three weeks in the past at Barber Motorsports Park, was despatched spinning into the wall and out of rivalry.

The Australian was furious and actively making an attempt to calm himself on his simulator in Brisbane, the place he woke up at 2 a.m. to prep for the collection.

“It is a online game, it is a online game,” McLaughlin repeated. “I do know it is a sport, however I am nonetheless (mad).”

Pagenaud then raced Energy wheel-to-wheel and the automobiles appeared to the touch earlier than Pagenaud took the lead. He nonetheless needed to maintain off Scott Dixon’s last-lap try and cross him for the win.

“It was very hectic with Will at one level after which Dixon on the finish,” Pagenuad stated. “I work laborious all week to be aggressive and I believe I am getting there.”

WATCH | Pagenaud wins for 2nd week in a row:

Simon Pagenaud wins the IndyCar iRacing Problem Firestone 175 at digital Twin Ring Motegi. Canadian Robert Wickens locations fifth. 1:01

Pagenaud additionally gained final week at digital Michigan Worldwide Speedway, and together with McLaughlin’s victory the Penske drivers have gained three of the 4 IndyCar iRaces.

Pagenaud slowed after taking the checkered flag and Dixon bumped into the again of his automobile — contact that despatched him spinning into the lapped automobile of Helio Castroneves. Each Dixon and Castroneves went nearly airborne after the end.

Dixon completed second, Energy was third and Marcus Ericsson, Dixon’s new teammate at Chip Ganassi Racing, was fourth.

IndyCar raced at digital Twin Ring Motegi, a observe the collection final visited in 2011 however was chosen in a fan vote because the circuit for the fourth spherical of the iRacing Sequence began when sports activities had been shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kyle Busch makes IndyCar digital debut

Kyle Busch, who has made no secret of his want to race within the Indianapolis 500, made his IndyCar debut nearly through a league invitation prolonged to the two-time and reigning NASCAR champion. Busch completed 13th — higher than any end but within the NASCAR digital races. He is a newcomer to iRacing however shortly bettering on his simulator.

Busch was joined by newcomers Castroneves, a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, and Takuma Sato, additionally an Indianapolis 500 winner, as the sector included a collection iRacing-high 33 drivers.

Broadcast on NBC Sports activities, analyst Paul Tracy drew digital laughs when Sato pitted and Tracy took word of the packed grandstands.

“Take a look at all of the followers within the stands. They’re right here to observe Sato,” Tracy cracked.

Highs and lows for Canadian drivers

Robert Wickens of Guelph, Ont., began on the pole after a qualifying session and completed the race in fifth place.

In the meantime, it was one other irritating day for James Hinchcliffe of Oakville, Ont. Technical difficulties knocked him out of one more race regardless of logging many hours on his simulator. Hinchcliffe additionally missed the primary iRacing occasion when a pc glitch prevented his automobile from showing on the beginning grid.

“A glitch kicked me out of at the moment’s race!” he posted on Twitter. “Tremendous bummed as a result of apply had gone nicely and thought we might have had an excellent one. Utilizing my newfound free time to truly go exterior. See solar. Breath recent air.”

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