For the sixth time in the seven runnings of the event, Coanda Simsport won the top split of the iRacing 24 Hours of Daytona.
Josh Rogers and Mitchell deJong were a part of the winning team for the second year in a row, with Mack Bakkum joining them in the #8 car this year.
The team led from pole position and for the majority of the race it looked to be a 1-2 for Coanda until the #18 car was crashed into with just under four hours left.
Dayne Warren was driving at the time and passed a GTE class Ferrari on the outside of Turn 5 but then the Ferrari locked up under braking and skidded into the side of the LMP2 Coanda car.
The several minute pitstop needed to repair the damage dropped the crew down the order and they completed the race 12th in class.
In their place Williams Esports finished in second and Mivano Simracing third with both teams finishing on the lead lap.
Triple A Esports White won the GTE category, beating pole starters and class win contenders Max Verstappen and Dani Juncadella at Team Redline Orange.
The real-life driver pairing dropped from third to 16th in class two hours into the race as they had an extended stop to try to repair damage.
Despite the time in the pits their car wasn’t fully repaired, and without a chance to win their class they opted to retire from the event.
Unfortunately we are out of the race. We had a slight wall tap that damaged our bodywork and even though we took the repairs, the car was 3-4kph down in the straight… Wasn’t meant to be! That pole lap was juicy @Max33Verstappen 🚀
— Dani Juncadella (@dani_juncadella) January 23, 2021
Team BMW Bank was the GT3 class victor in the top split with Laurin Heinrich, Kay Kaschube and Nils Koch sharing driving duties.
Verstappen wasn’t the only big name real-world driver to encounter difficulties as Tony Kanaan and the rest of his team retired early on in the third split due to crashing into the side of a LMP2 car that had spun ahead of them.
Also racing in the third split was Romain Grosjean and his newly set-up R8G Junior esports team. It started the race second in the GTE class, but lost a lot of time a few hours into the race after it was sideswiped by the GT3 Team Fordzilla car that was leaving the pits.
Grosjean’s team carried onto the end of the race but finished eighth and last in class.
Fernando Alonso and Rubens Barrichello were much more successful in their split, finishing second despite qualifying in 11th.
Two-time Formula 1 world champion Alonso made up a number of positions at the start of the race to quickly put his team in line for a podium finish.
Alonso and Barrichello, along with simracers Olli Pahkala and Isaac Gillissen, ultimately finished the 10th split in second overall, beaten only by a six driver team including prominent rFactor 2 racers Alen Terzic and Joonas Raivio.