Max Verstappen and Jonas Wallmeier won the 2020 running of the iRacing Petit Le Mans having beaten the other Team Redline car which retired from the race with significant damage.
It comes just one year after Verstappen, along with Shane Van Gisbergen and Rudy van Buren, lost the 2019 GTE class victory when he spun after making contact with rivals Logitech G Altus Esports when battling for first.
In qualifying for the 2020 event, Verstappen was the fifth fastest driver but made the most of the rolling start to get a good getaway and move up to second by diving to the inside line for the first corner.
The sister team of Team Redline Red, and their drivers Max Benecke and Dominik Farber, had a marginal lead before the first round of pit stops.
Benecke and Verstappen stopped on the same lap but a shorter fuel fill for Verstappen put Team Redline Orange into first place.
From there Verstappen and Wallmeier were unchallenged from the other cars in their class and ended up winning by one lap.
Verstappen also set the fastest lap of the race with a time that was almost a tenth faster than the next best lap time.
For a long portion of the race, it was looking to be a Team Redline 1-2 overall although the Apex Racing Team wasn’t far away from second position.
With just under four hours of the race to go Farber spun at Turn 7 on cold tyres having just left the pits, putting Apex Racing Team’s Yohann Harth ahead and with a five-second advantage.
That gap steadily grew until a netcode issue when Farber was lapping the Biela Racing Team EURONICS GT3 car caused Farber to lose control and go straight on whilst rounding Turn 4, resulting in the Team Redline Red car going head-on into the end of a tyre barrier.
The crash gave the LMP2 car significant suspension damage which meant they decided to retire from the race.
As a result Apex Racing Team, and their drivers Yohann Harth and Michele Costantini, finished second overall with Maxime Brient and Dionysis Fiallo for Mivano Simracing Rosso inheriting third.
Williams Esports Chillblast took pole in the GTE category and won by one lap with Lasse Bak and Daniel Lafuente sharing driving duties.
Vendaval Simracing Pink was second having narrowly bested the KOVA team which did one less stop than most of the other teams in their class.
KOVA’s podium finish came not only from one less trip to the pits, but also a remarkable recovery drive having fallen to the back of the pack as they were hit and spun out at the Turn 10 chicane on the parade lap.
The GT3 category win was the closest fought in the end with a little over 37 seconds separating the top three.
It was polesitters SimRC Titan, and their drivers Charlie Collins and Hayden Berns, who ended on top with Biela Racing Team EURONICS GT3 in second and Williams Esports BenQ third.
The Petit Le Mans concludes this year’s iRacing special events.