Esports and virtual racing round-up; F1, Formula E and iRacing

E-sports

Online racing events held by a number of series including F1 and Formula E. Here's the round-up of all the best from the weekend

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The coronavirus pandemic has put a halt on the 2020 motor racing calendar for the foreseeable future, but that hasn’t stopped multiple series offering a virtual racing alternative for fans.

It was certainly a controversial weekend as virtual competition boiled over into real-life feuds between drivers, as the competition online became very real.

Here’s a round-up of the biggest races, and controversy, that happened on the weekend.

 

Formula 1

Circuit of the Americas, F1 2019

F1 esports challenge

Formula 1’s Virtual GP series will resume next weekend but in the meantime, Nico Rosberg and David Coulthard took part in an exhibition Legends challenge, which included esports racers, influencers and celebrities.

After a series of one on one races at various circuits on the F1 calendar which was split one apiece between them, the pair then joined a half grid for the finale.

Former Real Madrid defender Robert Carlos was among the starters on the grid for the 14-lap race around the Circuit of the Americas, which had drama throughout.

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The headliners endured a difficult race, with Rosberg ending eighth and Coulthard 11th after both were caught up in their own incidents.

Coulthard took the lead into Turn One having started on the front row in the Red Bull, but his lead lasted less than half a lap, as the field behind soon swarmed him for first.

Rosberg recovered from being taken out immediately at the start by Robert Doornbos, but due to his rival’s misfortunes and struggle for pace, 8th was good enough to win the series 4 points to 3.

 

MotoGP

MotoGP20, Misano

Alex Márquez put a last lap pass on brother Marc to score a second victory in the MotoGP Virtual GP series.

Fabio Quartararo started from pole position but was soon engaged in a race-long battle with the eventual victor.

A fall on lap three put the Yamaha rider behind the Honda, but contact between the pair on lap seven allowed Marc into the lead with two laps remaining.

Alex was able to close in on his brother and by the final lap was applying pressure for the lead. Entering the final corner, the 2019 MotoGP champion remained in the lead, but an error ended his hopes of a win.

The leader ran wide, allowing Alex into first to take his second series win. Another fall for Quartararo allowed Valentino Rossi through into third for his first virtual podium

 

Formula E

rFactor 2, Hong Kong

For the first time since the series began, Max Guenther failed to finish on the podium in the Formula E Race at Home challenge as Pascal Wehrlein made it two wins in two.

At a virtual Hong Kong ePrix circuit, it was Edoardo Mortara who took pole position, but the Venturi driver’s fortunes didn’t last.

From the start, the action was chaotic as the majority of the field was involved in a pile up into Turn One as Mortara retained his lead.

His lead lasted for five laps when he made contact with the barriers and was pitched into a spin. From that point on, Wehrlein held onto first place, with Stoffel Vandoorne and James Colado rounding out the podium.

 

iRacing Indy 500

Indianapolis, iRacing

A final lap pass by Brandon Traino gave him his second straight iRacing Indy 500 race win in dramatic style.

With the final caution flag of the race withdrawn with one lap to go, it set up a shootout for victory, with Tanner Watkins leading as the final lap started.

Behind him, Traino gained a run out of Turn Two and slipstreamed his way by coming into the penultimate corner, while third place man Jason Brophy began to close in on the leading pair.

In the drag race to the line, Watkins and Brophy made contact as Traino took the chequered flag to win the race to become the event’s first-ever two-time winner.

All-Star Esports battle

Zandvoort, rFactor2

Fernando Alonso made his esports racing debut over the weekend, taking part in the All-Star series racing at Zandvoort. The race was won by Jan Magnussen while chaos ensued behind him.

Alonso dropped down from an impressive fourth on the grid after making contact with Mika Salo and Oriol Servia on the opening lap. Subsequent errors and contact with Helio Castroneves put the two-time champion out of the race.

The reverse grid race was won by Emanuele Pirro, who started the race from pole. The five-time Le Mans winner held onto the lead from start to finish, as Andy Priaulx and Darren Turner rounded out the podium places.

Subaru iRX iRacing Invitational

Hell Lankebanen, iRacing

Sami-Matti Trogen rounded out the Subaru IRX Invitational series with his second win in the competition. The Williams esports driver made the move for the victory halfway through the race, overtaking Travis Pecoy for the win.

Series champion Mitchell De Jong ended with his worst result of the championship, ending up in ninth position but overall victory anyway.

Craig Breen managed to relegate Pecoy to third before the end.

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