Pro Racing Moves Toward Resumption
IMSA was able to take another major step toward resuming racing when it reached an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security to allow foreign drivers, team personnel, and dependents to enter the U.S. to compete, exempting them from travel bans. SportsCar365 reports that almost 40% of those in the IMSA paddock are affected by the agreement. Foreign participants in the July 3–5 Daytona event need to arrive two weeks in advance to serve a fourteen-day self-quarantine.
The Intercontinental GT Challenge Series’ August round at the Suzuka circuit in Japan is the latest major race to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The five-race series began at Bathurst in February, and is still scheduled to run at Indianapolis and Spa in October and at Kyalami in November. A replacement for the Suzuka round is being sought.
Bruno Spengler held onto his points lead in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series despite finishing off the podium in the 90-minute virtual VIR race on May 28. M8 GTE racers Spengler and Jesse Krohn were set to finish on the podium until both were set back after they were caught up in late-race incidents. Spengler, running second at the time, recovered from a spin brought on when he had to avoid a backmarker with just ten minutes remaining, and Krohn, who had just taken the lead from Ford GT racer Kenton Koch, was tagged by Koch and spun on the penultimate lap. Koch went on to win. At the finish, Spengler in fifth led four other M8 GTE racers across the line, including John Edwards, Connor De Phillippi, and Philipp Eng in sixth, seventh, and eighth, and Krohn in ninth.
Spengler leads drivers points and Nicky Catsburg is second going into the June 11 season finale on a virtual Watkins Glen circuit.
BMW iAndretti Formula E racer Maximilan Günther started second in the May 30 Formula E Race at Home Challenge on a virtual Brooklyn, New York circuit. He was turned sideways and sent into the wall on the first lap, and was hit by another car as he sat facing traffic on the circuit. He restarted his damaged car from the back of the pack and moved up to twelfth at the finish of the fifteen-lap race. His teammate Alexander Sims finished fourteenth. The win went to Mercedes’ Stoffel Vandoorne. With one race remaining, Vandoorne leads drivers’ points and Mahindra’s Pascal Wehrlein is second. Günther is a distant third, still in the hunt for the drivers’ title with one race remaining. The finale will be run on June 6. Kevin Siggy running a BMW iFE.20 won again in the Challenge Grid race for sim racers, extending his points lead in the series.
Spengler switched from an M8 GTE to a Z4 GT3 for the May 30 three-hour Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series powered by VCO. He and his teammate Nils Koch finished second ahead of the Walkenhorst Z4 GT3 piloted by Christian Krognes and Mikkel Jensen. Philipp Eng and Alexander Voss were fourth. The win went to Mercedes racers Philip Ellis and Jack Sedgwick.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy BMW Motorsport.]