Bruno Spengler in a virtual M8 GTE emerged from the Watkins Glen finale of the six-race IMSA iRacing Pro Series with the championship. His teammate Nicky Catsburg finished second in points in another M8 GTE.
For Catsburg to have won the championship he would have had to win the 90-minute race, but he finished fourth. Spengler had his worst race of the season; he was hit on the first lap and rolled over. Rollovers do not necessarily end sim races; Spengler was able to continue, but he had to return to the pit for repairs and went a lap down. He came up from the back of the pack to finish fourteenth. The series counted the best five of its six races for the title, so Spengler did not lost ground despite his finish.
The win in the Glen sim race went to Rodrigo Pflucker in a Ford GTE. Shane van Gisbergen was second in a Porsche, M8 GTE racer John Edwards was third, and Robby Foley and Connor DePhillippi, also in M8 GTEs, were fifth and sixth.
Spengler said, “I am delighted to have won this title. The unbelievably hard work involved in preparing for the races over the past months really paid off. Many thanks to everyone who supported me, and thanks to IMSA management for organizing this virtual race series for us, the drivers, and the fans in these testing times. It was fantastic and so much fun. Today’s race was full of emotion. After the accident on the first lap, I was unbelievably disappointed and could only think ‘That’s blown my title chances.’ But slowly, it became clear that I would still do it, as Nicky was unable to win the race. I was able to relax a bit and enjoy the final laps.”
Two days later Spengler won another sim race, sharing a Z4 GT3 in the Digital Nurburgring Endurance Series with his co-drivers Nils Koch and Kay Kaschube. The event marked the debut of the simulated M4 GT4. There were five in the race, and Timo Glock made his debut on the virtual Nordschleife in one of them.
Spengler and the rest of Team RLL will return to the real race track when IMSA resumes the 2020 WeatherTech Series on July 3–4 at Daytona.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy BMW Motorsport.]