Drama in iRacing as IndyCar champ wrecks F1 star on purpose

The finale of IndyCar’s iRacing challenge was more action-packed than most races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Here, with nine laps to go, Simon Pagenaud of Team Penske (left), Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (middle), and Lando Norris of Arrow McLaren (right) all vie for the lead. This would end badly for Pagenaud a couple of corners later. [credit:
Chris Graythen/Getty Images ]

There was more drama in the world of esports racing this weekend—not in NASCAR, though. That series announced a return to real-world racing later this month, and its drivers have been on their best behavior after a pair of high-profile fiascos in April. No, this time IndyCar is in the spotlight. The month of May is special to the series, but this year the racing had to take place in a virtual Indianapolis, with a 175-mile event held in iRacing thanks to the COVID-19 lockdown. There was plenty of action, just not all of it good. The highlight—or low point, perhaps—was when last year’s Indy 500 winner and 2016 series champion Simon Pagenaud appeared to take out F1’s rising star, Lando Norris, three laps before the end of the race.
The 70-lap race was action-packed, even by IndyCar standards. The cars circulated in a much tighter pack than they would in real life, even after IndyCar tweaked some iRacing environmental settings like wind speed to make things a bit more life-like. And when cars race together in a pack at speeds close to 220mph (350km/h), crashes happen. In the real world, those can have awful consequences, like the crash that took Dan Wheldon’s life at Las Vegas in 2011. Bruised feelings are the worst that can happen in iRacing, though.
The seeds were probably sown last weekend, when Norris—a young phenom in F1 and extremely good sim racer—blitzed the IndyCar regulars when he was invited to join them in a race at a virtual Circuit of the Americas. At (virtual) Indianapolis with eight laps to go, Norris, Pagenaud, and Graham Rahal were three-wide for the lead, going into one of Indy’s four turns, when it went wrong for Pagenaud who ended up backwards after hitting the wall and damaging his car. Five laps later, Norris was looking strong, leading his two Arrow McLaren teammates toward a potential 1-2-3 victory, when he came across a slow-moving Pagenaud, who was now a couple of laps down following a trip to pit lane to repair his car.Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments
Source: Car news one

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