GT Rivals Esports Invitational returned to action on Sunday at the virtual Misano World Circuit. Utilizing Assetto Corsa Competizione, the official game of GT World Challenge powered by AWS, 33 real world pros and sim racers from the Champion Motorsports sim racing league took to the racetrack for a 60m series Round 2 feature race.
Josh Staffin (Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo) led the field to the green flag and on into the tight first set of turns at Misano, with Laguna Seca-winner Bryan Heitkotter (Nissan GT-R GT3) slotting into second and keeping pressure on Staffin for the lead for more than half of the race.
Kenton Koch (BSPort Racing Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT3) stayed in the fight, gaining on the lead duo as they navigated traffic, but a slight miscue with one of the slower cars resulted in avoidable contact for Koch and a drive-through penalty was handed out.
Unfortunately, Koch did not see the penalty and was disqualified for not serving it.
At nearly the same time, Heitkotter pushed a little too hard, clipping the big track limit curbs in Turn 6 that turned his Nissan into the inside wall. Damage limited his car’s performance and he would drop steadily down the field, handing second place to Kevin Boehm (CrowdStrike Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3) who cruised to the finish. Unable to reel in Staffin, Boehm maintained a comfortable margin over third-place finisher Takis Weekes in another Nissan GT-R GT3.
Weekes inherited the last podium position after sim racer Don Belanger received a post-race penalty for track limit infractions.
Dirk Groeneveld who had an eventful race, finished fourth, while Heitkotter hung on for a Top 5 finish in his damaged Nissan.
A trio of Honda NSX GT3 Evos finished in the sixth, seventh and eighth positions, with Karl Wittmer recovering from an early drive-through penalty over Racers Edge driver Shelby Blackstock, and Tom O’Gorman.
Nikko Reger drove the first Italian car across the line, finishing ninth in a Ferrari 488 GT3, with Belanger listed tenth after his post-race penalty.
The GT Rivals Esports Invitational series returns to action on Sunday, April 26, from the south of France — virtual Circuit Paul Ricard. Tune-in on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook for all the action.
For more information on Assetto Corsa Competizione and the GT Rivals Esports Invitational Series please visit gt-world-challenge-america.com.