Daniel Morad and Mirko Bortolotti will battle for the IMSA iRacing Pro Series championship at Road Atlanta on Thursday night, while BMW’s Philipp Eng looks to complete a sweep of the three-race season in GTLM.
Meanwhile, Robert Wickens, fresh off a test of the Hyundai Veloster N TCR will rejoin the competition in LMP2. Wickens recently explained that sim racing has played a key role in his efforts to get back on track.
“I have to get a lot of thanks to Simcraft, because they were able to provide me with a simulator at home, which was really the first step on this road back,” Wickens said. “I was able to compete again, even though it was virtual; I was able to kind of feel that competition again and to improve. Not only that, we were able to evolve the hand controls to something that I’m very comfortable with on a simulator at home,” Wickens said.
Just one point separates Morad and Bortolotti in the LMP2 class. Morad’s two-straight second-place finishes have propelled him ahead of Bortolotti who has one win on the season.
“The IMSA Pro Series on iRacing has been so much fun and the next best thing to actually racing in real life,” Morad told IMSA.com. “I’ve been pushing myself to adapt as much as possible on the sim and the hard work has been paying off. My Twitch viewers know how much work has been put in, and another podium finish in the final round of the virtual championship will more or less do it for us to win the title. My sights are set on the top step and I will push as hard as possible.
“Regardless of the result, it’s been an absolute blast running online between (actual races at) Sebring and Mid-Ohio.”
In GTLM, Eng has won both races this season and leads a trio of BMW factory drivers at the top of the standings.
“I find it extremely cool that there is a real-world championship and a virtual championship that comes with it,” Eng said. “I was already extremely motivated and very deeply into (sim racing) during lockdown last year. I must say we got great support from the BMW side and also from the esports team. The competition within the team was extremely high but it was a very positive one because we pushed each other a lot and made ourselves just better sim racers.
“I think the competition is very high in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series this year, especially in GTLM. I’m just happy to be part of it. The season finale, I am definitely looking forward to it. It would be great to come out as the season champion. Fingers crossed, this will happen.”
Coverage of the race begins at 6:30 p.m. ET and can be watched on iRacing’s Facebook and YouTube channels.