With all motorsports in Europe having ceased due to the global COVID-19 outbreak, VLN instead hosted a virtual season-opener at the Nürburgring. The four-hour race in iRacing was won by sim racing giant Team Redline with the #172 Ferrari 488 GT3 raced by Jonas Wallmeier and Gianni Vecchio.
From the start, the battle for first was between the #172 Team Redline Orange Ferrari 488 GT3 and #908 Mahle Racing Team Audi R8 LMS GT3. Both teams rotated in the lead, with the Mahle team having a slight edge over the Redline Ferrari, while the #114 BS Competition BMW Z4 GT3 playing a minor role at the front as well.
Everything seemed under control for the Mahle Audi as Agustín Canapino went into the final half hour in the lead of the race. Coming out of Brünnchen, however, the 2010 Argentinian Turismo Carretera champion ran wide, lost control and hit the guardrail. The mistake allowed Gianni Vecchio in the Redline Ferrari to slip through into the lead and drive the victory home.
Canapino salvaged second place for himself and co-driver Alex Arana.
The top three was completed by the #171 Team Redline White Ferrari 488 GT3 of Dominik Färber, Patrick Heinrich and Marc Elkemann. The Ferrari speared onto the podium after the #111 BS Competition BMW Z4 GT3 made a mistake at the jump going into Pflanzgarten I.
VRS Coanda Simsport took a double victory in the Porsche Carrera Cup with the #288 VRS Coanda SimSport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of drivers Mack Bakkum and Jeremy Bouteloup taking the win in front of the Porsche driven by teammates Martin Krönke, Tommy Østgaard and real-life Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 racer Jörn Schmidt-Staade.
For most of the race the Porsche Cayman Trophy saw the #304 CoRe SimRacing Porsche Cayman 718 GT4 of Sindre Setsaas – who was scheduled to race this weekend in VLN1 with Adrenalin Motorsport – and Carl Jansson and the #308 of VRS Coanda Simsport Porsche of IndyCar racer Sage Karam and Paschalis Gkergkis run nose to tail as they took turns in the lead. Only in the later half of the race the CoRe Cayman managed to shed itself of the VRS Coanda Cayman to take the win.
The Audi RS3 LMS-only TCR class began with a three-way battle for the lead, the action being made by the leading #453 Joker Simracing Orange and pursuers #403 CoRe SimRacing and #471 T3 Esports Alpha. That changed in the second hour when both the Joker SimRacing Orange and CoRe SimRacing Audis crashed into a stopped Porsche Cayman at the climb up to Hohe Acht, handing T3 Esports Alpha the lead. Despite driven straight through the stranded Porsche, the Audi of Marius Golombeck and Patrick Kubinji remained largely undamaged and was able to race back to the front and win the race.
Screenshots courtesy of VLN.
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