The IMSA iRacing Pro Series unfolded much like the first two events with a small but yet very significant chance to the top step of the podium.
BMW swept the top three spots for the third consecutive race, but Nicky Catsburg was the winner Thursday at virtual Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Catsburg, who took the points lead as the only driver with three podiums, held off a challenge by teammate Bruno Spengler, who had won the first two races at Sebring and at Laguna Seca but finished sixth after spinning in Turn 1 while chasing down the leader late in the race at Mid-Ohio.
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Robby Foley finished 3.157 seconds behind Catsburg’s No. 10 BMW M8 GTE, followed by Connor De Phillippi, who was making his second start of the season after his April 17 debut at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
It was a wild race with a 49-car field crowded into the 13-turn, 2,258-mile layout.
“With tracks like this, it’s quite narrow and small,” Catsburg said in an IMSA release. “We knew it was going to get messy with traffic and indeed it got messy with traffic. There was quite some action with people touching each other and me. It was very intense but I think this is the first time I had something against Bruno. I mean the other two races he got the better of me and this time I was able to fight him and be quick.
“Robby was very close in the end and he got unlucky with traffic as well, which is unfortunately something that really is controlling the race. The traffic and people not being too careful. Honestly, very intense race again. It was super fun. I’m very happy with my first victory, and hopefully, we can continue this streak of podiums.”
It was Foley’s first podium in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series.
“Tire wear was pretty critical, so I just tried to save the tires early on in the race and kind of have something at the end,” Foley said. “Lapped traffic definitely played a part, had a couple of minor contacts. But overall, it kind of went to plan. I didn’t execute quite the perfect lap in qualifying, nice job to Bruno for the pole. But finally, sort of a good race now after some bad luck in the first two, so I’m super happy to put the Turner BMW on the podium.”
The series will head May 14 to virtual Road America for Round 4, which will be streamed on iRacing’s YouTube, Twitch and Facebook Live.