Sebastian Vettel makes surprise cameo debut in Legends Trophy

THE RACE
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The Legends Trophy had a surprising — and rule-bending — cameo in the doubleheader opener of the second round of its virtual championship series.

Four-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel made his competitive sim racing debut at the virtual version of the Malaysian Grand Prix track where he had four victories in 10 F1 starts from 2008-17.

The Ferrari driver didn’t fare as well racing against several racing legends on rFactor2. The German finished 15th in the first race and 12th in the nightcap, getting caught up in incidents he didn’t cause both times.

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The Legends Trophy is open to former drivers older than 40, but Vettel, 32, was provided a provisional entry from the series, which allows former from Formula 1, IndyCar, sports cars and rally to compete virtually every Saturday at tracks around the world.

Juan Pablo Montoya took the points lead by winning the opener and finishing fifth in the second race.

“It was insane at the start,” said the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, who missed a multicar pileup on the opening lap. “The problem with these cars is that when you touch, the thing takes off everywhere, and you don’t know where you’re going to head out. I just tried to stay out of everybody’s way, and the road kind of cleared for me.

“I was driving and sliding around, and I had a lead of seven seconds. You just think ‘don’t worry’
but even when you say ‘don’t worry’, you’re still about to fly off at the next corner.”

Adrian Fernandez, an 11-time IndyCar winner, won the second race for his first Legends Trophy victory.

Montoya leads with 84 points over Emanuele Pirro (80) and Jenson Button (74) in the five-week series. The champion will have $25,000 donated to his favorite charity.