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Porsche’s Nick Tandy wins to end BMW’s run in IMSA iRacing series

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Nick Tandy snapped BMW’s three-race winning streak in the IMSA iRacing Pro Invitational Series, capturing Round 4 at virtual Road America.

The Porsche factory driver won by 2.845 seconds in his No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR over Bruno Spengler, whose BMW M8 GTE had won the first two races in the series.

“It was just one of those races where everything fell our way,” Tandy said in an IMSA release. “We managed to bag a really good (qualifying) lap, which kept us out of trouble at the start, which was my main issue at Laguna and Ohio was just having a clean run without getting in other people’s incidents.”

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“The concentration level needed for me to drive on the sim, it’s so much greater than when I’m driving in reality. I think it’s because the driving in reality, it’s kind of in your subconscious. You can think about what goes on with stuff while it’s happening, whereas with sim racing, it’s still kind of a bit fraught. I definitely felt my wrists after the race from just grabbing and holding the steering wheel so tight trying to not make a mistake. It’s pretty painful.”

Spengler, who won at Sebring and Laguna Seca, scored his third top-two finish and reclaimed the points lead in the series after a sixth two weeks ago at virtual Mid-Ohio.

“It was a great race,” Spengler said in an IMSA release. “It started a bit more difficult than the other races. I’d say our opponents had more pace, for example the Porsche was very, very strong here, Ford as well. But we had a good setup and a good car.”

Spengler is ahead of teammate Nicky Catsburg by eight points through four of six races. Catsburg finished ninth Thursday after winning at virtual Mid-Ohio.

Philipp Eng finished third at Road America in the No. 26 Team Austria BMW, his first podium of the season.

Click here for the results at Road America in Round 4 of the IMSA Pro Invitational.

iRACING CHALLENGE: In the inaugural event at virtual Road America, of the new IMSA simulation series, Michael Cooper won in the No. 10 Flying Lizard Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, emerging from a battle for the lead with 10 laps to go over Jeff Andrews (who spun into the wall). Ben Waddell finished second with Forty7 Motorsports, and Max Root was third with Wright Motorsports.

Click her for the results in the IMSA iRacing Challenge at Road America.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).