Kenton Koch claims first win for Ford in IMSA iRacing Pro Series

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Kenton Koch won the IMSA iRacing Pro Series race Thursday night at virtual Virginia International Raceway, giving Ford its first victory in the sports car sim racing series.

The No. 80 Kenton Koch Racing Ford GT started on the pole and led much for the race before being passed by Jesse Krohn’s No. 24 BMW with a lap remaining. Just before the white flag, Koch bumped Krohn off course and cruised to a 4.939-second victory over Shane van Gisbergen.

“I mean I hate for it to be that way,” Koch said in an IMSA release about the contact with Krohn. “Unfortunately, I got in there a little hot and there was definitely a little bit of net code between us there. I didn’t mean to do that intentionally at all. It was good fun, but man, my heart was pounding for that entire hour and a half. That was good fun and the paint job was good luck this time.”

RESULTS: Click here for results from the IMSA iRacing Pro Series at VIR

STANDINGS: Click here for the IMSA iRacing Pro Series standings after VIR

It was the first IMSA iRacing Pro Series victory for Ford after Porsche picked up its first series victory in the fourth race of the series. The first three races of the season were won by BMWs.

After finishing second earlier in the season in a BMW, van Gisbergen finished runner-up Thursday in a Porsche. The AIM Vasser Sullivan driver’s team fields Toyota Lexus in the GTD Series of IMSA’s WeatherTech Challenge.

“It’s really a different car,’ van Gisbergen, a Supercars veteran who has multiple starts in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, said in an IMSA release. “We obviously don’t have a Lexus representative in the game so we run what we think is going to be best. It was cool, all the cars are quite different.

“Obviously, I can’t run the Ford due to the conflict with Holden. That’s what (AVS teammate) Jack (Hawksworth) was in and he found that to be the fastest car, so it was sort of switching between a manufacturer brands there, but the Porsche seems to be the most comfortable and easy to drive. I’ve been struggling with qualifying and the BMW guys really know how to qualify good in that car and I struggled with it. So, starting up front certainly helped us.”

Agustin Canapino finished third in the No. 66 Juncos Racing Ferrari 488, marking the first podium for Ferrari in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series competition and the first time three manufacturers made the podium.

With a fifth-place finish, BMW’s Bruno Spengler maintained the championship standings lead by 31 points over teammate Nicky Catsburg.

In the IMSA iRacing Challenge Series at virtual VIR, Greg Liefooghe won Thursday by 2.753 seconds over Nelson Lawrence.

NEXT: The IMSA iRacing Pro Series and iRacing Challenge will hold their season finales June 11 at virtual Watkins Glen International.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”