Jenson Button, David Brabham win at virtual Indy in Legends Trophy

Legends Trophy

Formula One champion Jenson Button and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner David Brabham won Saturday at virtual Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the middle leg of the “Triple Crown” in the Legends Trophy sim racing series.

It was the first Legends Trophy victory for Brabham, who took the lead in the opening race after a multicar crash knocked Juan Pablo Montoya from first. Brabham led the final 14 laps and won by 2.059 seconds over Montoya and Andy Priaulx. Michael Jourdain Jr and Darren Turner rounded out the top five.

“Finally, I got to win one of these Legends races and on the oval at Indianapolis; I’m thrilled with that,” Brabham said. “It was fantastic racing on the oval. It’s amazing, everyone is enjoying it. It’s pretty intense in the race, just in trying to keep the car on the track.

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“It’s so close racing with the tactics. It’s just little things here and there and you can lose a few hundredths and then you’re way back on the grid. It’s very competitive. There are great drivers in there, and I’m just pleased to finally get a decent result.”

Jenson Button won the second race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Legends Trophy).

Button won the second race, fending off a strong challenge by Fernando Alonso (who had swept the Legends Trophy’s last doubleheader at the Brickyard) and beating Petter Solberg by 3.633 seconds.

Max Papis finished third, ahead of Alonso and Emanuele Pirro.

“It was awesome to get a win, really cool,” Button said. “It’s always so much fun driving with these guys.”

Coming off June 6 victories at Monaco, Alonso and Priaulx were unable to complete the ROKiT Triple Crown. But Alonso still remains in the hunt for the third-round championship.

Heading into the Le Mans finale next week, he has a three-point lead (156-153) on Montoya. Brabham is third at 142 points.

In his Legends Trophy debut, action sports start Travis Pastrana finished 13th and 16th, respectively, in his first time on an Allinsports sim rig.

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“For eSports, I’ve done a little bit of rallycross but this is a first for me,” said Pastrana, who was invited to the competition by Montoya. “Today was the first time I’ve driven an Indy car in sim or real life.

“I was just like a kid in a candy shop looking at the entry list. When Juan said, ‘Hey, do you want to get in the race?’ I was like, ‘you don’t have to ask me twice!’”

David Brabham takes the checkered flag in the opener (Legends Trophy).

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

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With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.



Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III