After 24 Hours of intense racing at Daytona, teams roll off of the famous 31 degrees of banking for the final time with a mixture of emotions ranging from elation to dejection. Some teams were able to maximise their position and convert a strong start to class podiums, whilst others will be left thinking ‘what if?’ after the smallest of slip ups cost them dearly.

In the end it was Williams Esports Playseat claiming overall victory, with WSR Buttkicker sealing LMP2 victory and Team Redline’s #4 securing top honours in GTD. These winners will receive trophies from VCO as the presenting partner of the event. This is only the tiniest snapshot of the race however which has seen multiple strategy and lead changes during the event, coupled with some crazy overtakes and the simpliest of touches causing major incidents throughout the field.

GTP Review

In GTP, it was Williams Esports Playseat who have led the majority of the race, with a consistent running at the front. Completing a total of 920 laps, they were able to hold off various charges throughout the course of the race from BMW M Team Redline, VRS Coanda Esports and DRAGO Racing, the latter shrinking the gap in the penultimate hours from 25 seconds down to less than 7. Allthough the biggest story of the day on commentary was the exact colour of the front of the #6 with opinions ranging from orange to brown, to copper to bronze, it was the dedicated drives of Atte Kauppinen, Augustin Canapino, Moreno Sirica and Carl E Jansson who proved to be an unstoppable quartet compared to the competition.

When the dust settled on the various strategies, it would be DRAGO racing who were able to get themselves 2nd place in class, with Dominik Hofmann putting in an incredible 530+ lap run covering more than half the race distance for his team. Whilst VRS Coanda Esports looked as though they were going to mount one of their many differing strategy options during the course of the race, incidents including with themselves put them out of contention for the win, forcing the highest place car (#8) to finish only third, meaning they now have a 3 year drought in terms of class victory in the event.

Despite a 5 car incident at the start of the race, attrition in the GTPs was perhaps lower than expected, with 14 teams classified at the end. Some will be licking their wounds over a disappointing finish, but some managed to navigate drama around them to move up through the standings. BMW M Team BS+ Competition for example started 13th in class but were able to move up to 6th in the end. It’s also worth praising the Balance of Performance adjustments in class, as there were 2 Accuras, 2 Porsches, and a BMW inside the Top 5.

CP#NAMESTARTEDGAINCAR16 Williams Esports Playseat (Atte Kauppinen) 21Acura ARX-06269 DRAGO RACING GTP (Dominik Hofmann) 75Acura ARX-0638 VRS Coanda (Zac Campbell) 85Porsche 963 GTP420 BMW M Team Redline (Sebastian Job) 95BMW M Hybrid V8598 Apex Racing Team (Yohann Harth) 3-2Porsche 963 GTP689 BMW M Team BS+COMPETITION (Ryan Barneveld) 137BMW M Hybrid V8721 Team Redline (Luke A Bennett) 6-1BMW M Hybrid V885 Williams Esports Fanatec (Jaden Munoz) 1-7Acura ARX-06915 Race Clutch Red (Peter Zuba) 112Acura ARX-061013 ATRS eSports (Filip Mitrevski) 2111Cadillac V-Series.R

LMP2 Review

Throughout the race the LMP2 field looked to be the closest for long periods of time. This is the first time that the latest LMP2 has made an appearance at the iRacing Daytona 24 Hour Race, with far greater resilience to damage compared to the former HPD LMP2 which could get damage by someone sneezing too close to it. Despite the close battles, the WSR Esports Buttkicker #23 was able to lead and maintain distance thoughout, barely putting a foot wrong and managing the gap behind which would grow methodically through the race. In fact, at the top of the hour From H10 onwards, they didn’t slip below first place.

After running strongly earlier in the race, the Calce Team fell out of contention for a podium due to a hardware issue, not being classified in the final results. This allowed MAG Performance LMP2 to move back to the second position that they had held earlier on in the event, and the battle between SimRC and VRS Coanda Esports going down to the final hour with the gap often being below one second. Coanda would hold on in the end to take 3rd place in class,, but a margin measured in car lengths.

Behind, there were plenty of smaller incidents involving being forced to take evasive action at the Le Mans Chicane, which impacted Race Clutch and Team PGZ. Team PGZ’s two cars had a number of small issues throughout the course of the event meaning that both of their cars finished outside of the Top 5 in class, and the final incident with Race Clutch into Turn 1 caused the latter’s #24 to go above the 100 Incident Point limit, necessitating a drive through penalty with just over an hour to go.

CP#NAMESTARTEDGAINCAR123 WSR Esports ButtKicker (Alexander Davidson) 10Dallara P217 LMP22120 MAG Performance LMP (Andrea Bristot) 31Dallara P217 LMP2376 SimRC (Jürgen Frank) 41Dallara P217 LMP2412 VRS Coanda (Mack Bakkum) 106Dallara P217 LMP25114 Team PGZ (Kash Dabasia) 50Dallara P217 LMP26003 eSports (Rico Wenzel) 71Dallara P217 LMP2716 Race Clutch White (Matteo Frigerio) 114Dallara P217 LMP28119 Team PGZ (Marlon Duczek) 6-2Dallara P217 LMP29123 WSR Esports ButtKicker (Nathan A Moore) 167Dallara P217 LMP21024 Race Clutch Black (Teemu Myllykangas) 122Dallara P217 LMP2

GTD Review

In GTD, the race started as though it would be Apex Racing Team’s #198 and #199 cars that would rule the banking, and short fuelling at the first stop enabled them to take a competitive time advantage which they kept up for the first few hours of the race. Calamity happened between the pair down at the Le Mans Chicane whilst bump drafting forcing the #198 into the wall and out of contention. The #199 then got involved in an incident with the #92 Coanda Esports GTP down at the kink, forcing the car into the wall.

This put the lead of the race into the hands of the #2 and #4 Team Redline Mercedes. They would have their own bump drafting issues with Max Verstappen having a spin at Turn 1 due to the #2 ahead having to slow down a tad in the middle of the corner, but it looked as though they were set for a 1 – 2 finish until hardware issues crippled the #2. This allowed the #198 Stormforce ART car back into 2nd place, denying the Redline Duo the chance to lock out the top two spots on the podium. 

Behind, the smallest field of the three classes got spread out early, and high attrition early on in the race meant that the field became dominated by Mercedes, with two Ferraris finishing inside the Top 5 as the only classified finishers (Williams Esports BenQ, and Simufy Esports).  

CP#NAMESTARTEDGAINCAR14 Team Redline (Max Verstappen) 98Mercedes-AMG GT3 20202199 Stormforce ART (Luke McKeown) 31Mercedes-AMG GT3 202032 Team Redline (Gustavo Ariel) 52Mercedes-AMG GT3 202041 Williams Esports BenQ (Parker White) 2-2Ferrari 296 GT3514 Simufy Esports GTD (Tristan Iglesias) 61Ferrari 296 GT36002 by GnG (Jakub Kwiatkowski) 126Mercedes-AMG GT3 20207001 DeltaSimTech by GnG (Nicolás Rubilar) 103Mercedes-AMG GT3 2020844 Falken Simracing Team (Jonas Rütten) 113Mercedes-AMG GT3 20209198 Apex Racing Team (Alejandro Sánchez) 4-5Mercedes-AMG GT3 202010189 BS+COMPETITION (Oskari Rinne) 8-2Ferrari 296 GT3

The next iRacing Special Event is the iRacing Daytona 500, taking place in February, which will be broadcast on RaceSpot TV with updates and analysis on RaceSpot News. 

The next Endurance event is the iRacing Sebring 12 Hour Powered by VCO on March 22nd – 24th, with coverage of the Top Split at Noon UTC being covered by RaceSpot.

The post Williams Esports, WSR Esports & Team Redline Victorious In 2024 iRacing Daytona 24. appeared first on Sim Racing News by RaceSpot.

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