GT Daytona McLaren 720S GT3
- Corey Fergus
- Paul Holton
The Matrix, Interwebs — Although they have competed against each other on track in the real world — as recently as the 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season — our drivers Corey Fergus and Paul Holton have never battled each other in sim racing. That changed yesterday when the two joined 50 of IMSA’s top talent in the second iRacing round of the Coronavirus championship.
Holton – at the wheel of the No. 76 Richard Mille BMW M8 GTE – and Fergus – helming the No. 00 Richard Mille Ferrari 488 GTE – certainly looked good, with the livery of our real-world McLaren 720S GT3 having been adapted to the GTLM-class cars that made up the field of 50 cars at virtual WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Sadly, those 50 cars made getting a clean lap in the short 15-minute qualifying nearly impossible, and both cars started mid-pack. A second-corner incident between the leaders sent the field scrambling and resulted in damage for a number of cars.
Holton elected to go off-strategy and pitted early, which could have worked wonders depending upon when the “competition yellow” was called. Sadly, it came late in the race which meant his tires were less than optimal in the closing stages.
Fergus, meanwhile, stuck to a standard strategy but got caught up in a rather late-race wreck in the uphill section before the infamous Corkscrew. Whilst the incident itself was spectacular, it essentially ended his day. “Whilst sim racing is a nice distraction during the virus-induced lock-down, it’s a stark reminder that virtual racing is not the same as racing in the real world,” remarked Team Principal Karl Thomson. “We’re proponents of using the sim tools to learn tracks, keep mentally fit and train one’s reflexes. But it’s almost a different discipline, one that we are pleased to have to keep us entertained until we can get back to the track.”