With a total of 16,651 drivers across 85 races, the weekend saw 2023 iRacing Daytona 24 wins for Williams and Apex Racing Team across the GTP, LMP2 and GTD classes in the top split.
The 24 hour endurance event saw a total of 4,191 teams registered, with the iRacing 24 Hours of Daytona powered by VCO top two splits broadcast live over the weekend on the VCO Esports Youtube channel, as well as being streamed by various competitors across all the races taking place.
In the end, the overall win went to the Williams Esports GTP of Arthur Lehouck, Alxander Spetz and Matt J Farrow, although there has been controversy after Spetz was shown running below the apron on the Daytona banking for his pole position qualifying lap. On the iRacing forum Greg West has commented that they’re aware of the situation and are investigating as ‘this specific scenario was discussed in a pre race briefing’. It’s been suggested that other teams might also have indulged in similar behaviour.
There’s always been some confusion over the use of the apron in corners, especially when it’s been allowed on straight sections of circuits. The latest version of the iRacing Official Sport Code states: “Drivers can only use the racing surface and allowed areas of the track for Qualifying and Racing. Any disallowed areas of the track and any advantages gained through their use will be determined by iRacing.com. A protest may be filed through the proper channels for this offense”
Either way, the Apex Racing Team were able to have double celebrations after victory in the LMP2 class for Michele Constantini, Stanley Deslandes, Elvis Rankin and Owen Caryl, and then also in the GTD class with Salva Talens, Yohann Harth, Michael Janney and Jamie Fluke.
Personally, as much as I hope iRacing can sort out the use of the race track below the apron for all races, including normal official series as well as special events, it’s more important to congratulate all the winners, and every sim racer who took completed 24 hours, whether it was in the 1st split or the 85th. Simply making it to a finish line in any endurance event is gruelling enough, and knowing various people competing across all levels of the Daytona 24 Hours, reaching the chequered flag is an achievement worth celebrating.
The next special event on iRacing will be the iRacing Bathurst 12 hour for GT3 cars, which takes place on February 10-12th, 2023, along with the iRacing Daytona 500 on February 14-19th, 2023 for the NASCAR Cup cars.
In addition to being a special event, the 24 Hours of Daytona is also part of the 2023 VCO Grand Slam, which this year includes the Sebring 12h, the Watkins Glen 6h and Petit Le Mans.
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(image courtesy VCO)