Virgin Australia Supercars Champion Scott McLaughlin has claimed the first victory in his IndyCar career after taking out the second round of the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge.
Achieving the feat on a simulator half way around the world, McLaughlin was too good against the fancied competition after edging out teammate and Australian Will Power, as well as three-time Global RallyCross champion Scott Speed to win the Virtual Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.
Making McLaughlin’s victory even more impressive was the fact that he was competing against his American based rivals at 3am AEST, taking out the victory just before 6am.
The Kiwi, who finished fourth in the virtual series’ opening round last month, qualified in eighth place before working his way up the field in a tight race and crossing the line less than half a second ahead of Power.
“I’m really happy,” McLaughlin told indycar.com.
“I actually brought in (via voice chat) the INDYCAR engineer I’ve been working with in the States, Jonathan Diuguid. I give him credit.
“He put me on an awesome strategy. It’s a bit better than last week. I was playing with the fuel myself and trying to remember the numbers while I was driving. It was a bit easier this week.”
Power’s runner-up was his second podium in the series, after the Queenslander secured third place ahead of McLaughlin in the opening round.
While both drivers will be in action again next week with the series heading to Michigan International Speedway, McLaughlin will first contest the opening round of the BP Supercars All Stars Series on Wednesday 8 April.
Meanwhile, Power wasn’t the only Australian to be competing in an international simulator race overnight with a host of Aussies running in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Virtual Edition.
Jordan Love, Joey Mawson, Stephen Grove and Marc Cini were all in action during the one-make series’ virtual round at the Circuit De Barcelona with Grove and Cini both enjoying class success.
With the category holding two races during the round, it was a tough outing for Love and Mawson with the latter enjoying the better result thanks to a fifth place in the second race.
Both Cini and Grove were running in the Pro Am class and it was Cini who ended up on top after finishing both races in the top three, including a race win, while Grove finished runner-up in the second race.
The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Virtual Edition continues on 18 April with drivers to compete against each other at the virtual Silverstone Circuit in Great Britain.