Scott McLaughlin wins last race at Indianapolis. Prior leaders fall victim to takedown.
McLaughlin’s victory might feel a little bit pale to him as well to a lot of fans who watched him crawl his way to the top slowly. In a more than dramatic race the lead often changed. Pilots like Lando Norris, Marcus Ericsson or Oliver Askew had all been on top, with all of them taken down afterwards.
A race of revenge?
Though the race was filled with collisions and cautions some scenes in the late stages clearly defined what it was all about. When Lando Norris conquered the lead with relatively fresh tires and nine laps to go by passing Graham Rahal on the inside, Rahal had to avoid contact and thus hit Simon Pagenaud.
After returning from the pits when Norris had overturned Pagenaud and was right behind him, Pagenaud slowed off in Turn four. Norris hit his back, took off and lost his chances to win. Prior to that Pagenaud had announced to take Norris down during his pitstop, but asserted to be kidding after the crash.
Another maneuver even superior in aggression was in the last lap by Norris team-mate Patricio O’Ward who was passed by Marcus Ericsson as a new first and then hit Ericsson’s backside taking him off the track spinning wildly. Now the drama had just begun. New leader Oliver Askew – a rookie who won Indy Light last year – was also turned by Santino Ferrucci, leading them both to crash into the wall.
After five changes of leadership in the last half of the last lap McLaughlin – two times Australian Supercars Champion – finished first and so became the only pilot in this series who managed to win a circuit and an oval track as well. No official points had been tracked during the series, but according to the IndyCar system, McLaughlin would have also been champion of the series.
Does sportsmanship vanish with the danger?
Lots of fans reacted furiously about the actions, especially the ones taken by Pagenaud and Ferrocci. They blamed them acting childish and unsportsmanlike. The majority doesn’t want the drivers to act less careful or even reckless just due to the absence of physical danger in video games.
Some also demand actions by iRacing. iRacings Executive Vice President Steve Myers passed the responsibility on to IndyCar as it was a “private series”, but nevertheless judged the actions taken as “a mockery of a great opportunity for the series and iRacing”.
What do you think about it? Should the esport races be taken more seriously or do you like it the chaotic way? Post us your opinion on twitter.com/nitronights!