Article updated on 26.01.2020 1:35 pm: Made several changes. Updated the totality of the splits as well as the role of Alonso in the race. We also made sure to correctly talk about which split Jardier and the team of NASCAR drivers participated in.
For over a whole day, the sim racing world was on its heels as drivers chased the top podium spot in the virtual 24 hours of Daytona race on iRacing. In three splits that started at different times during the designated weekend, teams battled their hearts out to bring their cars as close as possible to an endurance race victory.
After the start, the race was heavily delayed due to performance issues on the iRacing server. Racers took to the track a whopping four hours later than planned.
The race was divided into 47 splits, which were divided by iRating. iRacing implemented that due to the number of drivers starting at the Daytona event.
Record Champions defend
Coanda Simsport had an incredible track record at Daytona ahead of this event. From six events since 2016, they had won five. A staple in all of them was sim racing multi-talent Mitchell deJong. Adding to these immense stats was this year's race as the trio of deJong, sim racing veteran Mack Bakkum and former Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup winner Joshua K Rogers. The crew put on a fantastic performance that led to a start-to-finish victory after Rogers secured pole position.
After 898 laps the #8 crosses the line in P1!! Fantastic job from @JKRogers_92 @Mack_Joah & @MitchelldeJong1 throughout the 24 hours.— Coanda Simsport (@CoandaSimsport) January 24, 2021
Congrats on the podium and a well fought race @WilliamsEsports @MivanoRacing @realVRS @LEGO_Group pic.twitter.com/Tx4yARtPDL
Rogers seemed very pleased to add another trophy to his collection. After successfully winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual last year, this is his next major endurance race coup.
Alonso and partners finish P2
Even though it was the day of sim racers, a hefty amount of competition from the real world drivers was certainly felt. The WTF1 Team of Fernando Alonso, Rubens Barrichello, Isaac Gillissen and Olli Pahkala managed a well-fought second place in their split.
The double Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso took to Twitter to express his pleasure at working with his team. He is a real-life Le Mans winner and was narrowing in for the leading Coanda team during his race stint.
Daytona 24h virtuales terminadas 🤩— Fernando Alonso (@alo_oficial) January 24, 2021
Grandísima experiencia y segundos en nuestro split!! Aunque sin dormir mucho...😂, nos lo hemos pasado en grande @rubarrichello @TonyKanaan @OlliPahkala @Veloce_Isaac21 ! Ojalá repetir pronto! 🤩 Gracias @Allinsports_srl @Kimoa @rawsuperdrink pic.twitter.com/LLvBpQpA4G
Jardier celebrates win in split
You may know him from our Tutorials about Assetto Corsa Competizione, but Jaroslav 'Jardier' Honzik is a real contender in iRacing as well.
The Czech content creator put on a clinical performance in his split. He and his team managed to fight their way through a challenging field and win the P2 class.
Amazing WIN from the whole FoodCritics/YAS HEAT team in the Daytona 24 Hours 2021 in our split!!!👊🤩🤩🤩— Jardier (@JaroslavHonzik) January 24, 2021
Awesome job from Alex, Dalking and Valentin flawless drive for us! Makes me so happy!😍
Epic support from the best viewers ever!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/H6ot6B2BUu
American Racers shine
Another high octane victory was celebrated by a team of NASCAR drivers. Garrett Smithley, Anthony Alfredo, James Davidson and Lando Cassill took home their part of the virtual Daytona glory.
WE GOT IT!!!! P1 after 24 hours!!! Amazing drive by @anthonyalfredo @JD33Davison @HMediaUS @landoncassill So much fun. Special thanks to @GameSyns keeping us on track. What a day!! @NurtecODT @RickWareRacing @eurasiaracing @eRacr_gg #esports #24HoursofDaytona @iRacing pic.twitter.com/K7WP1ALaRn— Garrett Smithley (@GarrettSmithley) January 24, 2021
The race proved to be severe throughout the 24 hours for the NASCAR racers, but a monster stint from James Davidson ensured them the victory. Davidson managed to push the pace and keep hold of first place in the P2 class until the end.
What was your favorite moment from this year's endurance race at Daytona? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg!