Grand Prix Turn Racing iRacing Series Spa Results

Grand Prix Turn Racing iRacing Series Spa Results

Recently, the Grand Prix Turn Racing iRacing Series visited SPA for some great open wheel racing.

The return of top-level open-wheel esports on the iRacing platform came on Thursday, as the 2023 Grand Prix Turn Racing iRacing Series kicked off its second season at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Two years removed from the last iteration of the series, the Dallara iR-01 is once again the racing machine of choice with 26 of the top-ranked drivers across the service taking part in the 10-race program, racing for $25,000 across various circuits, this year including a pair of oval races for the first time.

Florian Lebigre, a veteran of the series who competed back in 2021, was able to strike first and win the opening round of the championship at Spa, running a nearly flawless race en route to the checkers. It marks Lebigre’s first career victory in 11 starts, besting his previous top finish of third at the Red Bull Ring in the inaugural season’s eighth race. SDK Gaming’s Gaël Valero and Virtual Racing School’s Marcos Núñez rounded out the podium finishers after a wild 23-lap excursion around the Belgian course.


Apex Racing Team’s Ben Fuller took the pole position for the opening round, sharing the front row with Manel Cubo Torres from SDK Gaming. Michele Costantini scored third in qualifying and started alongside Lebigre in the second row. The top three qualifiers opted for red soft tires, the fastest tires but also the quickest to wear and lose pace. From Lebigre on back, it was mostly medium compound tires, showcased by the yellow colored pattern of the side walls. Only Matt Emery, Jan Hoffman and Jarl Teien opted to take the white walled hard compound tires to the grid.

The start to the season was chaotic, at best. Altus Engineering teammates Simone Maria Marcenò and Carlos Fenollosa made contact just after the standing start, setting up a spectacular incident entering La Source that ended the day early for Virtual Racing School’s Edoardo Leo, Drago’s Jakub Maciejewski and Jacob Reid as well. Heading up Eau Rouge and Raidillon, Drago’s Przemyslaw Marek Lemanek and 499 Racing’s Charlie Sears came together. Lemanek continued on but Sears would be forced to retire.


Down the Kemmel Straight, there was even more attrition to be had as Torres and Lebigre got too close. Lebigre clipped the grass as he made contact with Torres, who would spin out and retire. A total of five drivers wouldn’t make it past the first lap, and another four would either retire a few laps later or lose multiple laps in fixing damage from the opening lap.

Up front, the two Apex Racing Team cars were pulling away, utilizing the draft and slingshots to maximize their lead over Lebigre, Núñez and Xavi Ros, the rest of the top five. With different tire compounds on the track, a required compound change in effect and just a little bit of fuel needed to make it to the end, the strategies would be scattered, unbeknownst to which would prevail.

By the end of the eighth lap, the soft compound tires were beginning to give up time, so Fuller and Costantini were set to pit for fresh tires in their window. As Fuller entered the chicane, his tires seemingly gave out, the left rear completely and visually corded as he spun on the right hander just before pits. Costantini avoided contact, but the pair would essentially lose any advantage they had built up through the race to that point.


This initially handed the lead over to Ros, but in Les Combes on that ninth lap, Lebigre was able to jump both cars in front of him to take control before opting to pit that next lap for an undercut, leaving Ros and Núñez on track for a few more times around. Veloce driver Matt Emery opted to stay out the longest of the potential winners, on the hard tires, pitting at the end of Lap 15.

That handed a significant lead back to Lebigre, who led over Valero with only a handful of laps to go. Emery was charging on the freshest tires, but in his battle to get back into the top five, he made contact with Ros, skidding into La Source and ultimately ending his chance. Valero got within a second, and perhaps could have caught the draft the next time down the Kemmel Straight to fight for the lead, but Lebigre hung on to the checkers for his first win. Fuller, who recovered to finish in eighth, scored the point for the fastest lap, which he ran on Lap 3.

Grand Prix Turn Racing iRacing Series points through Round 1 are as follows:

  1. Florian Lebigre, 25
  2. Gaël Valero, 21
  3. Marcos Núñez, 18
  4. Daniel Sivi-Szabo, 15
  5. David Toth, 12
  6. Przemyslaw Marek Lemanek, 10
  7. Michele Costantini, 9
  8. Ben Fuller, 9
  9.  Xavi Ros, 7
  10.  Jarl Teien, 6

The next race in the series comes next Thursday, September 21, where the drivers will take on a new course in Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto, a track added to the service back in 2023 Season 2. The action starts at 19:00 GMT (3PM ET) and will stream live across all of the iRacing social media channels.

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