Bruno Spengler claimed his second consecutive victory in IMSA’s iRacing Pro Series, leading yet another 1-2-3 finish for BMW in Thursday’s race at Laguna Seca. Spengler previously led BMW to another 1-2-3 finish in last month’s season opener at Sebring.
Driving the No. 7 BMW IMSA Team Red M8 GTE, Spengler won by 1.772-seconds over Shane Van Gisbergen in the No. 97 AIM Vasser Sullivan entry. Nicky Catsburg finished third in the No. 10 BMW.
Polesitter Rodrigo Pflucker got a great start to the race in the No. 47 Forty7 Motorsports Ford GT, leading until just before the halfway point of the race.
However, the defending IMSA Prototype Challenge champ’s pit stop went longer than expected, and Spengler emerged at the front of the field with fellow BMW drivers Nicky Catsburg and Philipp Eng right behind him.
Eng passed Catsburg for second place with 34 minutes remaining in the race and then sat his eyes on Spengler. With 17 minutes remaining, Eng took the lead when Spengler had to brake hard to avoid hitting the No. 76 BMW of Paul Holton.
But Eng only got to lead for three minutes. A few laps later, Eng was involved in a massive crash with Corey Fergus in the No. 0 BMW, and just like that, Spengler was back in the lead.
Spengler held off Van Gisbergen for the remainder of the race to collect his second consecutive victory.
“It was never boring,” Spengler said. “It was a very interesting race. There was quite a lot of preparation on the team’s side. We’d just see how close the lap times were and qualifying was amazing. The lap times were so close. People were driving on the edge. There was so much traffic out there, which almost cost me the victory because I was leading the race, and I think in Turn 5, a car came back on the track out of nowhere pretty much, and I had to brake massively to avoid him and then I lost the lead.
“You had to take risks, but at some point, you had to be super careful and be on your toes because a lot of things were happening and going on, but yeah, the ending was fun.”
Spengler currently leads the iRacing Pro Series championship standings with 70 points, eight ahead of second-place Catsburg.
The next round of the IMSA iRacing Pro Series will take place on Thursday, April 30 at the virtual Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.