Ferrari took its first ever podium finish at the penultimate round of the IMSA iRacing Pro Series, a third place earned by Augustin Canapino after 90 minutes of racing at the virtual Virginia International Raceway. Canapino, of Argentina, qualified his virtual Ferrari 488 GTE in sixth place and survived an early-race incident on his way to his first podium in the series. The three Ferraris of Risi Competizione, Jules Gounon, Matt Griffin and Joel Miller ultimately finished in 18th, 31st and 32nd respectively.
Augustin Canapino did not have an easy route to his first ever podium despite the best-ever qualifying performance for a Ferrari in the virtual series, a sixth place start. Once the green flag fell, the Argentine driver drove aggressively but cleanly, until a car spun across his path and he made contact. He rejoined quickly, and despite visible damage, his pace seemed strong and only fell two positions, to 8th. As the race wore on, Canapino was the first of the Ferraris to pit, and had maintained his 8th place position when the typical competition caution flag fell with 43 minutes remaining in the 90 minute race. From there, a combination of good fortune and precise, aggressive driving saw him advance through the field. Several brilliant overtakes earned praise, but luck was also on his side as several drivers ahead spun or crashed out of the race. As the checkered flag flew, Canapino was challenging for 2nd place, and even made several attempts, but was never able to take the place.
Risi Drivers Struggle
While Canapino flew, the drivers representing Risi Competizione in the virtual competition struggled to get to grips with the virtual Virginia International Raceway layout with Matt Griffin doing the best with his twelfth row start. Joel Miller was set to start on row 15, while Jules Gounon started on the 21st row. From there, it was difficult to make ground as all three got held up in early race traffic and incidents. Within the first five minutes, they were line astern in 36th, 37th and 38th place. There were some glimmers of hope for the future, however, especially for Jules Gounon, who ultimately finished 18th and proved adept at scything thorugh the pack. Meanwhile, Matt Griffin and Joel Miller suffered more difficult races, finishing 31st and 32nd respectively.
The IMSA iRacing Pro series will return in two weeks time for the final round to take place at Watkins Glen International on June 11th. The action will begin once again at 6 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on Youtube.