Nazareth, Pennsylvania native Sage Karam made fuel saving magic on a one-stop strategy to win the second round of the 2021 IndyCar iRacing Challenge, stealing a win from the dominant drivers Enzo Fittipaldi and RC Enerson at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Fittipaldi, polesitter for the event and brother of Pietro Fittipaldi, had an epic battle with Enerson in the first thirty laps, swapping the lead multiple times before Fittipaldi cemented his lead and started to pull away and dominate the race.
With twenty-two laps to go, Fittipaldi pit to ensure that he would be able to make it to the end of the race on fuel. Ten laps later, Enerson was forced to pit as well, giving the lead to Karam who never looked back.
Behind Karam, Fittipaldi’s Dale Coyne Racing with RWR teammate James Davison was forced to pit from second place with three laps to go, as other drivers in the top five like Takuma Sato and Marcus Ericsson dropped off the pace to save fuel. This opened the door for Ed Carpenter Racing driver Conor Daly to take second place, and for Fittipaldi to charge through the field and finish third.
Enerson and Davison would finish ninth and eleventh respectively, both one lap down, while Sato finished in fourth place and Ericsson finished seventh.
Road to Indy driver Braden Eves had another strong performance, finishing fifth after starting fourteenth. Last week at the Circuit GIlles-Villeneuve, Eves finished runner-up to Alex Palou.
A.J. Foyt Enterprises‘ Dalton Kellett raced this event using a custom made steering wheel, as a part of a STEM initiative with the InterNational STEM League and iRacing where students build a wheel much like Kellett and race with it online. Kellett, a graduate of Queen’s University with an Engineering Physics degree, wheeled his way to a twelfth place finish.
The race also marked the debuts of Simon Pagenaud, Felix Rosenqvist, and Tony Kanaan in the series, though none were able to put together strong performances. Pagenaud finished fourteenth with Rosenqvist right behind in fifteenth, and Kanaan finished seventeenth out of eighteen drivers.
At the end of the livestream, it was announced that the next and final destination for the series will be the Sebring International Raceway, as voted on by fans. The race will take place on Thursday, 01 April at 23:30 GMT / 18:30 EST, streaming live on IndyCar.com, IndyCar’s Youtube channel and Facebook page, and iRacing’s Youtube channel. Drivers will also be streaming their viewpoints on their own personal accounts.
IndyCar iRacing Challenge Round 2 Results
|1||98||Sage Karam||USA||Andretti Autosport|
|2||20||Conor Daly||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||+ 15.328 sec|
|3||52||Enzo Fittipaldi||BRA||Dale Coyne Racing w/ RWR||+ 16.847 sec|
|4||30||Takuma Sato||JPN||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||+ 17.642 sec|
|5||17||Braden Eves||USA||Road to Indy||+ 20.857 sec|
|6||21||Ed Carpenter||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||+ 22.052 sec|
|7||8||Marcus Ericsson||SWE||Chip Ganassi Racing||+ 34.665 sec|
|8||59||Max Chilton||ENG||Carlin||+ 1 lap|
|9||75||RC Enerson||USA||Top Gun Racing||+ 1 lap|
|10||10||Alex Palou||ESP||Chip Ganassi Racing||+ 1 lap|
|11||53||James Davison||AUS||Dale Coyne Racing w/ RWR||+ 1 lap|
|12||4||Dalton Kellett||CAN||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||+ 1 lap|
|13||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||+ 2 laps|
|14||22||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske||+ 2 laps|
|15||7||Felix Rosenqvist||SWE||Arrow McLaren SP||+ 3 laps|
|16||18||Ed Jones||UAE||Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan||+ 3 laps|
|17||48||Tony Kanaan||BRA||Chip Ganassi Racing||+ 4 laps|
|18||11||Charlie Kimball||USA||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||+ 17 laps|