Rodrigo Pflucker claimed a breakthrough first victory at virtual Watkins Glen International while Bruno Spengler overcame an opening lap crash to win the inaugural IMSA iRacing Pro Series invitational championship.
Pflucker, who started on pole in his No. 47 PPM Ford GT, dominated Thursday’s sixth and final round of the season.
The Peruvian bridged out to a six-second lead to the No. 10 BMW M8 GTE of title contender Nicky Catsburg prior to the mid-race pit stops and competition caution in the 90-minute contest.
Unlike previous races, which saw Pflucker lose time in the pit lane, a well-timed stop and out-lap saw him retain the lead, enabling clear sailing on the race’s restart with 37 minutes to go.
Pflucker held off the No. 97 AIM Vasser Sullivan Porsche 911 RSR of Shane van Gisbergen by 1.784 seconds for the win.
Catsburg, who needed to win the race in order to overcome his points deficit to Spengler, meanwhile, finished fourth.
An accident at the start involving the No. 11 Grasser Racing Team Ford of Richard Heistand saw Spengler’s BMW go flying through the Esses, forcing the Canadian to require a tow to the pits and reset his car.
Spengler got back onto the lead lap following a wave-by while under the yellow and charged to a 14th place result.
While it marked Spengler’s worst finish of the season, each driver’s lowest result was dropped in the championship.
The No. 23 BMW of John Edwards completed the podium in Thursday’s race, with Robby Foley, in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport entry, finishing fifth ahead of Connor De Phillippi in another BMW.
Agustin Canapino, Jesse Krohn, Laurens Vanthoor and Jules Gounon rounded out the top-ten.