Bruno Spengler claimed his second consecutive IMSA iRacing Pro Series win in another dominant result for BMW in Thursday’s race at the virtual WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Spengler led home a 1-2-3 finish for the German manufacturer, finishing 1.172 seconds ahead of the No. 97 AIM Vasser Sullivan BMW M8 GTE of Shane van Gisbergen.
It came after a late-race charge for the Kiwi, who passed the No. 10 BMW of Nicky Catsburg for second with eight minutes to go and dramatically closed in on the leader in the action-packed 90-minute contest.
While the pole-sitting No. 47 Forty7 Motorsports Ford GT of Rodrigo Pflucker led from the green and for the opening half of the race, a long stop for the reigning IMSA Prototype Challenge champion saw the advantage shift to the Sebring-winning BMWs.
Spengler emerged as the leader, although a clash with the No. 76 Compass Racing BMW of Paul Holton saw Philipp Eng briefly take the top spot until the Austrian got caught up in an accident triggered by the sister Compass entry of Corey Fergus just one lap later.
It handed the lead back to the Canadian ex-DTM ace, who held on for the win despite Van Gisbergen making up more than four seconds in the final ten minutes after being on an alternate strategy.
“There was so much traffic out there, which actually almost caused me to victory because I was leading the race,” Spengler said.
“In Turn 5, a car just came back on track from nowhere, pretty much, and I had to brake massively to avoid him and because of that I lost the lead.
“A lap later the same thing to my teammate, Philipp Eng, who had a big crash after Turn 6 and then I got the lead back.
“There were a lot of things happening.”
The No. 888 WRT Speedstar Ford GT of Mirko Bortolotti finished fourth, ahead of Porsche Junior Ayhancan Güven, who impressed in a third factory-run Porsche 911 RSR to come home fifth.
Eng rebounded to finish sixth, despite having to make a late pit stop for repairs to his No. 26 Team Austria entry.
The BMW factory driver benefited from a late-race incident by Richard Westbrook, who dropped to ninth in his No. 67 Ford GT, behind the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW of Robby Foley, who finished seventh.
Five BMWs finished in the top-seven, with Corey Lewis finishing eighth as the second highest-placed Ford.
Round 3 for the IMSA iRacing Pro Series takes place at the virtual Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on April 30 at 6 p.m. ET.