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Sim Racer Staffin Wins GT Rivals Round in Misano

Josh Staffin wins GT Rivals; Kevin Boehm highest-placed real-world driver…

Image: SRO

Sim racer Josh Staffin took a commanding victory in Sunday’s SRO America GT Rivals Esports Invitational round at the virtual Misano Circuit in Italy.

Three of the top-four finishers were sim racers in the second round of the virtual championship that featured numerous GT World Challenge America powered by AWS drivers.

Staffin took his No. 230 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo to a 30.248-second win over the No. 90 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Kevin Boehm.

It came after incidents for both Bryan Heitkotter and Kenton Koch, who were in contention for the win in the 60-minute race.

Staffin, a 24-year-old from New Jersey, led every lap from pole.

Round 1 winner Heitkotter dropped from second to fifth in his Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 after contact with the curb in Turn 6 that sent him into the wall with less than 25 minutes remaining.

The former Nissan GT Academy North America winner finished fifth.

Koch briefly assumed second after Heitkotter’s incident but was handed a drive-through penalty for contact, which he did not serve and was disqualified.

The No. 84 Champion Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Don Belanger crossed the line in third but was served a 80-second post-race penalty, which dropped the sim racer to 10th.

It gave Takis Weekes the final podium position in his No. 465 Champion Nissan.

Another sim racer, Dirk Groenveld, was demoted to fourth after two late-race spins in his BMW M6 GT3, meanwhile.

Karl Wittmer battled Shelby Blackstock to the line to finish sixth, while Tom O’Gorman, also in an Acura NSX GT3 Evo, came home eighth, ahead of Nikko Reger.

Round 3 of GT Rivals takes place at virtual Paul Ricard on April 26 at 3 p.m. ET.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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