Move over Lewis Hamilton. Sure, the 2008 World Champion may have won Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, but the night before Australia’s Luke McLean scored an impressive “Grand Prix” win of his own in the GP Masters Final sponsored by Grand Prix Tours, Dell and Intel. The race pitted the top points-getters in the GP Master tournament against guest stars Formula One driver Lucas di Grassi (Virgin Racing) and Conor Daly (current Star Mazda Championship leader) in a 20 lap Star Mazda race at Mosport International Raceway. While the iRacers competed from their homes around the world, di Grassi and Daly raced in simulators in Montreal’s Rue de Fortification next to the Hotel Intercontinental before a crowd of several hundred spectators.
Like Hamilton on Sunday, McLean had to work for Saturday evening’s win. Third on the grid behind polesitter Andre Boettcher (Germany) and Danny Engels (Germany), McLean got around Engels on the first lap, then took the lead from Boettcher on Lap Three with a bold move around the outside of Turn Eight. Although he was never headed, McLean had no chance to rest as Boettcher remained glued to his gearbox for the duration and closed to under .2s with one lap remaining. In the end, however, McLean took the checkered flag and the win .461s ahead of Boettcher with the Netherlands’ Jeffrey Rietveld coming home third a further seven seconds in arrears from ninth on the grid.
For his efforts McLean collected a Dell Studio 17 laptop computer. Runner-up Boettcher will receive a Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Notebook, while Rietveld will be awarded an iRacing Prize pack including $100 in credits, a diecast car and iRacing hat.
Of the two guests, Daly enjoyed the most success, starting seventeenth and finishing eleventh while di Grassi qualified eighteenth, spun on the opening lap and was eventually classified seventeenth.
“It was a really fun event,” Daly said. “It was neat for Lucas and me to be racing with people all around the world although, obviously, they were way better than we were. It’s pretty cool that they could race with us for some pretty significant prizes and I had a lot of fun, like I do every time I’m on iRacing.”