December 14th, 2019 by Chris Leone
WATCH THE REPLAY: CLICK HERE
Jack Sedgwick and Mitchell deJong earned the title of iRacing All-Stars champions by winning their respective splits of a four-race mad dash on Saturday. The duo, who each earned their way into the event by qualifying for two or more iRacing World Championship Series in 2019, made the most of an off-the-wall championship format that saw them each take on dirt street stocks, touring cars, stock cars, and off-road trucks in the span of just under two hours.
30 drivers showed up to play for the showdown of the best iRacers in the world, including 2019 eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series champion Zack Novak and 2019 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Car champion Alex Bergeron. The heavy turnout saw the field split into two, with international drivers competing in the first series and drivers from North America running in the second series immediately afterward.
The teams competing, meanwhile, read like a who’s who of the motorsports world, as names from Red Bull to Roush Fenway, Gibbs to Williams, and Bowyer to Kinser were all represented on the entry list. Add that to multi-car entries from familiar names in the sim world like VRS Coanda Simsport, ineX Racing, and Apex Racing Team, and Saturday’s affair was a powerful reminder of just how diverse the iRacing landscape is.
As for the races themselves, there was no shortage of drama as drivers worked to quickly adapt to unfamiliar machinery. While Europeans aren’t usually known for their dirt oval prowess, Apex Racing Team’s Antoine Higelin and Kevin Ellis Jr. looked like veterans as they beat and banged their Dirt Street Stocks to the finish line at Lernerville Speedway, with Higelin coming out on top by .016 of a second. On the contrary, Red Bull Racing Esports’ Sebastian Job put on a clinic in the NASCAR Xfinity Series cars at Charlotte Motor Speedway, posting a comfortable victory over Pure Racing Team’s Maximilian Benecke.
It was Sedgwick, though, who made the most of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Pro 4 truck at Wild West Motorsports Park, an event widely seen as a wild card coming into the day. Having already won with the Audi RS 3 LMS TCR at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Sedgwick was one of four drivers close enough under the event points format to clinch the title by winning the series finale no matter what anybody else did. The ineX Racing driver accomplished just that to lock up the international title, and in turn became the only driver to win two races on the day.
deJong’s versatility made him a favorite coming into the North American rounds, but he wasn’t the only driver in the second session to qualify for three different World Championships; nearly half of the North American field was in the same boat. Still, the Californian impressed by running up front in the Dirt Street Stock, mixing it up with the Swindell SpeedLab Esports crew of Matt McKinney and Adam Elby that eventually finished first and second and holding off Bergeron for third. deJong then won the TCR race at Barcelona, with ineX Racing’s Phil Diaz coming home second and Loenbro Motorsports’ Garrett Lowe holding off Joe Gibbs Racing’s Bobby Zalenski in a heated battle for third.
This year’s eNASCAR stars got their chance to shine at Charlotte, with Bristol winner Casey Kirwan leading Burton Kligerman Esports’ Logan Clampitt, Lowe, Novak, and Zalenski to the line. That left only the Pro 4 trucks, which put on an extra chaotic finale as real-world short course champion deJong looked to hang onto a 10-point lead over Lowe. Both were caught up in a massive first-lap incident, but deJong recovered enough to finish fifth. Polesitter Bobby Sandt Jr. of Jim Beaver eSports avoided the carnage and took an uncontested victory by nearly nine seconds over Diaz, who used his consistent performances to leapfrog Lowe for second in the standings.
To replay iRacing All-Stars on YouTube, click here.
For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iRacing.com.