Lando Norris has charged to victory on his IndyCar iRacing Challenge Esports series debut.

The McLaren Formula 1 driver was invited to participate in the IndyCar Esports series for the Circuit of the Americas round, competing for sister team Arrow McLaren SP, and pulled off a surprise by winning despite spinning at the final corner midway through the race.

Norris recovered from the spin to hunt down Will Power, who spun twice on an out-lap to drop him out of contention, with the British driver passing ex-F1 star Marcus Ericsson and Scott McLaughlin to slot into second place.

With team-mate Pato O’Ward taking the lead, Norris used his alternative pit strategy to keep clear of him before he overtook Felix Rosenqvist for the net lead after the Swedish driver also spun off.

Norris defended his position in the closing stages against O’Ward to claim victory on his IndyCar Esports debut as he led home a McLaren SP 1-2.

Rosenqvist recovered to take third place in front of McLaughlin and ex-Formula 2 driver Santino Ferrucci in fifth place with Will Power taking sixth and Rinus VeeKay in seventh.

Ericsson also produced a fightback to take eighth place ahead of Spaniard Alex Palou as Josef Newgarden rounded out the top 10.

“I felt confident, but every practice session I did I lost that confidence slightly by everyone else getting quicker and quicker,” Norris said after his victory. “The thing I enjoyed the most was the competitiveness, and how we’ve had to work as a team.”

Norris has been a regular Esports star during the delays to the 2020 F1 season, competing in F1’s own Virtual Grand Prix series plus multiple other online simulation competitions.

 

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