iRacing confirmed to Traxion.GG on Thursday (2nd March) that Darik Bourdeau, driver of the No. 1 Sim Seats Chevrolet for Elliott Sadler Esports, has been suspended for the upcoming race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on 14th March, the third race of the 2023 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season.
Both Bourdeau and his team, Elliott Sadler Esports, have forfeited all race points accumulated at Milwaukee for both driver and team standings related to the No. 1 car. Bourdeau will have a further penalty assessed in qualifying in his first race back from suspension on 28th March at Richmond Raceway.
Bourdeau finished 29th at The Milwaukee Mile and originally earned eight points. The penalty assessed drops the driver from Montmagny, Quebec, Canada down to 19th in the overall standings through two races, falling from 14th after finishing third in the season-opening race at Daytona.
Just past halfway in the D-BOX at The Milwaukee Mile 100 on Tuesday night, Bourdeau and Garrett Manes (FGR Accel eRacing) made contact on the restart, resulting in damage to Bourdeau’s No. 1 Chevrolet and a chain-reaction caution flag for a spin that happened behind them.
During the caution period, Bourdeau sped up, chasing down Manes in what appeared to be an act of retaliation. In the process, the No. 1 of Bourdeau side-swiped the No. 55 Williams Esports Chevrolet driven by Vicente Salas, who spun nose-first into the backstretch wall.
When Bourdeau caught up to Manes, he bumped him in the rear end. Words were said and the situation fizzled from there. Salas was an innocent bystander and came out of the situation with the worst damage.
THE IRACING SPORTING CODE
On iRacing in any instance, whether it be the World Championship level series or in rookie class, intentional wrecking is prohibited. It doesn’t seem like Bourdeau meant to wreck Salas, but the fact is that he did, and now will suffer consequences handed down by iRacing officials as a result.
iRacing does not officially publish competitor penalties, but multiple sources reached out to Traxion.GG following the penalization on Thursday, which we were able to confirm with iRacing directly later in the day. “We can confirm there were penalties for both driver and team in this particular case,” iRacing said.
In the iRacing Sporting Code, it is first mentioned in Section 2.2.3 under On-Track Conduct. It is fleshed out in Section 6.10.3 and the protest system is explained in Section 9 – Protests. While these eNASCAR races are monitored by live stewards, these races are still subject to the same iRacing Sporting Code.
“Deliberate, blatant, intentionally malicious, or retaliatory wrecking, for any reason, is prohibited,” reads Section 6.10.3 in the Sporting Code.
“Competitors who believe that they have been victims of such action – and those competitors who believe that they have witnessed such action – are strongly encouraged to file a protest through the proper channels.”
ELLIOTT SADLER ESPORTS STATEMENT
Right after the incident occurred, the iRacing broadcast crew brough Bourdeau in for an interview under the caution period. “Dumb moves (were) being made, and after that, I feel so bad for wrecking Vicente,” Bourdeau said.
“That’s not what I wanted to do at all. I don’t know, it was just stupid from everyone’s part, mainly me.”
Traxion.GG reached out to Seth Reiter, Co-Owner of Elliott Sadler Esports regarding the situation.
“ESE is fully aware of the on-track incident occurring in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series race at Milwaukee involving our driver Darik Bourdeau,” Reiter said to Traxion.GG. “We do not condone his actions and he and ESE will fully accept the penalties handed down by the iRacing officials.”
“Darik has already apologized privately to all the drivers involved, to ESE management, and to iRacing. I have also personally reached out to apologize to Vicente Salas and we had a good conversation.”
“We all lose our cool sometimes and make mistakes. We’ve all been in that situation on iRacing. Darik is a fantastic person and a brilliant driver. He will learn from his mistake and grow from it and ESE will continue to fully support him as an eNASCAR driver.”
Together with teammate Cody Byus, Bourdeau and the Elliott Sadler Esports team sits in 17th out of 20 teams in the Team Championship after Milwaukee. After locking out the second row in qualifying, neither Elliott Sadler Esports driver finished in the top half of the field after both being involved in incidents.
The next race at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be on the newly-configured superspeedway-esque version of the track on 14th March. Based on previous eNASCAR suspensions, it’s likely that the No. 1 Chevy will not have a substitute driver since the roster only has 40 licensed drivers that can participate in the series.