Maximilian Benecke has won the 2022 finale of the BMW Sim GT Cup, after a peerless drive, despite being closely followed throughout.
Road America within iRacing with identical fixed set-up BMW M4 GT3s would decide who would get the lion’s share of a $60,000 prize pool.
In qualifying, Benecke claimed pole position for the 30-minute finale, which came after a 10-race season. Redline team-mate Patrik Holzmann was second, a scant 0.1s behind, with further colleagues Diogo C. Pinto, Chris Lulham and Gianni Vecchio completing the top four.
The quickest non-Redline driver was BS+Competition entrant Rainer Talvar in sixth.
The race results will follow the qualifying results for the top four, as on the first lap most of the field from fourth down was involved in a multi-car crash down the Moraine Sweep.
Talvar was pushed wide, and as he re-joined the circuit, all hell broke loose. It meant that the top four Team Redline drivers disappeared into the sunset, flying formation throughout, completing their mandatory pitstops with 17 minutes left on the clock.
For his part in the opening lap incident, Vecchio was given a drive-through penalty. Several cars were heavily damaged, including Phil Denes, with Luke Bennett suffering from over an hour of repairs.
Apex Racing’s Jamie Fluke, who slowed down and avoided the indecent, was catapulted up to fifth, battling with Talvar and Matti Sipilä in the non-Redline category.
Sipilä, who also closely avoid the big crash, stayed out to pit last in the final few minutes, briefly leading.
Up the front, Pinto was pressuring Benecke for the lead after getting by team-mate Holzmann at the start. On the penultimate lap, Lulham had dropped back, but the top three were separated by less than a second.
A great team result was on the cards, but $20,000 was on the line for the race winner. In the end, the positions remained the same for a 1-2-3-4 finish for Dom Duhan’s team. A first for the quad, after years of Coanda domination.
“We worked as a team and there was no need to do anything crazy,” said Benecke.
“I’m super happy I put it on pole, as that’s where it counted.”
2022 BMW Sim GT Cup final results
- Maximilian Benecke – Team Redline
- Diogo C. Pinto – Team Redline
- Patrik Holzmann – Team Redline
- Chris Lulham – Team Redline
- Jamie Fluke – Apex Racing