Real world Ginetta GT4 Supercup driver Mike Epps beat a field of simracing drivers in the main race of the GT Challenge Series at Imola on rFactor 2, as Vojta Polesny won the sprint race.
Polesny as took pole position around a rain soaked Imola circuit by four tenths of a second over Nico Barclay for the sprint encounter.
The damp track meant drivers were much cautious than they have been in previous races and overtaking moves were far less frequent.
The top six drivers finished where they started but, as is often the case, 10th place was hotly contested as it guarantees pole position for the main race.
Michi Hoyer overtook Kevin Rotting for 10th place as the Williams JIM esports driver ran wide around the Rivazza turns.
Hoyer then overtook Epps for ninth place on the final lap, giving Epps pole position for the main race.
The front three drivers in the main race had relatively quiet encounter compared to those in the lower positions, and Epps led from lights-to-flag with victory rarely in doubt. He beat Hoyer by over five seconds, and Tony Mella rounded out the podium.
Daniele Cannistraci fought his way up to fourth from sixth as the two drivers who started in front of him, Alejandro Lopez Arjona and Ilias Fernandez, fell down the order.
However Cannistraci ended up crossing the finishing line exactly where he started due to two separate mistakes.
The first was on the exit of the final corner where he dipped his car into the gravel which hurt his run onto the start finish straight and allowed Barclay to pass him for fourth.
Just a few corners later Cannistraci ran wide on the exit of the Villeneuve chicane to ceed another position, this time to Lorenzo Arisi.
That left Barclay in fourth in the main race, ahead of Arisi and the recovering Cannistraci.
The main race didn’t play out well for two of the highest finishing drivers in the sprint race, including Polesny who entered the pits at the start of the race to change tyres.
Michal Sedlacek, the championship leader heading into this round, didn’t fare much better as he dropped down from seventh to 12th before being given a drive-through penalty which meant he ended the race in 20th.
Matthew Beavis, who only recently got promoted up to the top split having started the championship in the one below, was very competitive in the rain despite his poor run in qualifying.
He just missed out on the reverse-grid pole having made up six places from where he qualified to finish in 11th.
The Wave Freem esports driver made up a further four positions in the main race to finish in seventh.
The next round of the GT Challenge Series will be held around the Sebring circuit with five new drivers joining the top split as the bottom five in the championship after this race were relegated down to split two.
Before then the GT Pro Series will tackle the Florida based circuit with the fifth round in that championship taking place next Monday live on The Race YouTube channel.