Formula One driver Lando Norris embarrassed the field in his IndyCar iRacing debut by dominating Saturday's race at virtual Circuit of the Americas in Texas.
Norris was poised to begin his second F1 season with McLaren in March when a team member tested positive for the new coronavirus at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and the series immediately suspended competition.
The 20-year-old British driver is a skilled iRacer and competed in the virtual event for Arrow McLaren SP, an IndyCar team that McLaren partnered with for this season to enter the American series.
Norris dominated qualifying to start from the pole and relinquished the lead during a pit stop. He then picked his way back through the 33-driver field on the virtual road course in Austin, Texas, and regained the lead with four laps remaining when Felix Rosenqvist spun.
His victory snapped a three-race iRacing winning streak for Team Penske that included consecutive victories by Simon Pagenaud.
Norris overcame a spin after his pit stops, then a challenge from Arrow McLaren rookie Patricio O'Ward.
“It was a tough race especially Pato chasing me down on new tires at the end,” Norris said. “I didn't think I'd get back to the front after that spin.”
Norris had more than 20,000 viewers streaming his race on the gaming app Twitch as he crossed the finish line — numbers that dwarf any of the regular IndyCar competitors.