James Hinchcliffe Triumphs in his Return to Red Bull Homestretch Virtual Race Series

Red Bull Homestretch, the six-event, light-hearted and fun virtual race series, wrapped up week 3 in typical form.  The irreverent racing once again featured shouting, lots of driver-to-driver contact and plenty of “wow” moments. Where else would you find 6 real-life professional drivers line up next to a WNBA star?  Or where the winner of two of the three races returns from a DNS last week because his dog ate his controller? 

Taking to the virtual racetracks of Gran Turismo Sport on PlayStation4, the stacked driver lineup maintained some of the best real-world drivers in the game, including six pros returning for the third week – Travis Pastrana, Timmy Hansen, Scott Speed, James Hinchcliffe, Alexander Rossi and Bryce Menzies. The pros were joined by two “Wildcard Seat” racers who bravely put their skills to the test – WNBA Seattle Storm superstar Breanna Stewart and actress and gaming personality Naomi Kyle.

Excitement poured out of the drivers this week as several firsts were had, corners were cut and Pastrana (finally) took a podium spot. After claiming the title “P4 Pastrana” for consistently playing a mid-field fourth place these last couple weeks, Pastrana broke his streak and edged out Hansen, Rossi and Speed to take 2nd place in Race 1 coming in right behind Hinchcliffe.  Meanwhile, Hinchcliffe’s proclaimed strategy of “waiting to see what happens” paid dividends as he took his first win of the day – but not his last as he came in (or rather stole) 1st place from Menzies in Race 3 during the final few turns.  He credited his win to being in “the right place at the right time.”

Stewart and Kyle struggled a bit to keep up with the pros, but they weren’t alone in trying keep the cars on the track under the barrage of trading paint.  Especially on the Willow Springs racetrack, even the pros remarked about “exploring the outer limits of the track,” “crossing the Mojave,” and even “finding Area 51” as they careened off the road and far out into the desert landscape.

Race 1 – Alsace Village (road cars) 

Winner: James Hinchcliffe

Race 2 – Willow Springs – Horse Thief Mile II (rally cars) 

Winner: Timmy Hansen

Race 3 – Sardegna Windmills (Ford Raptors) 

Winner: James Hinchcliffe

Red Bull Homestretch returns next Thursday (and for two weeks after that) at 12:00 p.m. EDT/9:00 a.m. PDT live on Twitch.tv/RedBull and ESPN2. Full driver list, including the Wildcard Drivers, will be announced next week.

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