For one last time in 2023, eNASCAR racing took center stage on Tuesday night with the eNASCAR International iRacing Invite, a doubleheader event featuring some of the biggest names in national and international NASCAR competition. After the racing at the Los Angeles Coliseum and Brands Hatch concluded, it was NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Anthony Alfredo on top of the final standings by four over Porsche Carrera Cup Brasil and NASCAR Brasil Sprint Race competitor Jeff Giassi.
25 real-world competitors from NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series, Craftsman Truck Series, Whelen Euro Series, Canada Series, Mexico Series and Brasil Sprint Race Series competition turned up for a pair of races with a $5,000 prize purse to compete for. Alfredo took the lion’s share, earning $2,500 of the purse, while Giassi collected $1,500 for finishing second overall. NASCAR Mexico Series’ Alex de Alba finished third in the final standings and took home the remaining $1,000 prize by a single point over multi-series competitor Ryan Vargas.
“I’m super stoked about that,” Alfredo said post-race after being declared the champion. “It’s really cool, I appreciate the opportunity to be here, and I had a lot of fun tonight.”
Alfredo was victorious in the first race of the evening at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the temporary venue that hosts NASCAR’s Busch Clash at the Coliseum. After qualifying in third, he would start in the top spot of the third heat, with NASCAR Whelen Euro Series competitors Paul Jouffreau setting the pole time and Giorgio Maggi taking second. While Jouffreau would go on to win his heat, Maggi slipped to finish in third in his as NASCAR Brasil Sprint Race competitor Vitor Genz went on to take that. Alfredo was victorious in the third heat and would start third in the main event.
Only 18 drivers advanced through to the feature, which meant there would be eliminations through the three heats. NASCAR Hall of Fame member Dale Earnhardt Jr. was involved in a late incident in the first heat with up-and-coming NASCAR Cup driver Carson Hocevar and NASCAR Mexico Series’ Salvador de Alba. Both Earnhardt Jr. and Hocevar would miss the main event, as would NASCAR Brasil drivers Erick Schotten, Julio Campos and Beto Monteiro, NASCAR Canada’s Larry Jackson, and NASCAR Whelen Euro driver Gil Linster.
The feature saw Jouffreau in a prime position for what would be a second career International Series victory, his first since the International Series ran at Circuit Zolder a year ago. However, contact with NASCAR Xfinity Series’ Parker Kligerman sent Jouffreau to the middle of the pack with heavy damage, his chances seemingly over. There were three cautions for 11 laps, the final one sending the race into eNASCAR Overtime after the frontstretch was blocked. Alfredo brought the field back to green alongside Vargas, and the new driver for Our Motorsports in 2024 was able to hold on for the win.
After a quick virtual trip overseas to Brands Hatch in England, the drivers geared up for the second half of the invitational evening, an eight-lap sprint and 16-lap feature around Brands Hatch’s Indy layout. Salvador de Alba set the fastest lap in qualifying over Giassi. The pair led the field to the green, but in the first corner, it was almost over for them both. They saved it, but behind them, Genz in third went off entering Druids corner. Giassi eventually took control on the fifth lap and never looked back.
The battle for eighth would fall to Vargas, which meant an invert to the pole position in the feature. For five laps in the main event, he held strong ahead of Alfredo and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series’ Rajah Caruth, while Giassi, who inverted to eighth, was working his way methodically back through the field to the front. Alfredo stuck it in and took the lead on the sixth lap as Vargas began to slip back. Alfredo held on to lead seven laps in the main, but on Lap 13, Giassi was there and took control, leading the final four laps towards victory.
Alfredo only needed to finish in the top five to score the championship, but he did even better than that, finishing in second to win by four points. Alex de Alba rounded out the podium in both the final race and the overall standings.
LA Coliseum Top 5 Results:
- Anthony Alfredo
- Ryan Vargas
- Arthur Gama
- Alex de Alba
- Rajah Caruth
Brands Hatch Indy Top 5 Results:
- Jeff Giassi
- Anthony Alfredo
- Alex de Alba
- Rajah Caruth
- Victor Barrales
International Invite Top 5 Standings:
- Anthony Alfredo, 75
- Jeff Giassi, 71
- Alex de Alba, 67
- Ryan Vargas, 66
- Rajah Caruth, 65