Sim racer Wins Daytona 24 hours for a second time!

Daniel Morad is a Canadian racing driver who has achieved an impressive feat: he has won the Daytona 24 Hours twice, in 2017 and 2024, in two different classes. But what makes his story even more remarkable is that he is also a successful sim racer, who competes in virtual races against some of the best drivers in the world.

Morad started his racing career in karting, winning several championships in Canada and the United States. He then moved to open-wheel racing, where he won the Formula BMW Americas title in 2008 and the Star Mazda Championship in 2010. However, he faced financial difficulties and had to take a break from racing for a few years.

During that time, he discovered sim racing, which is a form of motorsport that uses realistic software and hardware to simulate real racing conditions. Morad became hooked on sim racing, and soon joined the iRacing platform, where he competed against thousands of other racers online. He also joined the Redline Racing team, which is one of the most prestigious and successful sim racing teams in the world.

Sim racing helped Morad to keep his skills sharp and his passion alive, while also giving him exposure and opportunities to return to real racing. In 2016, he won the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, which earned him a spot in the Porsche Young Driver Academy. He also won the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2017, in the GTD class, driving for Alegra Motorsports.

Morad continued to balance his sim racing and real racing careers, participating in various series and events, such as the Blancpain GT Series, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Intercontinental GT Challenge, and the FIA Motorsport Games. He also became a regular contender in the iRacing special events, such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, and the 24 Hours of Spa.

In 2024, Morad achieved his second Daytona 24 Hours victory, this time in the GTLM class, driving for Winward Racing Mercedes. He shared the car with Russell Ward, Indy Dontje, and Philip Ellis, who overcame a lowly qualifying position and a late full course yellow to take the win. Morad also became the first driver to win the Daytona 24 Hours in two different classes since Scott Pruett in 2013.

Morad is an example of how sim racing and real racing can complement each other, and how a driver can excel in both disciplines. He is also an inspiration for many aspiring racers who dream of making it to the top level of motorsport. Morad has proven that with talent, dedication, and passion, anything is possible.

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