• James Baldwin beats David Tonizza to championship glory many thanks to sixth position finish
• Niklas Houben earns season-closing victory right after opening-lap go at Les Combes
• Qualifying | Consequence | Standings
James Baldwin has received the inaugural GT Entire world Challenge Europe Esports Sprint Collection title following a tense Assetto Corsa Competizione race at Spa-Francorchamps, even though Niklas Houben earned his maiden get with a elegant travel at the season finale.
With just two points separating Baldwin (McLaren Shadow) from title rival David Tonizza (Fda Esports Ferrari) the selecting round was previously established for a grandstand summary. The stress rose a notch after qualifying as both of those motorists struggled for ultimate rate, leaving Tonizza 11th on the grid and Baldwin only 14th.
The surprise pole-sitter was Jakob Ostermann in the GAADI Racing Lamborghini. He held his edge at the start off, but a compact error at Les Combes put the Lambo driver below serious strain from Houben, who experienced capable next in the GTWR R8G Academy Audi. Houben needed no even further invitation, muscling earlier Ostermann and into the lead.
Further back again, Tonizza had produced a powerful start off and immediately climbed to ninth, which became seventh in advance of the conclude of the opening lap. Baldwin had built less progress, the McLaren only climbing to 12th, indicating that as they ran Tonizza would overhaul the variance and be crowned winner.
But the problem was not really this straightforward. However accomplishing strongly, Tonizza experienced designed get in touch with with the Porsche of Maciej Malinowski on the 1st run down the Kemmel Straight, resulting in the Random Pasta Bowl driver to spear off into the obstacles. Race control soon had the incident beneath investigation.
Baldwin, in the meantime, confronted a important roadblock in the variety of Giovanni De Salvo. The Fda Esports driver performed a honest game, but his incentive at this phase was to hold the McLaren as considerably absent from Tonizza as achievable. Baldwin remained, on the other hand, electing not to start a dangerous move on the Ferrari.
Then came a large second in the championship battle: Tonizza was handed a 10-next penalty for creating the opening-lap accident. The Italian would want to serve the added time at his required pit halt, placing him at a major downside.
With the title advantage quickly coming in direction of him, Baldwin elected to end early in the pit window in the hope of undercutting De Salvo. The strategy did not get the job done, nevertheless, as the Ferrari edged a little additional ahead of the McLaren. But when Tonizza served his penalty the true complexion of the race became apparent.
With a small over 20 minutes remaining on the clock, Baldwin was 10th and Tonizza 11th. The Ferrari driver would as a result require to pass his rival and make up another position, but regardless of owning strong speed for the duration of the opening stint Tonizza could not hang on to Baldwin. They attained sites through attrition as the race formulated, with Baldwin retaining his benefit.
By the last laps it grew to become distinct that the McLaren driver was going to seal the title. The icing on the cake arrived at the extremely past corner, where by make contact with concerning Gregor Schill (BMW SIM Racing G2 Esports) and De Salvo authorized Baldwin to sneak by way of and take sixth placement. With Tonizza ninth, this was a lot more than plenty of to make certain that Baldwin was crowned 2021 Dash Series champion.
The ferocity of the title fight should really not distract from the reality that Houben earned his maiden gain in the season-closing race. The GTWR R8G Academy driver set in an attained overall performance, beating the BMW SIM Racing G2 Esports pairing of Arthur Kammerer and Nils Naujoks to the prime stage of the podium. The BMW boys have been quietly productive at Spa, the latter earning ample points to seal 3rd in the ultimate championship standings.
Tobias Gronewald took fourth in the Unicorns of Like Aston Martin, though Ostermann could not keep his blistering qualifying tempo in the race and in the end arrived household fifth. Baldwin, De Salvo, Schill and Tonizza had been next, while Malinowski accomplished the final top rated-10 of the time.
Baldwin’s title caps a extraordinary comeback from the British driver, who did not even rating a podium in the course of the opening 4 activities of the campaign. The Dash Sequence titles provides to his extensive sim racing CV, which also includes this year’s British GT Esports Championship.
Organised by SRO Motorsports Group in partnership with Fanatec, Kunos Simulazioni, AK Esports, Pirelli and The Sim Grid, the inaugural GT Planet Obstacle Europe Esports period has run in parallel with identical types catering for sim racers in The usa and Asia. The latter will be in motion as soon as yet again on Saturday 13 November, staging a 6-hour Stamina Collection spherical at Bathurst.