• James Baldwin beats David Tonizza to championship glory thanks to sixth place finish
• Niklas Houben earns year-closing victory following opening-lap move at Les Combes
• Qualifying | End result | Standings
James Baldwin has gained the inaugural GT Environment Problem Europe Esports Dash Sequence title right after a tense Assetto Corsa Competizione race at Spa-Francorchamps, although Niklas Houben gained his maiden acquire with a classy push at the period finale.
With just two points separating Baldwin (McLaren Shadow) from title rival David Tonizza (Fda Esports Ferrari) the deciding spherical was already established for a grandstand summary. The rigidity rose a notch right after qualifying as both of those drivers struggled for top speed, leaving Tonizza 11th on the grid and Baldwin only 14th.
The shock pole-sitter was Jakob Ostermann in the GAADI Racing Lamborghini. He held his gain at the commence, but a smaller miscalculation at Les Combes put the Lambo driver under severe pressure from Houben, who had qualified next in the GTWR R8G Academy Audi. Houben wanted no more invitation, muscling previous Ostermann and into the direct.
More back, Tonizza had developed a powerful get started and straight away climbed to ninth, which became seventh prior to the stop of the opening lap. Baldwin had built considerably less progress, the McLaren only climbing to 12th, that means that as they ran Tonizza would overhaul the difference and be topped champion.
But the problem was not rather this basic. Even though undertaking strongly, Tonizza had designed call with the Porsche of Maciej Malinowski on the 1st run down the Kemmel Straight, triggering the Random Pasta Bowl driver to spear off into the limitations. Race handle shortly experienced the incident beneath investigation.
Baldwin, in the meantime, faced a major roadblock in the kind of Giovanni De Salvo. The Fda Esports driver played a reasonable game, but his incentive at this phase was to maintain the McLaren as far away from Tonizza as attainable. Baldwin remained, nonetheless, electing not to start a dangerous move on the Ferrari.
Then came a massive instant in the championship struggle: Tonizza was handed a 10-second penalty for triggering the opening-lap incident. The Italian would need to have to provide the more time at his mandatory pit cease, putting him at a critical 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 system did not operate, on the other hand, as the Ferrari edged a tiny additional in advance of the McLaren. But when Tonizza served his penalty the legitimate complexion of the race became crystal clear.
With a very little above 20 minutes still left on the clock, Baldwin was 10th and Tonizza 11th. The Ferrari driver would as a result require to pass his rival and make up a further situation, but even with having sturdy pace all through the opening stint Tonizza could not hold on to Baldwin. They gained spots as a result of attrition as the race created, with Baldwin retaining his benefit.
By the closing laps it grew to become clear that the McLaren driver was likely to seal the title. The icing on the cake arrived at the quite previous corner, wherever call among Gregor Schill (BMW SIM Racing G2 Esports) and De Salvo allowed Baldwin to sneak by means of and get sixth position. With Tonizza ninth, this was much more than plenty of to make certain that Baldwin was crowned 2021 Sprint Collection champion.
The ferocity of the title battle need to not distract from the reality that Houben earned his maiden get in the time-closing race. The GTWR R8G Academy driver set in an attained functionality, beating the BMW SIM Racing G2 Esports pairing of Arthur Kammerer and Nils Naujoks to the top rated move of the podium. The BMW boys had been quietly helpful at Spa, the latter earning sufficient points to seal 3rd in the final championship standings.
Tobias Gronewald took fourth in the Unicorns of Really like Aston Martin, although Ostermann could not retain his blistering qualifying tempo in the race and eventually came home fifth. Baldwin, De Salvo, Schill and Tonizza were being following, though Malinowski finished the last best-10 of the period.
Baldwin’s title caps a extraordinary comeback from the British driver, who did not even rating a podium during the opening four events of the campaign. The Dash Sequence titles provides to his substantial sim racing CV, which also features 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 Environment Challenge Europe Esports season has run in parallel with equivalent classes catering for sim racers in The us and Asia. The latter will be in motion after once again on Saturday 13 November, staging a 6-hour Endurance Collection spherical at Bathurst.