Nils Naujoks, Jordan Sherratt and Matthias Egger on Lamborghini’s inaugural esports competition, The Real Race.
Photo credit: Lamborghini
Last week’s Grand Final of The Real Race 2020 series on Assetto Corsa Competizione proved to be a thrilling climax to the Italian manufacturer’s first-ever esports championship. Nils Naujoks won both races and – along with Jordan Sherratt and Matthias Egger – claimed the unique prize.
The trio will visit Lamborghini’s headquarters and test a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 machine at Imola. The final was not without incident as Naujoks collided with veteran French sim racer Arnaud Lacombe in the final race at Mount Panorama whilst fighting for the lead. Naujoks emerged unscathed and went onto to take the top spot while Lacombe lost his shot at winning the prize.
I’ll make it less emotional and without the pathos: The same awaits me from October 5th to 7th. Happy to share a real track with you now, too mate! https://t.co/r3vUMw8tLt— Nils Naujoks (@n1lyn) September 25, 2020
We began our interview with the top three drivers by asking Naujoks for his take on the incident.
OverTake: Were you able to speak to Lacombe after the incident?
Nils: I apologized in the drivers’ chat on Discord after the race, but I haven’t heard back from him sadly. He deserved to win the trip and experience as much as I did and it’s a shame he won’t be there because of this incident.
OverTake: What’s your view on the incident now that you’ve had time to analyze it?
Nils: I think – and my opinion is at least in line with the adjudication – he had all chances to avoid that contact. He always had the better line for the corner, and I would have never made a pass around the outside in it. Hence, there was no need for him to squeeze me until the edge of the track to keep his position.
With both cars committed to the brakes fully there’s nothing I could do to avoid him when he cut me off. I believe he took too much of a risk there, wanting to make his intentions too clear to keep the position that he would have kept through that corner anyway. Sadly, he paid the price.
Similarly, in Race 1 he became too hungry to make a passing attempt and risked going onto the slippery curb at the exit of Turn 5. In the end I’m sure he will learn from both incidents and be the hottest candidate to win next year’s competition and I really wish for him to do well!
OverTake: Ahead of your test at Imola in a real-world Lamborighini Huracan, how much experience of real-world race cars do you have?
Nils: I have done karting my entire life, but of course that doesn’t compare. Last year I qualified for the Race of Champions in Mexico where I had the chance to drive a few quicker road legal cars like Ariel Atom, KTM X-bow or the ROC Buggy on the tight bends of the Mexico-City ROC track. But even that probably isn’t anywhere near the Super Trofeo with 600+ hp and more downforce than a GT4. I guess it will be overwhelming in the beginning, but I’m hoping to adjust quickly.
Jordan: I’ve been fortunate enough to have grown up with racing around me. So, I started in the traditional route of karting then moved up to saloon cars along with formula racing.
Matthias: I have no real-world race cars experience. I own and drive a lot of fast sports cars both on the road and track, but race cars are a new thing for me! I have no plan to train with the simulator because I don’t want to fool myself and think that I am ready to push 100%. I will stay with the foot on the ground and maybe will only do some laps in Assetto Corsa to remind me of the track of Imola.
OverTake: Finally, how do you rate the success of Lamborghini’s first-ever esports competition and will you be back in 2021 for season two?
Jordan: I think the first Lamborghini esports competition was great. It was super well put together overall and I thoroughly enjoyed being part of it. So, I think I’ll definitely be back for the next one. I know I can improve on a few things since I’m new to the sim world so hopefully next year I can finish on the top step of the podium.
Matthias: It was a really nice event. The website was very clear, the streaming of the qualification races was also really good both in terms of quality and casting. Obviously for me, it was a great success but I don’t know if I will be back for 2021. This year was easy for me to participate because of the lockdown and I wasn’t able to work fully, but next year hopefully life will be more normal, so I will wait and see if I have the time to participate.
Nils: ACC is a brilliant simulator to do this sort of competition and probably the best consumer simulation for GT3 cars currently. I’m German so I can never give anything a 10 out of 10 – Lamborghini has tipped their toes into the cold water of sim racing and the first challenge is to not fail entirely. I think they did a great job so far and once they really get their head around sim racing and esports, next year can only become even better.
For more information on The Real Race’s second season, take a look at Lamborghini’s esports website.