Erhan Jajovski is an esports racer of supreme ability. However, there have also been some controversial moments for the man from North Macedonia.
Photo credit: R8G Esports
As is so often the case at the highest level of any form of competition, tempers can run pretty hot in the simracing world. Sometimes, this can lead to drivers doing things that they would regret soon after and which would land them in hot water. Often, those at the pinnacle of their game are also the most competitive-minded, and as such there is often some overlap between the very best and the very brashest. This is the case for one .
At the Top of His Game
Erhan is a fantastic esports racing talent hailing from North Macedonia. He has participated and succeeded in a wide array of esports events, and he has an especial knack for rFactor 2. The 26-year-old was initially an Assetto Corsa specialist, but after switching to rFactor 2 in 2017 he has gone from strength to strength, some even consider him to be the GOAT of rFactor.
In the last couple of years alone, Jajovski has found great success in various competitions. Finalist in season two of the World’s Fastest Gamer competition, overall champion of the inaugural season of The Race All-Star Cup, runner-up and the only driver to challenge Frede Rasmussen in Formula E: Accelerate, overall winner of the rFactor GT Pro Series Season 1 and Season 2, beating out such names as Kevin Siggy and Rudy van Buren, the list goes on. All this success has led to him being signed back in 2020 by Romain Grosjean’s R8G Esports outfit, for whom Jajovski still participates.
I’m proudly announcing that I will be joining @RGrosjean‘s newly formed sim racing team, extremely honored to be picked!— Erhan Jajovski (@ErhanJajovski) May 4, 2020
New challenges lay ahead – can’t wait to make the team proud! 💪 https://t.co/Hn9VMH3Ib6
Most recently, Jajovski added a pole position in the Le Mans Virtual Series race at Monza to his long list of esports racing accolades. The Macedonian is on fine form and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
A Spa Fracas
However, sprinkled in amongst the various glorious achievements are a few questionable decisions. Take, for example, an event that took place towards the end of an rFactor GT Pro Series Season 3 race at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. The race hadn’t been going Jajovski’s way, and he found himself down in nineteenth place. Jajovski was under attack from Peyo Peev, and the Bulgarian got a little too deep onto the brakes heading into the bus stop chicane. There was some contact made, and Jajovski was forced to cut across the chicane and rejoin the track.
To see the collisions between Peev and Jajovski, skip to 2:15:38 in the broadcast below.
This incident was Peev’s fault, sure, but what came immediately after was rather more significant. On the pit straight, Jajovski, having just rejoined the track, steered suddenly to his right, crashing into the wall and bouncing back onto the road directly in the way of Peev’s car. Peev collided with Jajovski, and both races were ruined on the spot. The Macedonian later claimed that his steering wheel had caused the issue, but discussion has raged on and Jajovski was handed a one race ban for the incident.
A Position of Power
Another controversial race for Erhan was the finale of the rFactor Formula Pro Series, which took place on 27 September 2021. Bono Huis had already clinched the driver’s title after a truly dominant season. However, the team’s standings were yet to be settled, the results of which would determine the allocation of the prize money for the series. It was between Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports Team and Team Redline going in to this final race in Monza, but Erhan Jajovski in his R8G Esports car was to play a major role.
Starting from third place, Jajovski got an electric start, moving straight up to first position right off the bat. By the end of the first lap, Jajovski led the way, followed by Jeffrey Rietveld, a Redline driver, and the Mercedes of Bono Huis. With the second Redline of Kevin Siggy in fourth, this put Team Redline in a great position to win the constructor’s standings ahead of Mercedes. To see Jajovski’s start, skip to 1:05:30 in the broadcast below.
Over the next few laps, Rietveld started to put the pressure on Jajovski for the race lead, but the Macedonian wouldn’t budge, putting up a very robust and impressive defence. After eight minutes of racing, Rietveld looked to have got the move done into the Della Rogia chicane, but Jajovski aggresively cut across the apex of the corner, sending Rietveld into a half spin. This allowed Huis up into second, and he then set about trying to get past Jajovski instead.
Initially, Jajovski continued his stalwart defending against Huis, keeping the Dutchman at bay. So much so, in fact, that Rietveld almost managed to find his way back past Huis. But then, one lap later at the very same chicane, Huis was once again challenging Jajovski for the race lead heading into the braking zone. This time, instead of getting his elbows out for the sixth or seventh time this race, Jajovski instead lifted off of the throttle just before the braking zone began, neatly allowing Huis to take the lead free of charge.
To see the moment where Huis was allowed past Jajovski, skip to 1:15:30 in the broadcast below.
If Rietveld was expecting the same service from Jajovski, he was sorely mistaken. It took several more minutes for the Redline driver to make it past Jajovski, which he had to do by cutting the chicane entirely after Jajovski had squeezed him onto the grass in the braking zone. By this time, Bono Huis had managed to build a lead of four seconds to the rest of the field, giving him and Mercedes a huge advantage in their quest to win the constructor’s title.
In the end, it was Huis that won the race, and Mercedes that won the championship. Jajovski himself didn’t finish the race, after he got involved in another tussle with Kevin Siggy that saw him drop down the field. Jajovski raced hard, but the fact that he allowed Huis through and then fought tooth and nail with the Team Redline drivers definitely raised a few eyebrows.
Overall, Erhan’s supreme talent is undeniable. He is a proven winner and champion, and he drives for one of esports’ leading organisations in the form of R8G. The blots on his copy book can’t be ignored, however. Is Jajovski a misunderstood hero, a celebrated villain? Or is he simply a great driver who is unfortunate in falling into controversial situations? After all, none of us are truly perfect.
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