Weekend Recap: Tied championship and photo finishes

Weekend Recap: Tied championship and photo finishes

Formula Sim Racing championship, the end of the EUME Nations Cup and the Manufacturer Series of Gran Turismo.

Photo credit: Gran Turismo Twitter

Legendary last race

The Formula SimRacing World Championship 2020 has concluded with a nail-bitingly exciting race at Brazil’s Interlagos circuit. The grand final marked the end of an action-packed season. Even though the Slovenian driver Jernej Simončič had already secured the single-competitors title at the last round at Suzuka, the constructors’ championship was still up for grabs.

Coming into the final, Burst Esport powered by Scuderia Basilea was the leading team in the standings followed by Evolution Motorsports. The margin for error was slim, as only one point separated them. The team of champion Jernej Simončič had an outside shot as well but needed to make up a thirteen-point deficit, which was unlikely. The main focus of this race was on the two battling teams in first and second positions, and it became one for the ages.

Burst Simplexity Esports180
Evolution Motorsports179
Burst Riotoro Esports167

Burst Simplexity Esport’s Michi Hoyer and Dawid Mrocezek qualified eight and tenth, ahead of Evolution Motorsport’s Alex Siebel and Dennis Jordan, who only managed a disappointing eleventh and fourteenth place. But from the start it was safe to say that neither driver was going down without a fight. They both advanced aggressively through the field, with Hoyer making up a whopping three places in the opening lap.

It looked like a safe ride for Burst Simplexity from that point on, as Michi Hoyer put on a clinical performance and solidified himself between fourth and fifth for the major part of the race. The Evolutions of Dennis Jordan and Alex Siebel found themselves behind both their championship rivals. However, Evolution managed to make an undercut work, which put their drivers into seventh and eighth positions, ahead of the second Burst Simplexity car of Dawid Mroczek in ninth, with only five laps to go. This meant that the battle for the constructor’s crown was still on.

Evolution’s Jordan and Siebel swapped places to back up the trailing Mroczeck into his direct opponent Fournier in tenth. This meant that Jordan slowed down to force Dawid Mrocezek to do the same. While risky, the move was an attempt to cost the Burst Simplexity driver a crucial point.

Burst Simplexity driver
Source: Evolution Motorsports Twitter

The plan seemed to backfire as the slowing Jordan was caught by direct competitor Mrocezek first and later by tenth place Geoffrey Fournier. What should have decided the championship once and for all was still not enough as the advancing Alex Siebel from Evo managed to slice through the field in a heroic attempt to claim the last points. In a span of two laps, he managed to make up four seconds and pass the Burst Simplexity of Michi Hoyer to claim fifth place. The chequered flag saw everyone scratching their heads in disbelief. A miraculous recovery left both teams tied in points in the constructors’ championship. Yet in the end, even the last push from Alex Siebel wasn’t enough, as Burst Simplexity clinched the title due to more second place finishes. Congratulations to them for an awesome season and a legendary last race battle.

Nations Cup and Manufacturer Series end in style

Gran Turismo’s Nations Cup and Manufacturer Series of Europe and the Middle East came to an end this weekend as well. Interestingly, the Nations cup provided many similarities to the FSR. First place Baptiste Beauvois already had an unattainable lead over his rivals. Yet, second place was still hotly contested. Valerio Gallo and Coke Lopez were looking to go all out to obtain silver, with Georgio Mangano being in striking range as well. The drivers had the pleasure of testing the limits of the Gran Turismo Red Bull X2019 Competition concept car on Sardegna road track.

The race saw a dominant performance by Gallo from start to finish. He started in pole position and built a lead over the length of the race. Second place was fought over for most of the race with the champion Beauvois overtaking Mangano and vice versa. However, it ultimately mattered very little. Gallo was a steady force and brought home the race win and therefore the second place in the Nations Cup. Tantalizing prospects for the upcoming championships in 2020.

The Manufacturer Series offered a different look. The championship-leading Honda of Valerio Gallo didn’t take part in the race, which opened new possibilities for others. The teams set up their cars to race on the Tokyo circuit of Gran Turismo, which is a fictional street circuit.

From the get-go the VW of Nico Romero and the Aston Martin of Nikita Moysov seemed to have the best setup. A relentless battle saw Moysov trailing Romero for most of the race with a very slight time disadvantage, while being over six seconds ahead of the rest. The narrow track layout made it especially exciting as every mistake could have cost valuable time and the potential win. However, no mistakes were made.