G2 Esports’ driver trumps Lacombe in the finale of Lamborghini’s inaugural The Real Race season.
Photo credit: Lamborghini
Nils Naujoks won both races in a dramatic finale of Lamborghini’s first-ever esports competition on Assetto Corsa Competizione on Thursday night. Naujoks, who recently took the SRO E-Sport GT Series Championship, went as a favorite into the Grand Final.
2,500 gamers attempted to qualify for the final, with only the fastest 12 sim racers booking their place on the grid. The top three in the standings after the two races would secure the ‘once in lifetime’ prize of visiting Lamborghini’s headquarters and testing one of its real-world cars at Imola.
Naujoks underlines favorite status
The opening race was held at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, with the threat of rain looming at the start of the 30-minute race. Arnaud Lacombe, one of France’s most experienced esports racers, started from pole position, but it was fellow front row starter Naujoks who immediately stormed into the race lead as the field reached Turn 1.
Lacombe was able to close onto the back of Naujoks as the rain began to fall. Naujoks ran wide on the exit of the Turn 5 left-hander on third lap but Lacombe lost complete control of his Lamborghini Huracan GT3 car and spun into the barriers.
The German favorite recovered to resume in the lead while his French rival tumbled down the order with a damaged car and eventually finished in eleventh place as the last classified driver. There was no such drama for Naujoks as he romped to victory 3.185 seconds ahead of three-time Project CARS world champion Kamil Pawlowski.
Naujoks’ G2 stablemate Arthur Kammerer had recovered from an earlier incident to run in third place until he was aggressively demoted to P9 over the course of the final two laps. This meant 21-year-old South African racer Jordan Sherratt, who is considered one of the up-and-coming players in the scene, took third place behind Pawlowski.
Lacombe puts up a fight
With everything still to play for, the final 45-minute race took place at the legendary Mount Panorama circuit and did not disappoint. The battle for the race win was once again between Naujoks and Lacombe, the latter essentially had to win the race to stand any chance of finishing in the top three.
Lacombe shadowed the G2 Esports driver for the majority of the race before jumping at his chance, as Naujoks ran wide at the final corner with just under nine minutes to go. The Frenchman passed his opponent around the outside of the Turn 1 left-hander and moved into the lead of the race to provisionally secure a place in the top three overall. However, it all went wrong for Lacombe when the leading duo collided with just over two minutes to go.
When attempting to defend his lead, he moved across on Naujoks at the end of the Mountain Straight and was sent into the barriers and out of the race. The favorite clung onto the race lead yet again and made it two victories from two races.
A champion among men
This meant Naujoks tops the final classification with 41 points, some 21 points clear of Matthias Egger, an Italian esports racer from Orion Race Team, and Sherratt who were tied on 20 points. All three win the prize of a visit to the Lamborghini factory and the chance to test the Italian manufacturer’s GT3 car at Imola.
Kammerer was wiped out of race two while Pawlowski’s top three chances were ended when he disconnected out of fourth place with just a couple of laps to go. A poor first race hindered Italian racer Gianfranco Giglioli and Jesus Sicilia – champion of the Silver class of the SRO E-Sport GT Series in June – suffered with connection issues throughout the final.
The Real Race will return for a second series in 2021, you can find more information about the championship on Lamborghini’s esports website.
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