With sim racing comes plenty of overtakes, and since it’s our name, it would only be on-brand for us to name our best from 2022.
Image credit: VCO Esports
With a name like ours, it’s perhaps expected that we acknowledge some of the best overtakes in sim racing. Whether in high-level competition or a casual race, a great move to pass another driver is an extremely satisfying experience.
It takes immense skill to complete an overtake. Great spatial awareness, knowing where the grip is and being able to do it fairly without pushing your opponent off-track. These three drivers did just that, so here are our favourite overtakes in esports racing from 2022.
Baldwin Scares F1 Driver
Our July Hero of the Month James Baldwin had quite the 2022. As well as competing in the real-life Spa 24 hours, he won two SRO Esports titles. He also picked up awards for Autosport’s Esports Driver of the Year and the VCO Simmy for Best Esports Racer. But perhaps this move on a well-known name from F1 could arguably be his highlight of the year.
In the dying laps of the Le Mans Virtual Series race at Sebring, he was chasing down none other than Max Verstappen. The current F1 title holder was in third place with the two Porsche Coanda cars too far ahead on the road. He had a Brit driving a Mercedes coming up behind him. For many, there was a certain sense of inevitability.
Baldwin got alongside Verstappen thanks to some lapped traffic that came at just the wrong time for the Dutchman. Side-by-side heading into the high speed sweeping T1, Baldwin perfectly placed his car to perform a switchback.
Verstappen was caught off guard and proceeded to take to the grass. The Mercedes team went on to finish in third place behind the two Porsche Coanda cars. While the move was lauded as a masterful display of racecraft by Baldwin.
Spork Holds On
From one Dutchman failing to defend his place to another whose masterful attacking was difficult to topple all year. In the Formula SimRacing World Championship season opener, then 16-year old Collin Spork lined up on the grid not expecting much. He had just joined the NetRex Grand Prix team and would compete in FSR under the Unicorns of Love banner.
He started third and would be behind the one-stopping Red Bull duo of Alex Siebel and Dennis Jordan after completing his second of two pit stops in the latter half of the race. Spork began making inroads and caught up with them. But it was going to be tricky to pass on the narrow Imola circuit, especially thanks to stern defending. Against all odds, Spork did it.
The UOL racer somehow managed to get alongside Siebel through the second part of Variante Tamburello and they stayed side-by-side all the way until the Villeneuve chicane. Spork had nerves of steel to catch the car after dipping a wheel into the gravel with a big moment of opposite lock. Yet he still managed to complete the move to get ahead of Siebel.
He passed Jordan later on to win what would be the first of five races across the whole season. The fight with Siebel continued until the very end for the championship. Spork ended up winning the title by only three points from the Red Bull driver, in spite of everything thrown his way. He proved in that one overtake that he truly meant business, and was certainly going to upset the applecart.
Berryman’s Last Gasp
Last but not least, Peter Berryman’s crucial overtake in the Quarter Finals of the ERL Fall Masters. On face value, it may not be that impressive but when context is factored in, this move is truly special. The Fall Masters was the final round of the VCO Esports Racing League in 2022, it took place on iRacing in the iR-04. The winning team of this event would become the Fall Cup champions, and the favourites heading into the event were the Apex Racing Team.
Early on, they suffer a big blow when BS+COMPETITION defeat them in the initial heats, and are bumped into the Second Chance race. They easily progress from that race to enter the Quarter Finals, but would have to face BS+ once again and if they were defeated this time, they’d be eliminated. Heading towards the last few corners, Berryman had all three BS+ cars between him and his teammate Yohann Harth who was leading. He had to pass one car to ensure Apex’s passage into the Semi Finals.
In the stadium section at Hockenheim, Berryman took advantage of the banked hairpin to get momentum on his BS+ rival, Ryan Barneveld. He got the overlap and stuck his nose in, getting ahead before positioning his car to ensure Barneveld couldn’t get back alongside the Apex driver. Due to the points system in ERL, both teams scored five points but Apex won the tiebreaker thanks to their driver, Harth, taking the race win.
They went on to face Redline in the Final just like every ERL iRacing event in 2022, and beat them 2-0 to become Fall Cup champions. Had it not been for that move by Berryman, it would have been a very different result.
What are some of the best overtakes in sim racing from 2022? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!