The highly-competitive nature of the Esports WTCR OSCARO Multiplayer Championship was again underlined when Poland’s Nikodem Wisniewski and Germany’s Florian Hasse shared the wins at a virtual Zandvoort on Sunday evening, the fifth and sixth different winners in six online races this season.
Qualifying recap: First time of asking for Wisniewski
The tight nature of the Dutch track meant qualifying was key. Hungarian Gergo Baldi (M1RA Esports / Hyundai) had topped the pre-qualifying times, but in the 15-minute session before the races on Sunday, Nikodem Wisniewski (Williams Esports) set the fastest time on his very first attempt. Spain’s Nestor Garcia (Red Bull Racing Esports) – the pole-sitter last time out in Slovakia – planted his Audi in second place ahead of Baldi and Jack Keithley (Williams Esports / Audi).
Race One recap: Wisniewski beats Garcia, Baldi
Nikodem Wisniewski led away from pole in his CUPRA with Nestor Garcia and Gergo Baldi following him closely. Brit Jack Keithley remained in fourth but was coming under intense pressure from his German team-mate, Moritz Löhner.
With 11 minutes to go, Löhner ran into the back of Keithley in the Audi S-bocht. Keithley managed to keep his place, while Löhner dropped behind compatriot Alexander Dornieden and Pole Kuba Brzezinski.
But there were no such problems for Wisniewski, who took a well-deserved first win of the season ahead of Garcia and Baldi, a long-overdue podium returnee. Keithley placed fourth ahead of Dornieden, Brzezinski, Löhner and Esports WTCR OSCARO Multiplayer Championship leader Bence Bánki.
EURONICS Gaming team-mates, Tim Jarschel and Florian Hasse, finished ninth and P10 to lock out the front row for Race Two.
There had been a close battle for the all-important P10 and the reverse-grid Race Two pole. Hungarian David Nagy (M1RA Esports / Hyundai) held the position early on but came under pressure from Hasse. Approaching the Audi S-bocht, Hasse placed his car on the outside, Nagy came across and there was contact with Nagy losing the place to Hasse.
Race Two recap: Hasse becomes sixth different winner of 2019
Florian Hasse converted pole position into a first Esports WTCR OSCARO victory ahead of EURONICS Gaming team-mate and fellow German Tim Jarschel with Bence Bánki boosting his title hopes in third, having overcome Moritz Löhner’s determined challenge.
Further back, Julian Kunze had been on a charge, fighting through from P13 to P10 at the halfway mark. He would go on to demote Wisniewski, Garcia and Baldi.
Löhner, meanwhile, was less successful when it came to overtaking. Challenging for P3, he went wide at the first corner and dropped behind Kuba Brzezinski and Alexander Dornieden, although he did manage to reclaim fifth from Dornieden with a precise move in the second sector. Brzezinski took fourth with Keithley seventh, Kunze eighth, Baldi ninth and Wisniewski rounding out the top 10.
Elsewhere, Guillaume Theot suffered a huge accident in Scheivlak, which also involved Krisztián Juhász.
How the Esports WTCR OSCARO title fight stands?
Bence Bánki, the defending champion, remains on top of the standings, albeit by a reduced margin of six points over Florian Hasse. Brzezinski, Wisniewski, Keithley, Jarschel, Garcia, Kunze, Baldi and Dornieden follow.
Relive the Server 1 action from race night:https://youtu.be/g73jmXypFCM?t=7733
Langeveld fast but out of luck in Esports WTCR OSCARO
Niels Langeveld’s Esports WTCR OSCARO third server races at Zandvoort were a mixed affair. After taking pole by more than one tenth of a second ahead of CUPRA driver Jesper Eriksson, the Dutchman, a racer for real with Comtoyou Team Audi Sport in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO, led initially. However, on lap six he slipped behind Eriksson with the Swede going on to score a maiden win ahead of Langeveld and Cyrille Saussey after an action-packed race.
There was an accident before the first corner in the reverse-grid counter, while Langeveld got himself into a strong position. He overtook Marcello Caserta following light contact at Vodafone-bocht and quickly set his sights on the leader, Stef Cremers, only to get out of shape entering the Audi S-bocht. He ended up in P10. Cremers eventually secured the win but only after getting the better of Sergey Mukimov in the closing stages. Caserta also demoted the Russian, who races with a mouse instead of a steering wheel but heroically held on to third.
Season two of Esports WTCR OSCARO continues at the Nürburgring Nordschleife on 22 September. It’s still possible to qualify for the race by following this link:http://game.raceroom.com/championships/34
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