Porsche had gone into the final round of races, at Yas Marina, with a three-point lead, but faced second-placed Williams. That left Williams needing the maximum 3-0 victory to take the title at Porsche’s expense.
It seemed an unlikely task, as undefeated Porsche had taken 16 points from a possible 18 in the season so far. However the match started with a point to Williams, with Martin Stefanko and Kuba Brzezinski coming out on top in their head-to-head races.
The comeback then seemed like it was on, as Williams also took the second event - the relay - with Porsche unable to challenge Stefanko, Brzezinski and Nikodem Wisniewski throughout the course of the race. That set the stage for the final team race to be the deciding factor - or so it seemed at the time.
Unaware of a stewarding decision that would affect the outcome, Williams locked out the front row courtesy of Brzezinski and Wisniewski. Porsche needed to break that up to win the round, match, and championship, and Michael Smidl and Atze Kerkhof both duly went for Wisniewski’s second position on lap four. Wisniewski ended up hopping the chicane and unfortunately collecting team-mate Stefanko. Brzezinski still took the win, but with the Porsches of Smidl, Kerkhof and Ben Cornett taking second through to fourth, the team race ended up as a tie.
That would have been enough on its own for Porsche to take the title, however the stewards then penalised Williams for a pit stop infringement during the Relay as well - handing that round to Porsche. The overall result was a 1-1 tie, preserving Porsche’s unbeaten record and allowing them to take the championship by three points.
There was also a head-to-head for third place, as Red Bull took on BMW. That proved more straightforward for Red Bull, with Graham Carroll the star man in a 3-0 drubbing. BMW had been the only squad capable of taking that second place away from Williams, but the result meant Williams stayed second and won £20,000, with Red Bull in third and earning £15,000, and BMW fourth to take £10,000. The remaining four teams - Racing Point, JAESA Suzuki, Yas Heat, and Fordzilla - receive £5,000 each.
Williams also had to settle for second in the first race of the second season of the 24H Series Esports. This six-round championship will see sim racers taking part in 6hr races at Imola, Sebring, Silverstone, Monza, and Barcelona, before a season-ending 12hr race at Spa next April.
This season’s action started on Sunday, and saw MSI Esports take the overall victory, with Alejandro Sanchez and Marc Perez winning by over a minute from the Williams duo of Arthur Lehouck and Dominik Staib. Eero Tuominen and Matias Vitikainen of Inertia Simracing won in the 991 class, taking the lead from another Williams car of Lasse Bak and Moreno Sirica on the very last lap. SRC Squadra Corse took victory in the GT4 class, while SimRC won in TCR - both by a lap from their nearest rivals.
The official FIA WTCR Esports event returned this weekend, for round two from Slovakiaring. Gergo Baldi had a perfect round in the previous stop at Hungaroring, taking three wins from three in his Hyundai i30, and set pole position too for the first race here. However it was his M1RA Esports team-mate David Nagy, driving the Audi RS3, who took the first race with an overtake that lasted for almost the entire last lap of the race.
Race two went to local man Bence Banki of Red Bull Esports, with a lights-to-flag victory in his Lynk&Co 03 - holding off the challenge of Tim Jarschel of Euronics Gaming in the Cupra for almost the entire race.
The two race winners had to settle for podiums in race three though, as Florian Hasse of Euronics Gaming took victory in his Honda Civic Type R. As with race one, this race wasn’t decided until the final lap as Hasse passed Nagy for the lead in turn two, to make for three different race-winning drivers, teams, and cars this time out.
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