Boquida wins in GT World Challenge Asia esports | FOS Future Lab
R8G Esports racer Philippa Boquida has taken her first official GT World Challenge Asia win in a dramatic first round of the 2022 season.
Despite her obvious pace in 2021 – regularly qualifying in the front three rows – Boquida is in the Silver category this year due to missing out on the required points through a series of mishaps and issues.
Boquida immediately made a mockery of that rating by putting her Porsche on pole position for the sprint race at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, joined on the front row by fellow Silver racer Moosa Mahsoom in the Ferrari. The lead Pro was 2020 champion Andika Rama Maulana, in a grid where the top 40 were covered by only a second.
Maulana mounted an attack right from the green flag, hoping to use the power of his Mercedes down the long start/finish straight, but Boquida covered off the inside and kept her lead, with Mahsoom retaining second.
In fact, it was a surprisingly clean first few turns, on a track notorious for first-lap incidents in sim racing. Lap two did see 2021 race-winner Andrew Laurenson’s race effectively ended after a strange incident with Sky Lai.
Boquida made the most of the early running, pulling more than 2.5 seconds ahead of Mahsoom before Pro leader Maulana could sneak past the Ferrari and into second overall. However, the 2020 champion couldn’t reel in Boquida, who just kept extending her advantage.
Issues started to arise as the compulsory pit-stop window opened. A significant number of drivers started to experience connection problems intermittently throughout the window, bringing back memories of the twice-cancelled Suzuka 10 Hour endurance in 2021.
Boquida was nonetheless able to stop, take on the mandatory litre of fuel, and emerge still in the lead of the race – though Maulana picked up a 30-second penalty for a speeding infraction.
That passed the Pro category lead to Dillan Tan, but a slow stop for him saw Fadhli Rachmat take the class lead, with Mahsoom moving back into second overall and in the Silver class.
The connection issues proved terminal though, and with 12 minutes remaining on the clock, the race was red-flagged for good.
It would have no impact on the race results however, with Boquida running out clear winner by over eight seconds from Mahsoom to make it a Silver class 1-2, with Zachary Smith third in class in fifth place. Rachmat would score the Pro class win in third, from Tan and Ferris Stanley taking his first series podium.
Kevin Ellis Jr holds a relatively slender advantage in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Esports series, as it heads into its live final next month, despite not managing to win either race at Donington Park.
The Red Bull duo of defending champion Sebastian Job and Graham Carroll – Ellis’s nearest rival – locked out the front row in qualifying, with Carroll just beating Job to pole position and the bonus point by 0.024s.
Ellis would take third but another issue for team-mate Peter Berryman, who lost his Silverstone race win last week with a post-race penalty, saw him failing to take the start at all.
The absence of a wingman didn’t appear to affect Ellis, who immediately tried to pass Job but found the inside covered off. As has been pretty standard this season, the lead trio then set about pulling away at the head of the field.
While Job was in a supporting role for Carroll, he seemed to be tripping over his team-mate in places and that eventually brought Ellis into position to attack.
After getting his nose in alongside Job ahead, the duo ran door to door for almost one and a half laps before the Apex driver was able to call second place his own. With their battle costing them time, Josh Thompson and Jamie Moone caught up to the action, and Job was forced to defend.
Carroll would win by a very comfortable 3.5 seconds from Ellis, with Job third. Moone would take a controversial fourth after tagging Thompson into a spin.
The reversed-grid race saw William Chadwick on pole, with Matt Emery alongside for his first front-row start. However, both would have a nightmare opening lap, with Emery locking up at the Old Hairpin and falling to last and Chadwick picking up a slowdown penalty.
That resulted in Job hitting the front, with Ellis soon joining him after passing Moone. Carroll, though, was going backwards, falling to tenth after a dreadful start.
In clear air, Job was simply too fast for Ellis, pulling more than two seconds ahead by the finish. Moone would take third after a solid run, while Carroll would rescue sixth and take the point for fastest lap, too.
With only the two-race live Brands Hatch final to go and 53 points on the table, Ellis has a 27-point advantage over Job, who moves past Carroll into second.
Welcome to FOS Future Lab where we report on the latest visions of future technology. We'll be boldly covering flying cars, hoverboards, jetpacks and spaceships with plenty of down to earth topics in between.