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Esports News | Marcell Csincsik crowned ESL R1 Spring Season champion

04th June 2023
Andrew Evans

Hungarian driver Marcell Csincsik, driving for the Romain Grosjean-run R8G team, has emerged as the first ever ESL R1 champion, taking victory at the live final in Munich.

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The complex format of the “Major” saw the best 24 drivers from the regular season split into two, seeded 12-driver grids. Each group raced four times compiling more points for their final total, with the top 12 overall heading to the final day.

Csincsik and Baldwin (AMG), who each took two wins in their respective groups to cement their places in the top four. Csincsik displaced Luke Bennett (Redline) as the overall points leader, despite two podium finishes for Bennett.

Only Maximilian Benecke (Mouz) dropped out of the original top 12 after he endured another mixed set of results capped with a retirement at the final group race.

The scores were reset for the final, and the drivers now needed to hit the 160-point threshold in order to enter “finalist mode”: any driver in finalist mode would take the title with their next race win.

Daire McCormack (Willams) seemed to be in a hurry to get there. He had scored two wins in the regular season, and took victory at the first two races of the final at Monza and Hockenheim. A mistake in qualifying for the Nürburgring race saw him start at the back, while Baldwin took the win ahead of Csincsik.

It was another win for Baldwin next, but crucially third place was enough for Csincsik to become the first driver to enter finalist mode ­­– and the man everyone had to stop. 

Despite qualifying only in third though, Csincsik hit the front late in race five at Spa and looked to be on course for the title. That was until the very last lap as Baldwin took the lead at Les Combes to win a third race in a row – and put himself into finalist mode too.

That led to a tense race at the Nürburgring as Baldwin and Csincsik qualified 1-2, but a final-chicane incident between the two put them both out of the race. Erhan Jajovski (R8G) came through the wreckage to win from McCormack.

Neither of the top two could make headway in the next race at Hockenheim, which saw McCormack win from pole position, with Bennett and Rogers joining him on the podium. That meant five drivers now in finalist mode for race seven.

Monza hosted what would turn out to be the final race of the season, and after four bites at the cherry the title was finally Csincsik’s – and in style. The Hungarian qualified on pole position and, after avoiding a wayward Moritz Lohner (Mouz), just streaked away from the pack to claim the crown.

ESL R1 Spring Major Final Results

  1. Marcell Csincsik (R8G – Audi R8 GT3 Evo) – 9 laps
  2. Joshua Rogers (Porsche – Porsche 992 911 GT3) +4.941
  3. Jiri Toman (R8G – Audi R8 GT3 Evo) +6.080

After some challenges in recent rounds, Jordan Caruso finally claimed his first Porsche Esports Supercup title with an unlikely victory in the sprint race at Monza.

Defending champion Diogo Pinto took pole position, and although Caruso could only place fourth on the grid his main title challengers – Sebastian Job and Zac Campbell – were well down the grid.

However a first turn incident between Pinto and second-place Yoann Harth saw both cars end up in the infield gravel, and Caruso simply inherited the lead. He’d retain that to the end of the race to secure an unassailable points lead over Job.

Porsche Esports Supercup Round Ten Sprint Race Results

  1. Jordan Caruso (Altus Esports) – 7 laps
  2. Charlie Collins (Coanda) +1.627
  3. Moreno Sirica (Williams) +2.134
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Although a dead-rubber in title terms, the feature race still determined who would finish as runner-up between Job and Campbell. That looked to be in Job’s pocket, but the British driver picked up damage in a lap four collision with Alejandro Sanchez and had to pit to repair it.

With Campbell not able to climb higher than 16th, Job headed back out and finished ahead of two retired cars to pick up the points he needed to claim a second successive runner up spot. Rookie ace Gustavo Ariel claimed the race win – his third this year – but accumulated penalties for the Brazilian meant Lasse Bak took the category title.

Porsche Esports Supercup Round Ten Feature Race Results

  1. Gustavo Ariel (TXC Racing) - 14 laps
  2. Charlie Collins (Coanda) +0.449
  3. Diogo Pinto (Redline) +0.621

David Tonizza took the race win in a bad-tempered second round of the live SRO Sim Pro series, staged at Circuit Paul Ricard.

The Lamborghini driver started in fourth, sandwiched between the Ferraris of his old team, but the three Italian cars hit the front early on when the Mercedes of Dennis Schoeniger and round one winner Tobias Pfeffer collided on lap one.

Incredibly, the Ferraris also collided negotiating the final sector on lap nine, allowing Tonizza to escape into a lead he’d never surrender.

SRO Sim Pro Round Two Results

  1. David Tonizza (Lamborghini – Lamborghini Huracan Evo 2) - 32 laps
  2. Arthur Kammerer (BS+ BMW M4 GT3) - +12.858
  3. Chris Harteveld (Ferrari – Ferrari 296 GT3) - +13.869
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