Esports news | Igor Rodrigues wins GT World Challenge America title
Brazilian driver Igor de Oliveira Rodrigues has taken the GT World Challenge America Esports crown in the most dominant fashion possible as he once again took maximum points for the fourth straight round of the five-round championship.
Going into the penultimate event the Williams Esports driver’s nearest challenger was his team-mate and countryman Fidel Moreira, some 32 points behind, but Moreira couldn’t muster the qualification performance needed to keep in touch with Rodrigues.
Indeed, just as he had in the previous three rounds, Rodrigues took pole position at Watkins Glen, with a relatively wide 0.28s margin over Lamborghini’s Jyeed Hutchinson, with Moreira down in 18th and the championship’s third-placed driver Chris Severt in 13th.
Severt’s outside chance of the title vanished almost immediately with what appeared to be connection issues, retiring the car midway between turns one and two – though he would later reconnect and resume four laps down. Along with a crash for Renato Dornelles at the Inner Loop, caused by Silver-class driver Zach Doran, that meant Moreira would climb into seventh in class just half a lap into the race.
At the front Hutchinson and Rodrigues seemed to be trading fastest laps, pulling several seconds ahead of the chasing Renan Negrini, but the Brazilian inexorably drew clear of the Canadian driver approaching the pit window.
Both front-runners pitted at the halfway point, a little later than most of the field, but this appeared to be ill-judged on Rodrigues’ part. The cars emerged behind the backmarking Silver class car of Hayden Harter and the compact nature of the Glen meant it took the leader more than a lap to catch and pass. That allowed Hutchinson to close right up onto the back of the Audi, pressuring Rodrigues into mistakes, but ultimately there was no way past. Having regained his composure, Rodrigues began to draw away once more.
Negrini was another driver to lose out in the stops, with Silver class leader Cody Sherratt running a lap longer and overcutting to move up into third overall. That wouldn’t affect Negrini’s points but would place a Pro driver between Sherratt and his nearest rival Leandro Werle.
Rodrigues would take victory by just over two seconds from Hutchinson, securing the title with a round to spare through a 53-point margin over Moreira who came home sixth. Negrini would place third in class but off the podium thanks to Sherratt.
Sheratt’s second straight class victory elevates him to the top of Silver but only by 11 points from Merick Leveque – with whom he was tied going into the race – after the Canadian finished third behind Werle. Leveque’s team-mate Estefano Barrera came home fourth and maintains an outside chance of the championship.
GT World Challenge America Esports Round 4 Results
1 – Igor de Oliveira Rodrigues (Williams) – Audi R8 GT3 Evo – 35 laps 2 – Jyeed Hutchinson (Lamborghini) – Lamborghini Huracan GT3 – +1.647s 3 – Cody Sherratt (Genisus Esports) – Ferrari 296 GT3 – +12.162s
The top ten drivers for the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series will now make their way into the playoffs following a dramatic final race of the regular season that saw a debut win coming in overtime. Pocono hosted round 14 of the championship, with seven of the ten drivers already assured of their spots through race victories earlier in the season – with the exception of Jimmy Mullis, who won at Nashville in round 12 but sat outside the top 20 on points.
Among those waiting to confirm their spots was 2020 series champion Nick Ottinger, who’s gone winless this season but was the highest-ranked on the points table without a race win and unlikely to miss out. To underline that, Ottinger took pole position for the race ahead of the already-qualified Garrett Lowe.
In a race full of cautions it was Michael Guest – from 32nd on the grid – who’d cycle through to the front just ahead of an antepenultimate lap caution which would send the race into overtime. A late challenge from Ottinger in the second overtime period came to nothing as he was tagged from behind by team-mate Matt Bussa, allowing Guest to take his first-ever win in the series and qualify for the playoffs.
Ottinger would also make it through as the top points scorer amongst the non-winners, with Mullis doing just enough to nip into the top 20 and make his own race win count. They’ll be joined by three-time regular season winner Bobby Zalenski, former champion and 2023 top points scorer Michael Conti, and defending champion Casey Kirwan, while 2021 winner Keegan Leahy misses out.
eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Round 14 Results
1 – Michael Guest (23XI) – Toyota Camry – 60 laps 2 – Malik Ray (Jim Beaver eSports) – Ford Mustang – +0.181s 3 – Dylan Duval (Stewart-Haas Racing) – Ford Mustang – +0.357s
Motorsport UK has announced the calendar for the new-look British F4 Esports Championship, which this season will incorporate a feeder competition called the UK FF1600 Cup.
The eight-race series will take place across the autumn, starting and finishing at Brands Hatch on September 27th and November 29th respectively. Both 2022’s champion driver, Luke McKeown, and the championship-winning team Williams (which ran the Munster Rugby outfit last season) will return for the event which will see an increased prize fund compared to the £6,000 pot last season.
All events will be live-streamed, and the full calendar is as follows:
Round 1 – September 27th -Brands Hatch Indy
Round 2 – October 4th – Donington Park National
Round 3 – October 11th – Snetterton 300
Round 4 – October 25th – Oulton Park International