The second round of the ADAC SimRacing Expo’s Professional Trophy was claimed by George Boothby and Veloce McLaren by a scant 1.5s after a 45-minute race.
Once again using Assetto Corsa Competizione, following an opening event at Circuit Paul Ricard the teams headed to a virtual Monza for the second of five races, the final two of which will be live and in-person at the Dortmund-based October event. Drop scores for one of those rounds are also in play.
With teams accruing points for the final standings, and thus a share of the €5,000 prize pool, the driver line-up for the second round witnessed 11 driver changes compared to the opener – squads electing to place who they were thought was best suited to the high-speed layout from within their rosters.
The McLaren 720S GT3 Evo seems to be the car of choice for this location, Woking’s finest taking the top four spots on the grid, with eight inside the top 11 positions.
Boothby snatched the initiative by claiming pole position, 0.3s ahead of the Williams Esports Chillblast entry of Vojtěch Fiala in third, Visceral Esports’ Oscar Hoole in third and Jardier Community team member Chris Warner.
The first non-McLaren was open-round star performer Mikhail Statsenko for ITB Racing in a Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2 lining up fifth.
When the starting lights extinguished, the field headed down to the Prima Variante only for chaos to ensue. Hoole looked to initially brake early initially, but after slight contact in the pack, missed the opening corner, the 720S skipping across the chicane and stopping on track ahead of an angry mob.
Fiala also skipped the chicane in avoidance, taking the lead, ahead of Boothby and Statsenko now up two positions. The top two spots, however, would be reversed soon after to avoid any potential shortcut penalties.
One lap later, further shenanigans at the same corner, resulting in Statsenko lengthways across the circuit, Leonid Makovkin driving for Bogoroditsky Esports hitting the front of the Lamborghini while Warner jumped the kerbs, barely missing the conjoined duo. Makovkin was handed a 15-second penalty for his role in the incident.
Statsenko then made contact with the Ferrari 296 of Samuele Villa at the Seconda Variante but both continued, while behind Valentin Barrier and Leon Hoppe also collided, resulting in the Grid Finder Racing car half-spinning and the rest of the pack piling in.
In the midst of the scrummage, from second place in the first round to the wall in the second, Tinko van der Velde was wiped out. Meanwhile, another star from France, Marco Jonkers, had avoided the carnage to now sit fifth after two laps.
Out of sight of the cameras, Warner dropped from third to sixth with just under 40 minutes of the race remaining. While Jonkers in the BMW lined up Makovkin for third, he was outmanoeuvred by Tommy Razeyre and it also owners Warner to move back up to fifth.
The M4 would work away against three McLarens for the majority of the race, snatching third place from Razeyre on the penultimate lap after Makovkin turned Warner and allowed West Competition Racing BMW Romania entry through.
Up front, it seemed as if the two McLarens would ease it home with a four-second gap to third, but with just over 25 minutes left on the clock, Fiala had other ideas, going around the outside of Boothby at the Variante Ascari to lead, only for the Veloce driver the reclaim the spot two corners later.
This battle lit up Boothby, and lap by lap he extended the gap to the Williams driver to 1.5s where it would remain until the chequered flag.
“I’m feeling great, that was a good race, Lap 1 was just insanity, I can’t really remember what happened there,” said Boothby.
“All I know is I got out alive, and I wanted to control the gap to Vojtěch behind me who drove an amazing race.
“We had a bit of a tussle in the middle, I made a big mistake at the second Lesmo and we had a bit of side-by-side. Really close, hard but fair racing. Vojtěch is such a good driver, you know you can trust someone like that.”
ADAC SimRacing Expo Professional Trophy 2023, Round 2 race results
- George Boothby – Veloce McLaren VEXT – 26 laps
- Vojtěch Fiala – Williams Esports Chillblast +1.517
- Marco Jonkers – West Competition Racing BMW Romania +10.433
- Tommy Razeyre – SDL Esports Logitech G +10.946
- Mikhail Statsenko – ITB Racing +18.807
- Samuele Villa – Glitch Motorsport +21.677
- Chris Warner – Jardier Community +23.560
- Leon Hoppe – Grid Finder Racing +24.845
- Mateusz Hladky – Tomas ENGE SIM Racing +28.081
- Michael Romagnoli – Absolute RES-TECH By Acelith +31.033