The F1 Esports Constructors Champion fought off Thomas Ronhaar on the final lap, who still awaits his first PSGL F1 win. Luke Smith also took his first PSGL F1 podium after holding off Jake Benham in the final two laps.
Otis Lawrence made his long-awaited first appearance on PC and showed his qualities, but issues prevented his race from going beyond Lap 3.
After impressing last week in qualifying, Will Lewis got knocked out in Q1. The Englishman lined up 17th, ahead of Manuel Biancolilla, Matthijs van Erven, and F1 debutant Max Wissel. Williams’ Daniele Haddad narrowly missed out on Q2, with Wilson Hughes scraping through.
As the skies began to darken under the Yas Marina lights, it got even darker for the Spanish quartet of Ismael Fassi, Alvaro Carreton, Ruben Pedreno, and Iker Baena, who were all knocked out in Q2. Filip Presnajder joined them in the drop zone.
Into Q3, Thomas Ronhaar had shown exceptional pace throughout the two sessions so far, and it continued with a brilliant lap to set his first pole position of the season.
It was the same front row in Australia, with Bari Boroumand ahead of the impressive Otis Lawrence. The 14-year-old, who had dominated Xbox on F1 22, produced a stunning lap to take third in his first race on PC.
Luke Smith joined Lawrence on the second row. John Evans impressed and started fifth ahead of Jake Benham and Hughes. Tomek Poradzisz earned eighth on his PSGL return, with Tom Manley and Dani Bereznay completing the grid.
It was an even start for the front two, but Lawrence turned from hero to zero as a mistake on his part meant a poor start and damage at Turn 1, effectively ending his race: the Veloce driver retired in the pits a few laps later.
Smith, Benham, Evans, and Hughes moved up a spot due to the Welshman’s misfortunes as every driver started on the hard tyres other than Bereznay, who opted for the mediums.
The Hungarian managed to get ahead of Evans and Hughes before settling behind Benham for the next few laps. Lewis made a brilliant start from 17th: the new F2 leader making up six spots into 11th.
The typical DRS train arrived with zero on-track overtakes inside the top 10 until Lap 9. Evans, who after the race stated ‘he was bored and lost concentration,’ misjudged the braking zone into Turn 6 and took out Bereznay: both drivers out of any contention for points.
Hughes and Manley reconnected the DRS train, and the order remained the same, except for Boroumand taking the lead from Ronhaar until an unfortunate incident for Max Wissel brought out the Safety Car.
It proved costly for Hughes and Lewis, who had to double stack, losing the pair a few positions. Pedreno pitted the lap before and jumped from eighth into fifth, ahead of Manley and Poradzisz. The top four remained as they were as the Safety Car came in on Lap 16, leaving 13 laps of racing, or it should have.
Ronhaar took the lead on the restart, but for the next 12 laps, there were no overtakes inside the top 10 other than Boroumand regaining it with a few laps to go.
On the final lap, Ronhaar attempted to get close to Boroumand through Turn 5 but tapped the rear of the Iranian’s McLaren, allowing the Dutchman to get through.
The F1 Esports Rookie of the Year knew a penalty would have come his way if he overtook, so he allowed Boroumand back through. Ronhaar had another opportunity into Turn 9, but the Iranian held off the charging Ronhaar to take his second win of the season.
Further back, Smith and Benham were going at it for the final podium in Sector 3. The Mercedes driver, searching for a second-successive visit to the podium, got a brilliant exit and managed to get alongside into the penultimate corner.
Smith gave room, and the two went side-by-side into the final corner, with the Alpine driver managing to hold off Benham to take his first PSGL F1 podium.
Pedreno nearly snatched fourth from Benham on the line but secured his best result in PSGL F1. Manley finished sixth, ahead of Poradzisz and Hughes. Carreton got his penalty removed and finished ninth, with Lewis completing the points.
It was certainly not a classic, but it gives Boroumand a 12-point advantage from Benham in the standings, with Ronhaar jumping up into third.
Next week, PSGL heads to the Circuit of the Americas for Round 3 of Season 32.
SEASON 32 PREMIER SIM GAMING LEAGUE PC F1 CHAMPIONSHIP: ROUND 2 RESULTS
- Bari Boroumand – McLaren – 29 laps
- Thomas Ronhaar – Haas
- Luke Smith – Alpine
- Jake Benham– Mercedes
- Ruben Pedreno – Alpha Tauri
- Tom Manley – Alpha Tauri
- Tomek Poradzisz – Alfa Romeo
- Wilson Hughes– McLaren
- Alvaro Carreton – Williams
- Will Lewis – Mercedes