With the ADAC GT Masters Esports Championship all wrapped up, fans of RaceRoom Racing Experience leagues could fully focus on the second season of DTM Esports. Thus far, reigning champion Moritz Löhner has put together a much more convincing title defence than in the aforementioned contest, where he has lost his crown after three years of dominance.
Team Redline’s Kevin Siggy, on the other hand, has found himself in monstrous form. Two wins in Belgium had negated the two wins Löhner picked up at Lausitzring in the championship’s first ever double-header week. The Austro-Slovenian led the points table comfortably with home territory awaiting him in Round 5 at the Red Bull Ring.
The script writers were clearly watching Sprint Qualifying and set up a tasty first race of the evening. Löhner was strong enough for pole position but found Siggy nipping at his heels on the front row. The German would have stablemates Florian Hasse and Leonard Krippner for support inside the top five.
A string of good performances has recently elevated Max Pfeifer’s stock and yet another good lap was to be found here with fourth on the grid. Ruled out of the title fight, Gianmarco Fiduci and Alessandro Ottaviani would be notable threats inside the top ten. Christopher Högfeldt, after gutting events earlier in the week, understandably looked off the pace.
It was not the worst-case scenario, but Siggy found his advantageous inside line starting position compromised by the Dörr Esports bump draft. Both Hasse And Krippner moved up to second and third respectively, with Siggy demoted to fourth and Pfeifer to sixth.
The drama wouldn’t stop up the hill as Siggy pulled a fantastic move around the outside of Krippner at Ams Ag to snatch one place back. One step forward would ultimately end in three steps back, as contact in a heated battle with Hasse unsettled the Austro-Slovenian’s Ferrari.
With eleven minutes to go, Siggy was gifted fifth by Fiduci who wasn’t subtle about letting the faster driver through. Isaac Price would also come to the same conclusion a couple of minutes later, allowing the Redline machine through without fuss. Next on the warpath was Krippner; the German was behind by Ams Ag the following lap.
The Dörr duo, isolated from their leader some three seconds down the road, were easy pickings this time around, as Hasse fell by the wayside just a lap on from reclaiming third position. Despite their best efforts, Siggy still finished second to Löhner, with Hasse completing the podium.
Where Siggy was aided in the race by the individual decisions of others, there was no denying that Löhner was getting every bit of help available from not just his Dörr stablemates, but the likes of Jonas Wanner as well. It was all for nothing as Siggy out-qualified the German, but both were beaten to pole position by Fiduci.
Hasse and Krippner both found themselves line astern with Löhner once more, while Pfeifer demonstrated great speed to pick up his second consecutive fourth-place starting slot.
Siggy’s went backwards at the start, though not as severely as in the Sprint. Löhner was up to second but that was as bad as it got. The front runners would remain tightly packed during the early stages of the race, with the takeaway highlight being an excellent Price manoeuvre through multiple corners on Marc Gassner for eighth.
It would not be until twenty-five minutes into proceedings that the next major action would be taken by frontrunners. Fiduci, Löhner and Siggy would all pit together, leaving Pfeifer to inherit the lead for himself. The TAILOREDRIG Mercedes-AMG would breathe fresh air for only one circuit before heading towards the pitlane with Hasse.
The only driver to really benefit short term across the pitstop phase would be Marko Pejic, who had made his stop well before anyone else. As Hasse exited back onto the track, he would witness the white Veloce machine drive through into net fifth place.
Löhner was very aggressive following his stop, almost immediately attacking Fiduci to perhaps surprise the Fordzilla pilot. It would be to his detriment as a botched attempt into Ams Ag would open the path for Siggy to capitalise and take second for himself.
Pejic’s charge would continue in the background; a robust move on Pfeifer seeing him up to fourth. Sadly, a disconnection would end what had been an assured drive to that point.
Into the final quarter, Siggy truly started to pile the pressure on Fiduci. After multiple stabs into the uphill braking zone of Turn 3, a mistake was finally forced as the Italian ran wide. The lead was Siggy’s but he wasn’t home and dry.
Fiduci’s response was fierce, looking every which way to undo his mistake. Unfortunately, as has happened too many times in the Italian’s career, the moment got to him with almost a carbon copy of his earlier mistake allowing Löhner through into second.
So, Siggy would equal Löhner’s results for the evening with a second-place alongside a victory. This would mean that although mathematically the championships run into the final round of the season, such is the Austro-Slovenian’s lead that it would take a calamitous event to not become the new king of DTM.
Sprint Race results
- Moritz Löhner 18:37.085
- Kevin Siggy +3.294
- Florian Hasse +3.833
- Leonard Krippner +4.418
- Isaac Price +4.687
- Gianmarco Fiduci +7.692
- Max Pfeifer +8.823
- Jack Keithley +9.053
- Alessandro Ottaviani +9.367
- Michael Rächl +9.537
Endurance Race results
- Kevin Siggy 63:33.429
- Moritz Löhner +0.729
- Gianmarco Fiduci +1.467
- Max Pfeifer +4.225
- Florian Hasse +4.677
- Isaac Price +6.333
- Leonard Krippner +10.291
- Jack Keithley +18.803
- Alessandro Ottaviani +19.478
- Marc Gassner +20.071