Jiri Toman won the final in ESL R1’s fifth fall season round, despite all of his R8G Esports team-mates failing to make into the nine-lap decider.
The first time the series visited Monza this fall season, it was G2 Esports’ Sebastian Job who was victorious, backed up by a second round victory at Spa-Franchorchamps. Gamers8 victor in Saudi Arabia Maximillian Benecke struck back at Hockenheim before the first AMG-powered win by Williams Esports’ Nikodem Wisniewski last week.
Toman, meanwhile, had nearly stood atop the dais at the third round, finishing just 03.s behind Benecke. Monza, part two, was his redemption.
Dayne Warren placed his Porsche Coanda 911 on pole position for the first eight-lap semi-final and promptly led through the Prima Variante. Just behind sat Dáire McCormack, who swept around the outside of Tuomas Tähtelä.
Towards the rear, Marcell Csincsik and Patrik Holzmann collided, with further contact at the second chicane also involving Joshua Rogers. The battling split the field into two, with Csincsik in sixth, the final progression spot.
Lasse Sørensen skipped through the mayhem and latched onto the back of the ESL R1 spring season champion and instead of scrapping for sixth immediately, decided to sit behind in the tow as Csincsik tried to catch the leading train.
Sadly this approach was futile, and after running side-by-side for half a lap, the Furia driver was knocked out of the round, alongside Rogers, Jacub Brzeziński, Kevin Ellis, Jr., Holzmann and Robbie Stapleford.
With two laps remaining, McCormack took the lead into the first corner from Warren with consummate ease.
Job looked like he could take a third ESL R1 round victory since September, following a win in the second semi-final.
The BMW driver didn’t have it all his own way, however, as fell M4 GT3 competitor Caique Oliveira qualified on pole position and led until the start of the second lap when Job powered through. Then, on the penultimate lap, Job would run wide, providing an opportunity for Oliveira to regain the lead, but the order remained the same until the end. Toman finished third after resisting pressure from Yohann Harth.
Nikodem Wisniewski dropped out of contention after receiving a drivethrough penalty, while Tommy Østgaard sunk down the field as the race progressed. They were joined by Mitchell DeJong, Elvis Rankin, Graham Carroll and Mack Bakkum as drivers knocked out.
Following a one-lap qualifying shootout to set the grid for the nine-lap final, Warren claimed his second pole position of the day but had Toman and Jamie Fluke both within 0.1s in second and third respectively. McCormack completed the second row in fourth.
The top four bolted from the rest of the field early on, as Tähtelä’s staunch defence of fifth against Job and Kevin Siggy into the first Lesmo held the chasing pack up. This battle-pack would rub panels through the first half of the race, with James Baldwin also adding to the mix. Job, ultimately, was eased wide at the second Lesmo, dropping to 10th.
Up front, the 2021 rFactor 2 GT Pro Series race winner Toman swept by Warren to take the lead and never looked back. Fluke would follow through in a similar fashion on the fifth lap and McCormack for the podium minutes later. Warren would finish fourth, setting the quickest lap time.
“It feels really great, because I was very close many times, always P2 [and] usually behind Max [Benecke],” said Toman
“This time I had a better chance I think because Dayne [Warren’s] race pace wasn’t that amazing I guess. After I passed him I had a one-second gap which I could maintain.
“Jamie [Fluke] gave me a bit of trouble at the end, but still it was enough.”
ESL R1 fall season round 5, final results
- Jiri Toman – R8G Esports – 9 laps
- Jamie Fluke – Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team ART +0.406
- Dáire McCormack – Mercedes-AMG Williams Esports Team +2.480
- Dayne Warren – Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team +3.017
- Kevin Siggy – Team Redline +4.423
- James Baldwin – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports Team +4.636
- Tuomas Tähtelä – HEROIC +5.205
- Jeffrey Rietveld – Team Redline +5.848
- Lasse Sørensen – FURIA +9.131
- Sebastian Job – G2 Esports +9.532
- Caique Oliveira – FURIA +10.659
- Yohann Harth – Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team ART +14.518