Lorenz Hörzing was victorious in the latest round of the Racing Prodigy sim-to-real competition, picking up a Prodigy Pass.
40 drivers had qualified for the round using PC driving simulation rFactor 2, and in this instance using Radical race cars at the Atlanta Motorsport Park – a similar car and track combination that will be used in November for the in-person driver assessment and trailing camp.
Following the semi-finals a day prior, 20 contenders were knocked out, which left the second half to duke it out over a 35-minute race for the rarefied event pass with a starting grid based upon previous race results.
Heading into the opening corner, pole sitter Lorenz Hörzing got the jump on the field, unchallenged in the early stages. Jan von der Heyde was also cleanly though in second, but behind, Collin Spork and Martin Murguly clashed, with the latter on the grass momentarily and both losing out to Dawid Mroczek.
Jernej Simončič was the big mover on the first lap, making his way from 12th on the grid to seventh.
After 10 minutes, the top three were covered by less than a second and began to pull away from Alpine Esports driver Spork in fourth. It was civil and clear the top three were a cut above.
As the tyres started to wear, five minutes later, Hörzing extended the lead and it looked as if von der Heyde and Mroczek would delay each other fighting for second.
Meanwhile, GT Pro Series Season 4 champion Simončič has made further progress, now up to sixth, passing Owen McGaugie into Turn 2. Brandon Hawkin would capitalise, also moving ahead at Turn 6. 2023 GT Challenge competitor Jake Denehan progressed by McGaugie in robust fashion on lap later, the two to making contact at the first corner and again through Turn 4.
With two minutes left on the clock, Spork and Murguly came together for a second time, as the Formula E Accelerate finalist lunged into Turn 1, locking up and running off the track. Spork, however, did the same, albeit to a lesser degree, in sympathy.
Murguly unfortunately dropped to eighth while Spork remained in fourth, but had the charging duo of Simončič and Hawkin now on his tail. The fourth-place finisher at the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual, however, would hold on.
At the head of the field, Hörzing was dominant – always under pressure, but never bettered, the Austrian driver booking a spot at the in-person driver training event ahead of von der Heyde and Formula E champion Mroczek.
“To get this sort of opportunity at a moment where I thought I’d never get into a race car… It’s incredible,” said Hörzing.
He joins recent inductees Marko Pejic, Gustavo Ariel, Kane Halliburton, Laurens Beerten and David Dalton Jr. as Prodigy Pass holders, with a second search selection committee round with Max Papis and Random Callsign set for Thursday 28th September.
Prodigy Racing League, Racing Prodigy, rFactor 2 Tournament 5 2023 results
- Lorenz Hörzing
- Jan von der Heyde
- Dawid Mroczek
- Collin Spork
- Jernej Simončič
- Brandon Hawkin
- Jake Denehan
- Martin Murguly
- Owen McGaugie
- David Kalocsai