Two rounds into the 2022 ADAC GT Masters Esports Championship, Christopher Högfeldt was firmly in the driver’s seat. Four race victories out of four races was only prevented by the strong Watkins Glen form of Jack Keithley, and even then the Swede was right behind the Brit.
Meanwhile, Mortiz Löhner has had a miserable start to the season. Since last checking in with this championship, the DTM Trophy driver appeared to steady the ship with a strong outing in the DTM Esports Championship. So far behind the points leader already, it would require more than just ‘good’ results from here on out to convince pundits that a title defence was still on the cards.
Round 3 brought GT Masters home to the Nürburgring, site of many a great RaceRoom Racing Experience event.
Sprint Qualifying would end up producing plenty of firsts for the season. After not securing a top ten starting spot in any session to this point, Löhner came out of the traps flying to pick up his first pole position in 2022. Högfeldt would remain a threat inside the top ten but would not feature on the front row after four consecutive appearances.
Instead, Marko Pejic would line up alongside the renewed Dörr Esports driver; stuck in between him and teammate Florian Hasse. Team Fordzilla’s Gianmarco Fiduci struck a strong enough lap time for fourth ahead of Watkins Glen Sprint winner Keithley.
The two McLarens in the top three started well as Pejic was caught napping. Hasse was hardly contested in his nabbing of second, while Fiduci also fell back behind Keithley in the early scrap for fourth.
Högfeldt simply wasn’t able to keep pace with the top seven, hindered further by a rambunctious Tim Jarschel eager to get by. After two laps of hounding the championship leader, the German was through into Turn 1.
Pejic would hassle Hasse, Siggy would put further pressure on Fiduci and Högfeldt almost lost out to Krippner. Yet despite the usually fruitful nature of the Nürburgring’s shortened layout, hardly any further overtaking took place.
Löhner led a Dörr Esports 1-2 across the line with Hasse fending off the late Pejic charge. A much needed injection of points with Högfeldt down in ninth.
There was more joy to come for Dörr as three of their cars made it into the top five of the Feature Race starting grid. Löhner was once again on pole position, this time ahead of Kevin Siggy, whilst Bence Bánki occupied third. Pejic was once again a part of the top two rows, just nipping in ahead of Hasse by 0.007 seconds.
It was not a great outlook for Högfeldt as he failed to feature inside the top ten for the first time this season.
Starting beside Löhner was seemingly the poisoned chalice for Round 3 as Siggy was swamped at the start. Though ultimately only losing one place to Bánki, it could have been a lot worse. Pejic also found himself under scrutiny but kept Hasse and Emre Cihan at bay. Högfeldt meanwhile had been very busy, shaking his way up to eighth after only a few corners.
Lap two would bring exhilarating action as Siggy’s race pace faltered. Pejic launched a brilliant switchback move through the Mercedes Arena before Hasse passed the pair of them into Valvoline-Kurve, showing fantastic awareness to create a Dörr 1-2-3.
Unfortunately, just a minute later all his good work would be undone – and then some – with cooked brakes sending him far too deep into the first corner. Pejic, Siggy, Cihan and even Keithley down in seventh would all benefit.
Though not part of the first group to pit, Pejic and Hasse would both dive in quite early in hopes of an undercut on those in front. Högfeldt would be the next driver of interest, not gaining much on his position before the pit window opened.
Then came Bánki and Keithley, the latter of which would lose a place to the proactive Hasse. The German’s call produced results for a second time with Cihan falling behind after his stop.
Once everyone had strapped on fresh rubber, the picture for Högfeldt became much clearer. He had lost out on two places with Löhner cruising to a second consecutive victory. To make matters worse, the late stopping Jakub Brzezinski was on a tear having disposed of Erhan Jajovski with aplomb. In the dying embers of the Feature Race, the Swede was temporarily ejected out of the top ten by the Pole.
Late drama would unfold on the final lap as, after running in the top three so securely for half the race, Pejic ran out of fuel. The German would tragically stop in sight of the line – in spite of a fantastic show of sportsmanship by Jonas Wanner – and would become the lone retirement of the race.
A night to remember for Moritz Löhner then as two wins combined with so-so results for Högfeldt raises plenty of intrigue for the next round. Bánki also benefited overall with a points gain on the championship leader cemented by second place. Kevin Siggy rounded out the Feature podium somewhat fortuitously.
For a second consecutive season, the Traxion.GG YouTube channel is the place to go for your exclusive English commentary coverage. Be sure to subscribe for all future rounds of the ADAC GT Esports Masters Championship and more! Catch Round 4 on 29th March.
Sprint Race Results
- Moritz Löhner 17:50.696
- Florian Hasse +01.070
- Marko Pejic +1.411
- Jack Keithley +4.570
- Gianmarco Fiduci +5.298
- Kevin Siggy +5.652
- Bence Bánki +6.024
- Tim Jarschel +7.961
- Christopher Högfeldt +10.195
- Leonard Krippner +10.569
Feature Race Results
- Moritz Löhner 34:11.983
- Bence Bánki +4.663
- Kevin Siggy +7.516
- Florian Hasse +10.375
- Emre Cihan +10.820
- Jack Keithley +11.973
- Nikodem Wisniewski +12.292
- Gianmarco Fiduci +14.103
- Jakub Brzezinski +15.823
- Christopher Högfeldt +16.525
2022 ADAC GT MASTERS ESPORTS CHAMPIONSHIP POWERED BY ENBW MOBILITY+ CALENDAR
11th January Shootout 1 – Spa-Francorchamps 13th January Shootout 2 – Hockenheim 15th February – Brands Hatch GP 1st March – Watkins Glen 15th March – Nürburgring Sprint
- 29th March – Zandvoort
- 12th April – Silverstone
- 19th April – Monza, live in person (Alternative, 23rd April, Oschersleben)