After an enthralling start to the NGK Spark Plug Esports Cup in 2023, Motorland Aragón awaited the grid for the second set of league races. Ilia Drovossekov and Yuvel Rosen had claimed victory at Spa-Francorchamps and yet their results never suggested pace to determine outright domination.
This has certainly been reflected in the points standings as both sit joint top of the leaderboard following post-round penalties on 67. They, alongside Colin Blankenberg and Luciano Witvoet, had already confirmed their spots in the Nürburgring Nordschleife final by virtue of scoring the most points from Round 1.
Hence, their presence here was not required.
Sinan Gunay was a new name to the top ten, his entrance plenty stylish thanks to a pole position locked in with a tenth to spare. Alex Mosin’s nightmarish opening round was put to bed thanks to a strong lap placing him on the front row alongside the Turkish pilot. Ville Kreivi and Maximilian Lorenz formed a familiar second row having scored well in Belgium.
Mosin stole the march on Gunay slipping into the lead through Turn 1. Had it not been for a decent line through the next couple of corners, the pole sitter may yet have lost second as well to an eager Kreivi. Filippo Zenna found himself in a huge incident through Turn 5, sending him and a few others to the back.
While proceedings continued to flare up in the midfield, the leading pack settled. Mosin and Gunay left Kreivi for dust and with that gap they entertained us with a joyous battle packed with daring looks and strong respect. Gunay would eventually reclaim first with twelve minutes remaining; his superb lunge into Turn 5 leaving Mosin helpless to defend.
As the new race leader extended his gap, not much else transpired until Lorenz went for a spin forcing Lucas Wollering into avoiding action. This left both Germans scrambling to recover with the former lucky to have landed in tenth. He would stay there to begin Race 2 on pole position whilst Gunay would start his second outing in the midfield.
- Sinan Gunay – 21:25.762
- Alex Mosin – +1.929
- Ville Kreivi – +5.982
- Nico Söhnel – +8.185
- Mihai Neg – +8.989
- Sebastian Reeh – +9.830
- Kilian Guijt – +12.904
- Stefan Cremers – +14.925
- Linus Griese – +15.060
- Maximilian Lorenz – +16.268
Every cloud has a silver lining and Lorenz’ was the opportunity to execute a strong start from his fortuitous pole position. Griese and Cremers exchanged places behind, allowing the German to build an early gap. Gunay and Kreivi, meanwhile, struggled greatly – both falling outside the top ten early on.
The first winner of the evening was soon back on the pace but his hopes of a strong finish were dashed soon after. A cluster of cars, brought together by a mistake courtesy of Enzo Philippau, saw Gunay at the back. Simply put, he was too quick for his own good hitting the rear of Roland Senn, spearing the Turkish driver into the pitlane entrance.
He wouldn’t be the only one to drop it of his own accord. Nico Söhnel was almost assured a ticket to the Nordschleife off the back of two fourth-place finishes. The German simply lost control out of Turn 13, hitting the inside barrier and leaving him to rejoin down in eleventh.
Griese’s pace continued to wane, Mihai Neg enjoying a pass onto the podium through Turn 16 at the halfway stage. Yet, Lorenz went from strength to strength. Bolting from the front row he never looked back, claiming a commanding victory ahead of Cremers.
- Maximilian Lorenz – 21:24.557
- Stefan Cremers – +5.495
- Mihai Neg – +5.825
- Kilian Guijt – +6.472
- Linus Griese – +8.984
- Enzo Philippau – +9.391
- Alex Mosin – +9.574
- Roland Senn – +14.875
- Mariusz Zabdyr – +15.247
- Yaroslav Dmitriev – +15.933