The Ferrari Esports Series is one of the most fascinating championships to emerge this year with a Ferrari Driver Academy Esports team contract on the line for whoever wins. To make the Grand Final, the goal of all drivers in the third phase of the competition is to simply sit inside the top twelve of a mini group-based points table.
Last time out at the Nürburgring, Isaac Price and Arnaud Lacombe looked incredibly comfortable as they claimed the first 25-point rewards on the table. Each round, the car as well as the track changes, however, so would that affect form?
Group A Qualifying
The Autodromo Nazionale di Monza would play host this week with the car selection turning to the 599XX Evo. After a podium in the first round, Danilo Santoro would sit on pole position with Kamil Pawlowski taking second in consecutive events.
Isaac Price would find himself down in third alongside Adrian Kot, who hadn’t even taken a top ten finish in Germany; the changes between rounds really aiding the Polish driver.
Group A Race
The first run down to the Rettifilo chicane always induces a couple of nerves but matters certainly weren’t helped by Luca Vernole who performed his best Tonio Liuzzi impression, gliding across the grass at velocity. Thankfully, he was so rapid that he re-entered the track ahead of the race leaders who ultimately exchanged positions into the Della Roggia, with Pawlowski performing a beautiful pass around the outside.
The first ten minutes saw plenty of action outside of the top ten but a heated battle between Bastien Marti and Umberto Principi would be the real battle of note. After initially losing the final point paying position, Marti would re-overtake the Italian through the first chicane.
On the run around Curva Grande, door smashing would send Principi into the gravel trap and down the order. Marti wouldn’t keep the place for long as a hard-charging Josh Martin found his way through with 17 minutes left.
From there on in, the race calmed significantly until the final few minutes upfront. Despite a threatening second wind from Santoro, Pawlowski would reach the checkered flag first with Price taking the final podium slot.
- Kamil Pawlowski – 31:51.874
- Danilo Santoro – +0.296
- Isaac Price – +2.054
- Adrian Kot – +9.790
- Wojciech Lukaszek – +11.101
- Luca Vernole – +16.500
- Daniele Passardi – +24.300
- Luca Tavernari – +24.779
- Ruben Garcia* – +26.903
- Josh Martin – +29.154
*Before time penalty applied
Group B Qualifying
Pawlowski’s Thrustmaster stablemate Arnaud Lacombe would once again take pole position in Group B setting him apart as the best qualifier in the third phase of the Ferrari Esports Series. Alongside him would be Leonardo D’Alcamo who, like Kot in Group A, didn’t even feature in the top ten last time out.
Much like the Group A race winner, Maxime Batifoulier would repeat his Nürburgring qualifying effort with third whilst Leonardo Pagano would hope to challenge more for the podium from fourth. The Italian finished fifth in the first race.
Group B Race
The Group B start was significantly less flamboyant than Group A’s, with practically all drivers without incident on the first lap. Across the line for the second lap there was great excitement in the battle for eighth; Dominik Ulman coming out on top early doors. Jurica Slovinac, behind in ninth, would fall further into the clutches of Ege Altinel with the Turkish driver eventually passing the Croatian.
The next battle to kick off would be that for sixth. Both without points going into Monza, Jonathan Riley and Davide Adami were going at it tooth and nail. Unfortunately, the line was crossed with the Italian a little too optimistic into Alboreto Parabolica. The resulting contact gave Ulman a sniff who had caught up but the rightfully frustrated Riley held on superbly.
The duelling hadn’t just brought Ulman into play but Altinel also. Sadly, what was turning into a fantastic fight ended in tears with Altinel far too aggressive into Ascari and Ulman ultimately in the wall.
For Lacombe however it was smooth sailing yet again. Pole converted into a second helping of 25 points whilst D’Alcamo and Batifoulier would surely be content with a podium’s worth of rewards.
- Arnaud Lacombe – 31:16.841
- Leonardo D’Alcamo – +1.856
- Maxime Batifoulier – +4.474
- Leonardo Pagano – +11.230
- Maichol Tonizza – +14.453
- Davide Adami* – +16.769
- Jonathan Riley – +25.453
- Ege Atinel – +26.797
- Jurica Slovinac – +28.988
- Alessandro Miraglia* – +30.394
*Before time penalty applied
With half of the third phase now complete, we have a view of the Ferrari Esports Series favourites with greater clarity. A top three is emerging in Group A whilst Group B has seen Arnaud Lacombe stretch his points lead even further.
This phase of the Ferrari Esports Series will continue with Round 3 – racing on 23rd October and broadcast 26th October 26th on the Ferrari Esports Twitch channel.