During the first half of the F1 22 game cycle, Otis Lawrence dominated things on the Xbox platform, claiming the World Online Racing title with three races to spare.
The young Welshman claimed his first PC victory from pole position after dominating at Paul Ricard.
The two dominant drivers on console on F1 2020 joined him on the podium: Wilson Hughes and Jake Benham.
The returning Dani Moreno started at the rear of the field with Fabrizio Donoso, who was serving a qualifying ban.
The duo were joined in the drop zone by Red Bull’s Liam Parnell, Aston Martin development driver Max Wissel, and Williams Esports’ new signing Will Lewis.
In Q2, the two-time F1 Esports champion was on the wrong side of the red line, ending up in 12th. Opmeer was next to by his former F1 Esports teammate Dani Bereznay on the sixth row. Belgium race winner Istvan Puki was also out, alongside Filip Presnajder and Joost Noordijk.
The rain arrived in Q3, with the drivers crossing the line first getting the best conditions. Lawrence set his lap over a minute ahead of anyone else, taking his first pole on PC.
Bari Boroumand joined him on the front row, with Jake Benham and championship leader Thomas Ronhaar on the second row.
Luke Smith started fifth, with Dylan Warren impressing on his return to F1 in sixth, ahead of Alvaro Carreton, Jack West, Wilson Hughes and Ismael Fassi, completing the top 10.
Lawrence got a perfect start, with Boroumand and Benham slipping safely behind.
Further back, Ronhaar fought the two Alpines and lost a spot to Warren and Smith by the end of the first lap.
Hughes and Bereznay made moves on the opening lap, with two overtakes each after Carreton fell down the field.
Boroumand and Lawrence battled for the lead after Benham attempted to get past the Iranian.
The Welshman defended the first attack but was helpless on Lap 7, with Boroumand easing past.
Ronhaar did not lick his wounds, and he got straight to the task at hand on Lap 11, with an excellent move on Smith down the first DRS straight.
After draining his battery to defend from Ronhaar, Smith was passed by Hughes for sixth.
Warren pitted from fourth on Lap 15, with Ronhaar opting to pit at the end of the next lap.
Sadly Boroumand suffered a screen freeze when attempting the overcut and fell behind Benham and Lawrence.
The duo pitted at the end of the lap, and Lawrence came out ahead of Warren and Ronhaar, and Boroumand ended up behind Hughes in a net sixth.
Benham went another lap to get a significant tyre advantage on the leaders for the remainder of the stint, and he dropped three positions on colder tyres behind West, Boroumand, and Puki.
Warren and Ronhaar, who have had previous incidents, went to battle with Warren, who was getting his elbows out on multiple occasions and affecting the Dutchman’s race in more ways than one, forcing him off the track and giving him a time penalty.
On Lap 26, Hughes took advantage and blasted past the pair to take second place, leaving a five-way podium battle.
Ronhaar and Warren were going to war on the final lap, giving Boroumand, Bereznay and Benham a shot at the podium.
The Dutchman finally got past Warren but was attacked by Boroumand and Bereznay through Sector 3.
The Hungarian went around the outside of the Iranian before Benham also passed his championship rival to take the final spot on the podium after Ronhaar and Bereznay got time penalties.
Whilst carnage occurred behind, Lawrence cruised to take his maiden win by over three seconds.
Hughes and Benham completed the podium, with Boroumand and Puki completing the top five.
Donoso went from the back of the grid to take sixth, ahead of Fassi, Wissel, Warren, and Parnell, completing the top 10.
Ronhaar ended up outside the points due to his time penalties.
Next up, a trip to Mexico for Round 9.
SEASON 32 PREMIER SIM GAMING LEAGUE PC F1 CHAMPIONSHIP: ROUND 8 RESULTS
- Otis Lawrence – Red Bull
- Wilson Hughes – McLaren
- Jake Benham – Mercedes
- Bari Boroumand – Ferrari
- Istvan Puki – Alpha Tauri
- Fabrizio Donoso – Aston Martin
- Ismael Fassi – Haas
- Max Wissel – Aston Martin
- Dylan Warren – Alpine
- Liam Parnell – Red Bull