Romagnoli wins Ferrari Esports Series EU Regional Final

After a duo of races, Michael Romagnoli was able to capture the EU Regional Final title for the Ferrari Esports Series on Tuesday.
Romagnoli wins Ferrari Esports Series EU Regional Final

Ongoing since March of this year, the Ferrari Velas Esports Series returned for its second season with familiar faces and a revamped format.

For 2022, the competition would be split across two regions; the established European and fresh North American. Both sides of the pond would eventually lead into respective Regional Finals, where six drivers would secure invitation to a Grand Final to be held in Italy. 

EU’s Regional Final was to be held at both the Silverstone Circuit and the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari. Much like the previous year, different Ferrari’s would be utilised for each circuit giving the drivers an extra layer of challenge to overcome.

Race 1 Qualifying 

Fastest around the British home of Formula 1 in the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo was Marcin Swiderek of Poland. Behind him were two very familiar names – Andrea Miatto and Michael Romagnoli of Italy. Romagnoli, in particular, was one of the more consistent points scorers in 2021 and watched with great interest. 

Race 1

Unfortunately for the experienced runner, Romagnoli would have one of the worse starts in the top ten. Jonathan Riley swept by into Abbey – another of the returning participants from last season. Some of the best racing to be found on the first lap was well outside the top ten. Fighting tooth and nail for sixteenth place, Ivan Shermetinskii was able to best Jurica Slovinac through Maggotts and Becketts. 

As Swiderek stretched his leading advantage to over three seconds, the trio behind squabbled over the remaining podium places. The next major action to unfold would not do so until well over half way into the thirty minute sprint.

Riley had been closing on Miatto for a number of laps and finally pulled the trigger with a manuevre around the outside of Brooklands. Contact entering Luffield unsettled the Brit’s car into a spin. Remonstrating understandably, he would rejoin the circuit outside of the points paying positions. 

Romagnoli had gained one place through the incident and managed to secure another in quick succession. Miatto had been thrown off his own groove and was wildly off-line through Maggotts and Becketts. The overtake was completed neatly into Stowe.

Riley, meanwhile, was determined in his recovery drive. Catching Dominik Ulman, he was able to pass the Polish pilot with seven further minutes to take on Niko Puntula. Another position was nabbed for free as Adrian Kot was forced to retire from inside the top ten. 

Nobody was stopping Swiderek who stormed to a mightily impressive victory ahead of a distant Romagnoli. Miatto completed the podium, barely holding off Leonardo Pagano and Dario Iemmulo. 

  1. Marcin Swiderek
  2. Michael Romganoli 
  3. Andrea Miatto
  4. Leonardo Pagano
  5. Dario Iemmulo
  6. Federico Pedrini
  7. Maurice Strijker
  8. Niko Puntola
  9. Jonathan Riley
  10. Dominik Ulman

Race 2 Qualifying

Now manning the 488 Challenge Evo, it was Miatto who showed the greatest one-lap pace in Qualifying. Fellow podium-sitter Romagnoi once again started third with Kirill Sadyrov fighting against the odds from second to secure an invitation to the Grand Finals. From pole position at Silverstone, Swiderek started eleventh on the grid in Imola with a big job ahead of him. 

Race 2

Wet weather greeted the field, ratcheting up the already sizeable difficulty for overtaking around the narrow and twisting track with plenty of history behind it. Aside from changing simulator (Assetto Corsa to Assetto Corsa Competizione), the start format was also adjusted to a rolling procedure. 

Sadyrov got the better launch of the front row but was earlier on the brakes into Tamburello. With Miatto holding the lead, some were struggling to hold their cars on the tarmac. Both Iemmulo and Pagano found themselves dipping into gravel much earlier than they would haved desired.

An incident was bound to develop given the tricky conditions and so it came to be at the Alta Chicane. Thankfully, none of the front runners were involved. Almost ten minutes in, Swiderek – now up to tenth place – thought he had spotted a chance to grab more points as Pagano and Slovanic had a disagreement into the Alta. Unfortunately, his good work was undone seconds later.

The Rivazza gravel trap met him after braking far too late. Still, he remained within eye sight of points which could not be said of Pagano who got punted off the road by Luca Vernole into Tamburello. 

An almost identical incident would occur just one lap on although this time featuring race leader Miatto. Sadyrov had looked like the faster machine up until this moment but a lapse in concentration sent his rival into the wall with terminal suspension damage.

Vernole and a fast-recovering Pagano were at it again further back with the two clashing at Rivazza. Fortune was in Swiderek’s hand who found himself ninth once more. 

There was a really frightening moment for the man now in third place, Riley, although he didn’t know much about it. Iemmulo had never looked at home in the wet conditions and into Rivazza his car locked up and sent the Italian hurtling towards the section of track between Turns 19 and 20. Mercifully, no one was collected. 

Although the rain ceasing added a final, proverbial banana peel into the mix, no further overtakes were to be made within the top three. Sadyrov hit the chequered flag first but would be demoted to ninth following his altercation with Miatto. This meant that Romagnoli had taken the win and, with it, EU Regional Finals honours. 

The penalty also massively benefitted Riley whose brilliant drive had earned him third place in the overall standings. Swiderek was lucky to have many of his major threats eliminated from the race – he completed the EU trio heading to the Grand Finals. 

  1. Michael Romagnoli
  2. Jonathan Riley
  3. Ivan Shermetinskii
  4. Jurica Slovinac
  5. Dominik Ulman
  6. Marcin Swiderek
  7. Adrian Kot
  8. Maurice Strijker
  9. Kirill Sadyrov*
  10. Maichol Tonizza

*After post-race penalty applied

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