After win in bot the sprint and endurance race during the final round, Kevin Siggy is the 2022 DTM Esports champion, with a real-world DTM Trophy drive on the line for the top five.
Fifty-four points separated him and the only other challenger for the title, Moritz Löhner, heading into the final round at Algarve International Circuit, Portugal.
Although the championship story was enticing, there was a bigger picture at play a little further down the standings. Ultimately, becoming DTM 2022 champion held only bragging rights; the top five by the end of Thursday evening (28th April) would be brought to a DTM scouting day where one of them would get a full season in the real world DTM Trophy series.
This was the prize everyone was fighting for.
Alessandro Ottaviani in fifth, once a title contender this season, sat on a precarious points advantage over Leonard Krippner. Would the German be able to sneak in or would the Italian hold his ground?
First strikes went the way of Siggy and Krippner who formed the front row of the grid for the sprint race. Their primary opponents didn’t sit too far behind, Löhner struggling most of the quartet in fifth directly below Ottaviani on the starting grid.
Gianmarco Fiduci would be hoping to solidify his place in the top five from third place.
Fiduci was the big winner through the first few corners thanks to plenty of unsure positioning from the front runners. His overtake on Krippner would lead to something of a downward spiral across the first lap for the German.
From a very handy second position, the Dörr BMW would fall to fifth behind both Löhner and most crucially Ottaviani. A big spin from sixth place Axel Vermeylen ended up becoming a sidenote in the greater narrative.
Things would get messier on the second lap after contact initiated by Krippner. Alert and aware, Max Pfeifer slipped into the now-vacated fourth place whilst the R8G Esports Ferrari wrestled for control.
Florian Hasse, third in the championship standings, found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time – hit by the recovering Italian. As the third Dörr machine plummeted, Isaac Price found a way into fifth place whilst Krippner somehow ended the melee directly ahead of the car he had wronged.
Tensions settled significantly following the opening salvos and no further major changes in position were made. Kevin Siggy was shadowed by Fiduci the entire contest yet with no attack forthcoming, the Austro-Slovenian crossed the finish line unchallenged to become the 2022 DTM Esports champion.
Conceding his second crown in a matter of weeks, Moritz Löhner was graceful in defeat claiming yet another podium finish.
Endurance race qualifying
The king is dead long live the king. Siggy’s reign at the top of DTM Esports started off with yet another pole position, this time ahead of the man who followed him home in the sprint race.
Fiduci would be keeping an eye behind him as the second row was filled with those who had a point to prove. Hasse fancied his chances after being robbed of a top ten finish whilst Christopher Högfeldt looked to end a difficult season on a high.
Krippner outqualified Ottaviani once more but only just. The two vying for the final Scouting Day spot would begin the final race from sixth and seventh on the grid.
Siggy’s launch was perfect as the 2022 closer went green. Ottaviani sent one on Krippner into Lagos and Hasse was once again at the mercy of those unable to save the situation. Krippner could do nothing but watch his stablemate’s race dissolve in front of his very eyes.
R8G Esports, very well aware of the nature of Ottaviani’s predicament, were quick to act with the Italian now in fourth. Högfeldt seemed more than compliant to play the team game and soon the two Ferraris were switched. The Swede was immediately on the defensive, making Krippner’s life a misery.
It all came to a head the following lap, thanks to Högfeldt not caring about the time deficit to his stablemate scurrying up the road. Krippner attempted a sweep around the outside of Primeira only to find the ADAC GT Masters Esports title challenger throwing it up the inside of Lagos to retain fourth.
As Krippner was caught on the outside line, Price (in a battle of his own with Pfeifer) steamed down the inside of the TAILOREDRIG Mercedes-AMG and right into the rear of the Dörr BMW.
Spun onto the grass like Hasse before him, irrespective of post-race judgement, it appeared that the fight for fifth in the standings was over. It was now the turn of Löhner to spin a car with Price the unfortunate victim. With just over 46 minutes left to run, the Brit found himself mowing the already well-trimmed lawn at Lagos.
The pitstop phase proved intriguing with both the under and overcut finding success. Löhner was one of the first to stop inside the top ten and gained so much ground that even Högfeldt was behind him in the eventual net order. Pfeifer, however, found even better rewards by pitting later and placing himself in third overall past the struggling Ottaviani.
The Italian’s tyres were looking worse for wear to say the least. A big lock up at Portimão corner had the most direct cost as Löhner breezed by. With Krippner regaining places, the German was putting on a defensive clinic. Despite Ottaviani regaining fourth, it was only for a brief time thanks to astute pressure from the outgoing champion.
As the gap between Krippner and Ottaviani diminished rapidly, Löhner finally cracked thanks to a mistake into Primeira as the 10-minute countdown to the season’s end began.
It was easy pickings for Alessandro but in his desperation to cause more upset, Löhner veered into the pursuing Högfeldt.
An incredibly tense final few laps ensued as Krippner closed and Löhner did everything within his legal power to offset Ottaviani but it all came to nothing. Löhner ended up facing backwards at Sagres whilst Alessandro Ottaviani survived hell itself to lock in his spot at the DTM Scouting Event, pending steward approval.
Siggy won the race well out of the spotlight ahead of strong performances from Fiduci and Pfeifer.
2022 DTM ESPORTS CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL STANDINGS
- Kevin Siggy – 466 points
- Moritz Löhner – 366 point
- Gianmarco Fiduci – 293 points
- Alessandro Ottaviani – 251 points
- Florian Hasse – 250 points
DTM Esports, Round 6, sprint race results
- Kevin Siggy 19:25.582
- Gianmarco Fiduci +1.488
- Moritz Löhner +9.180
- Max Pfeifer +9.342
- Isaac Price +9.638
- Leonard Krippner* +10.053
- Alessandro Ottaviani +12.237
- Adam Pinczes +12,778
- Christopher Högfeldt +13.262
- Marc Gassner +14.756
*Under investigation by the stewards
DTM Esports, Round 6, endurance race results
- Kevin Siggy 64:03.913
- Gianmarco Fiduci +14.083
- Max Pfeifer +26.015
- Alessandro Ottaviani* +38.503
- Leonard Krippner +38.758
- Marc Gassner +40.082
- Attila Diner +40.302
- Christopher Högfeldt +41.639
- Jack Keithley +45.194
- Florian Hasse +46.015
*Under investigation by the stewards