The second round of the 2022 DTM Esports Championship took to the Norisring on Thursday night (24th March 2022) with a field of 29 drivers who qualified their way in over the winter months on the RaceRoom Racing Experience sim platform.
Somewhat of a short course, the Norisring in Germany only has eight corners and measures in at 2.3-kilometers. It features fast straights and slow corners, and the DTM Esports pros took full advantage of it in their second race of the season.
Round 1 of the 2022 DTM Esports Championship at Imola was a successful round for both reigning champion Moritz Löhner and jack-of-all-sims Kevin Siggy. A win and a second place for both drivers should have meant a tie at the top of the standings heading to the Norisring.
Yet, after deliberation from the stewards, the Austro-Slovenian would hold a five point advantage thanks to a Feature Race penalty for the Sprint Race victor.
In a campaign of only six parts, early points hauls such as these can be the difference between a title charge and midfield mediocrity. Further down the order, the likes of Isaac Price, Leonard Krippner and Christopher Högfeldt would all be hoping for a one-up this time around.
SPRINT RACE QUALIFYING
By far the shortest track on the calendar, sub-50 second laps were achieved by all of the top four. Siggy’s Qualifying form continued to sizzle nicely with a third consecutive pole position ahead of Gianmarco Fiduci who had a decent time back in Imola. Högfeldt delivered a stronger performance to nab third place ahead of Alessandro Ottaviani who was impressing thus far.
Löhner meanwhile was seemingly struggling with one lap pace yet again. Although more order deviation than usual should have been expected around such a tight, short circuit, the German was now handicapped for the Sprint ahead irrespectively.
Siggy and Högfeldt were the big winners out of Grundig as the pole sitters start was strong and the Swede behind used the melee to swing himself up into second. On the flip side of fortunes, it was a disastrous start for Löhner who got caught out in the aforementioned fracas, falling outside of the top twenty.
Fourth-placed Ottaviani pressured his compatriot in the early laps but soon found himself targeted by Adam Pinczes. The Hungarian pilot was soon past. The second of the Hungarian runners, David Nagy, was involved in the fantastic scrap for sixth along with Matija Markovic, Florian Hasse and Tim Jarschel. With the lion’s share of nine minutes left, Nagy was in the pound seat.
An uncharacteristic, unprompted spin from Siggy would be the biggest shock of the race as the man some three seconds clear threw away the lead. Once back underway, the Redline Ferrari ran fourth in what had become a five-way Scuderia lead battle. An immediate, forceful move on Pinczes brought Siggy back onto the podium.
Lunging in on Fiduci at Dutzendteich paid off on the final lap, but it was not enough to rescue back victory from Högfeldt who took his first win of the season.
ENDURANCE RACE QUALIFYING
Different qualifying session, same front row as Siggy completed a consecutive quartet of pole positions ahead of Fiduci once more. Ottaviani went one better than Sprint Qualifying in third place ahead of an improved Hasse.
A miserable first race wasn’t made much better for Löhner as once again he failed to make the top ten starting spots. Perhaps the biggest disappointment of Endurance Qualifying, however, was Sprint winner Högfeldt who also missed out.
For the field’s spearhead, despite some door banging, it was a relatively mundane start to the hour-long Endurance Race. Högfeldt probably made the best start of the lot working his way up inside the top ten by the end of the first lap.
As Löhner had found out thirty minutes prior, the midfield was a tempestuous one this evening though. Just two rotations later the German was hounding the top ten with the Swede behind.
Sadly for Moritz, it seemed there would be no reprieve from incidents. Within minutes of overtaking Högfeldt, Löhner found himself outside of the top twenty for the second time that evening. With Siggy still up front, it was all looking very handsome for the Austro-Slovenian even at this early stage.
Two major passes occurred as the first ten minutes elapsed. First came the exchange of the Italians as Ottaviani passed Fiduci for second. Then came Pinczes, sizing up Hasse before a move into the penultimate corner for fourth.
With the pitlane open, none of the front runners were expected early for fear of exiting pit road into traffic. Of the Top 10, Attila Diner was first to blink.
Fiduci was the next major player to strap on a new set of proverbial boots, heading to the pitlane on the stroke of half distance. As the wait for responses commenced, drama erupted between Högfeldt and Jarschel, the latter of which initially half spun the Swede leading to both of them losing position.
After the battle raged on for another couple of laps, Högfeldt returned the favour and then some with Jarschel well out of the hunt for a top ten finish.
As the red mist descended Siggy and Ottaviani made their stops, both successfully trumping Fiduci’s attempted undercut. Nevertheless, the third-placed Italian was looking feisty and eventually lined up a rather undiplomatic move down at Grundig.
Though the manoeuvre was lambasted by the commentary team, it is our understanding that all was deemed rough but fair thanks to Ottaviani leaving the door open.
With just a quarter of the race left, Ottaviani kept his head level and found his way back into second without much Fiduci fuss. Yet, with all of this squabbling, it ensured that Kevin Siggy would be completely answered in his domination of the Endurance Race.
The most ominous sign for everyone else? It should have been the perfect sweep of results tonight for Siggy had there been no Sprint Race spin.
DTM Esports 2022, Round 2, Sprint Race Results
- Christopher Högfeldt 17:23.660
- Kevin Siggy +0.210
- Gianmarco Fiduci +0.610
- Alessandro Ottaviani +1.381
- Adam Pinczes +1.472
- David Nagy +5.628
- Florian Hasse +5.931
- Tim Jarschel +7.961
- Matija Markovic +8.359
- Attila Diner +8.827
DTM Esports 2022, Round 2, Endurance Race Results
- Kevin Siggy 62:42.382
- Alessandro Ottaviani +12.762
- Gianmarco Fiduci +13.414
- Adam Pinczes +15.999
- Florian Hasse +18.429
- David Nagy +18.512
- Axel Vermeylen +23.167
- Jack Keithley +25.795
- Attila Diner +27.620
- Christopher Högfeldt* +32.688
*Pending stewards review
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