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Simončič becomes GT Pro Series Season 4 champion

Simončič becomes GT Pro Series Season 4 champion

Another season of professional rFactor 2-backed competition would come to a close on Monday evening with Round 6 of 6 in GT Pro Series’ fourth season. Once again, Indianapolis Motor Speedway was selected to be the twilight venue for the championship as Jernej Simončič aimed to add another title to his growing collection.

The Slovenian looked to, on a number of occasions, played rather too happily into the team efforts of Burst Esports rather than do everything to preserve his own points advantage. Either way, he still led the championship going into the final two races.

Qualifying

His evening got off to a fantastic start with pole position for the Sprint Race ahead of Williams’ Nikodem Wisniewski. Even better news was that none of his primary title rivals featured inside the top five with Kevin Siggy, Risto Kappet and TImotej Andonovski in between the pole sitter and stablemate Michi Hoyer.

The German would have important rear gunner work ahead of him as Dennis Jordan and Ibraheem Khan lay within the fringes of the top ten. Both drivers were considered outside shots for championship glory. Both Varga cars along with second-placed Alex Siebel were surprisingly even further down the grid.

Sprint Race

Much like Jan von der Heyde in Season 3, things continued to align for Simončič in the final round. Kappet had a great run around the outside of Wisniewski at Turn 1, immediately giving the Burst Esports driver some breathing room. Hoyer didn’t quite have the opening lap he was hoping for, losing out to Nuno Pinto, though all the crucial drivers were still behind.

GT Pro Series Season 4 Indianapolis Sprint Race

The slipstream trains severely limited overtaking for the rest of the race. Pinto was struggling under braking however and caused a chain reaction when Hoyer, in attempting to re-pass the Fordzilla-Porsche, inadvertently allowed Jakub Brzezinski to poach his position. The Pole would go on to pass Pinto himself while further up the road, Wisniewski’s defence of third relented to Siggy’s Redline BMW.

Simončič was kept honest by Round 5’s Sprint winner Kappet, however, he never really looked under any real threat, taking home yet another victory and doing as much as he could to limit damage starting from P10 in the Feature Race. Siggy strode away from Wisniewski, further cementing his podium.

  1. Jernej Simončič – 10 Laps
  2. Risto Kappet
  3. Kevin Siggy
  4. Nikodem Wisniewski
  5. Timotej Andonovski
  6. Jakub Brzezinski
  7. Nuno Pinto
  8. Michi Hoyer
  9. Ibraheem Khan
  10. Alex Siebel

Main Race

For anyone to fashion a chance of overhauling Simončič in the Feature, he needed a poor result first and foremost. In contrast to the Sprint, it wasn’t a great start for the Slovenian who dropped four places. Khan’s getaway was nervy though Jordan’s eagerness to wrestle the lead away ended in a disastrous fall down the order. Marcell Csincsik was the strongest starter heading up to seventh.

The ferocious start continued into Lap 3 when Pinto’s assault for first bore success through the opening corner complex. Khan’s race pace was suffering, evidenced by overtakes from Hoyer and Brzezinski just a couple of minutes later. The Fordzilla reign of the race was over as quickly as it began, however, with Hoyer making short work of the Portuguese. Brzezinski followed through the next lap.

GT Pro Series Season 4 Indianapolis Feature race

Siebel felt the need to roll the dice and came into the pits early, less than 15 minutes in, to try and take some control of his destiny. Meanwhile, the fate of Hoyer was also in the balance as Brzezinski’s warpath continued with the German. In a change to the norm, all Red Bulls diverted to this methodology; Kadorp and Jordan making their way to pit road within minutes of Siebel.

The gains Dennis in particular found were gargantuan, effectively recovering his entire race plan and then some. The German now sat behind Brzezinski in net-second with Andonovski also finding joy in a podium threatening undercut. Siggy and Simončič meanwhile would go long, with neither ending up in a favourable position. The only advantage either driver could boast about was fresher tyres with half the race to run.

GT Pro Series Season 4 Red Bull Racing Esports

Ultimately, all eyes would naturally fall on the championship protagonists from here on out. Despite his lowly position, Jernej was still on course for success. Highest-placed rival Siebel fell to another strong Kappet move, Khan was mired defending sixth for his life and those who had stumbled in qualifying weren’t making any progress. Sadly, Andonovski’s race was stymied during a Turn 1 incident in the midfield melee.

Delighted would be Simončič however who had done plenty enough that there was never any need to worry during the Feature Race. He would become the Season 4 champion as Brzezinski won ahead of Kappet and Jordan. Jan von der Heyde, Season 3 champion and running with 20kg of ballast, confirmed his unthinkable relegation continuing the rather unseemly tradition begun by Erhan Jajovski months ago.

  1. Jakub Brzezinski – 29 Laps
  2. Risto Kappet
  3. Dennis Jordan
  4. Nuno Pinto
  5. Michi Hoyer
  6. Ibraheem Khan
  7. Alex Siebel
  8. Kevin Siggy
  9. Jernej Simončič
  10. Yuri Kasdorp
GT Pro Series Season 4 Jakub Brzezinski

Conclusion

After finishing second in the championship points, despite a tricky final round, Alex Siebel was upbeat about his performance.

“Prior to the season, when the draft system was known and we as a team would get a late pick, we know we would be at a huge disadvantage with the car choice. But in the end, we made it work and finishing second is amazing,” explained the Red Bull Racing Esports driver.

“The Corvette C8 is usually not that good in qualifying, but the last two rounds suited us. We knew that Indianapolis is pretty much the worst track for this car. Me and [teammate] Dennis Jordan worked hard to find the final tenths. Sadly for me, it didn’t work out to be inside the top 10, but to be around Toman and Csincsik was more than I expected.”

Champion Jernej Simončič was over the moon with his victory after a challenging final race.

“I think I’ve fully used all of [the Ferrari’s] strengths to put it into positions where sometimes I didn’t at all expect it to be, and finally arrived at the last round as the championship leader. It’s been a fantastic season of racing,” highlighted the Season 4 champion.

“The last race was hectic as after the reversed grid, and an unlucky first couple of corners, I found myself in 16th place. But it was then so much more exciting to drive through the field back into the top 10 to clinch the title.”

Simončič GT Pro Series Season 4 Indianapolis
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