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Toman and Simončič emerge atop after GT Pro Series returns

Simoncic emerges as championship leader after GT Pro Series returns

Just months after Jan von der Heyde claimed the GT Pro Series Season 3 title at Indianapolis, Grand Tourers were back in town live exclusively on Traxion.GG.

The format would remain the same – qualifying preceded Sprint and Feature races – but the type of car available shifted from GT3 to GTE. An extra twist was added to the starting order formation for the Feature; rather than using a reverse grid from the finishing order of the Sprint, the grid would utilise the qualifying results with the top ten inverted.

New technical regulations, alongside the variables of the draft, were almost certain to shake up the rFactor 2 field something fierce. Would the champion suffer as much as Jajovski before him though?

Qualifying

The Autodromo Nazionale di Monza kicked off Season 4’s six-round calendar and Nikodem Wisniewski got to work straight away picking up the first pole position available. As usual, the field was tightly packed with the top six, featuring the Varga Esports duo of Marcell Csincsik and Jiri Toman, separated by less than three tenths.

Risto Kappet would happily return to form with third whilst Burst Esports would also feature strongly thanks to Dawid Mroczek and Jernej Simončič fifth and seventh respectively. Von der Heyde struggled hugely sadly with 28th echoing Jajovski’s nightmare.

Nikodem Wisniewski, Williams Esports, GT Pro Series Season 4 Round 1 qualifying Monza

Sprint Race

To call the run down to the Rettifilo chicane an unmitigated disaster would be underselling it. Csinscik had stolen the march on Wisniewski and the Polish driver was being threatened with losing as many as five positions. But contact between the two and Kappet on the outside would do a good job of matching the legendary 1998 Belgian Grand Prix mess.

Toman would escape the madness to lead from Simončič and Team Redline’s Kevin Siggy – who must be the busiest person in sim racing at present, also competing in the Formula Pro Series and ADAC GT Masters.

Timotej Andonovski, entering his second season of GT Pro, was loving life having climbed from 22nd up to sixth. He’d have a tough fight on his hands against the two Red Bull Racing Esports Corvette C8s of Dennis Jordan and Yuri Kasdorp with the scrap behind for top 10 places as intense as usual. Ahead, Peyo Peev and Pro debutant Presley Martono scrapped for the glory of fourth.

Andonovski and Martano would eventually fall backwards but someone who never needed to look back was Toman who came home comfortably as the first winner in Season 4. Simončič and Siggy didn’t have much competition for the other two steps of the podium.

Jiri Toman wins GT Pro Series Season 4 Round 1 Sprint Race, Monza
  1. Jiri Toman – Varga SimRacing – 9 LAPS
  2. Jernej Simončič – Burst Esport
  3. Kevin Siggy – BMW Team Redline
  4. Peyo Peev – Buttler-Pal Motorsport
  5. Yuri Kasdorp – Red Bull Racing Esports
  6. Petar Brljak – Williams Esports
  7. Matt Richards – Rocket Simsport
  8. Dennis Jordan – Red Bull Racing Esports
  9. Jakub Brzezinski – Williams Esports
  10. Timotej Andonovski – Cetrez Nitor Velox

Main Race

After a late-race spin, throwing away good points in the process, Martono would start the Feature on pole ahead of Rocket Simsport’s Ibrahim Khan. The start was much cleaner this time around with only two taking to the escape road. Jakub Brzezinski made a place up to third whilst Wisniewski’s starting form was poor once again – the second Williams dropping two positions.

Simončič was on the warpath and had dispatched all those in front of him with aplomb, taking the lead within the first three minutes. Khan had dropped to fourth whilst Siggy fell to seventh. Martano would be the centre of the bullying 10 minutes in though as the vicious nature of GT Pro Series was laid bare for the Indonesian. Second to sixth in the space of four corners.

The two Varga pilots were loving the opportunity to work together directly on track and Khan was next in their sights. Sprint winner Toman was able to head through cleanly but Csincsik was a little too eager to press the issue. Almost spinning by pinching Khan on the inside of the Della Roggia chicane, both would concede the position to Kappet. The Englishman would quickly scythe his way back through on the Estonian but it would all come to tears soon enough.

Crash, GT Pro Series Season 4 Round 1 main race Monza

Csincsik looked to turn across Kappet, just as he did across Wisniewski in the Sprint, and cause all three to head to the gravel. Martano would get caught up in the fracas allowing Kasdorp to gain multiple positions. Meanwhile, upfront, Brzezinski relieved Simončič of the lead into the Della Roggia.

The halfway stage would initiate the pit stop phase with many going for the undercut on those ahead and a bizarre pit lane incident where Kappet lost his rear wing by clipping Siggy in the box ahead – forcing the Estonian’s retirement.

The big winners would be Matt Richards and Luis Felipe Capamadjian who found themselves snugly in fourth and fifth.

The Peruvian had done well but couldn’t hold back Jordan and Siebel from heading upwards. Neither could Simončič hold back the rampaging Brzezinki whose late-game pace was searing. The Pole stormed to victory ahead of the Slovenian who finished 2nd for a second consecutive race. Toman also completed a fantastic first outing; a podium to add to his Sprint victory.

Jakub Brzezinski, Williams Esports, GT Pro Series Season 4 Round 1 main race Monza
  1. Jakub Brzezinski – Williams Esports – 26 LAPS
  2. Jernej Simončič – Burst Esport
  3. Jiri Toman – Varga SimRacing
  4. Matt Richards – Rocket Simsport
  5. Dennis Jordan – Red Bull Racing Esports
  6. Alex Siebel – Red Bull Racing Esports
  7. Dawid Mroczek – Burst Esport
  8. Luis Felipe Capamadjian – HM Engineering
  9. Kasper Stoltze – Jean Alesi Esports
  10. Luca D’Amelio – BHK Esports by TX3

In Conclusion

Early doors in Season 4 and already the GT Pro Series is providing action in spades. Jiri Toman and Jernej Simončič lead the way by a slim margin and as we all know, this championship is never as simple as reading form from the first round.

We head to Sebring in two weeks time so be sure to subscribe to the Traxion.GG YouTube channel and ring the bell to get all notifications regarding Round 2!

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