The inaugural event was at Monza, following a successful trial at the 24 Hours of Spa last year.
In qualifying, it was Mercedes-AMG domination, with Tobias Gronewald for Unicorns of Love in pole position ahead of Dominik Blajer, Bastian Richter, Dennis Schöniger, Tobias Pfeffer and Dáire McCormack completing the top-six lock-out for the Affalterbach sports car.
The first non-AMG on the Assetto Corsa Competizione-utilising grid was David Tonizza in the Lamborghini in seventh.
As the one-hour race began, the septet of Mercedes charged down to the Variante del Rettifilo, and not all of them emerged at the other side.
Contact from a gaggle of vehicles had a knock-on effect, as McCormack nudged Williams team-mate Schöniger into a spin in front of the pack, only to be collected by the Ferrari of Chris Harteveld and then the BMW of Gregor Schill. Several cars made their escape either by cutting the chicane or by driving through the gravel.
Gronewald did make it through and head the lead, ahead of Blajer, Richter and Pfeffer, with Schöniger retiring through damage and McCormack down in 10th.
It meant the best non-AMG was still the Huracán of Tonizza in fifth, with squad-member Luca Losio on his tail in sixth.
On only the second lap, with Gronewald escaping, three AMGs duked it out, and contact between all three at the Variante Della Roggia let Pfeffer jump from fourth to second.
Tonizza would try to follow through, but side-to-side contact witnessed Richter fly off into the gravel in-between the two Lesmos. The Lamborghini driver would receive a drivethrough penalty
The Unicorns of Love driver’s day would go from bad to worse 10 minutes later with an off-camera incident at the second chicane dropping him to 20th.
Meanwhile, McCormack was making use of his AMG’s performance, scything his way back up to fourth within the opening 10 per cent of the race.
As the mid-point approached, former Ferrari Esports Series champion Kamil Pawlowski had made his way through the chaos and was the best of the rest.
Once the mandatory pitstop window opened, the leading four stayed out longer the most, with McCormack blinking first. Blajer followed soon after, before one lap later, Gronewald and Pfeffer pitted.
Once it had shaken out, Gronewald still lead, but only by 2.5 seconds to Pfeffer. By the next lap, that gap was cut to just 0.5s.
Meanwhile, having pitted earlier than most, Flash Axle Sports’ Ar Muhammad Aleef was just behind Pawlowski, challenging for the best non-AMG. The ITB Sainteloc Racing driver would receive a five-second penalty for an earlier indiscretion, however, handing the Ferrari 296 GT3 fifth place once the race had been completed.
With 21 minutes remaining, Pfeffer made the move for the lead, diving down the inside of a fellow Tobias at the opening corner in a clean overtake. It would be a position he would hold on to until the chequered flag, completing a Mercedes-AMG walkover.
Four further rounds of the SRO SIM Pro Series will follow throughout the season.
SRO SIM Pro Series 2023, Round 1, Monza, results
- Tobias Pfeffer – Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo Mercedes-AMG Esports Team HRT by UOL – 1:01:28.102
- Tobias Gronewald – Mercedes-AMG Esports Team Unicorns of Love – Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo +2.054
- Dominik Blajer – Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo – Williams Esports +16.861
- Dáire McCormack – Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo – Mercedes-AMG Team Williams Esports +32.016
- Ar Muhammad Aleef – Ferrari 296 GT3 – Flash Axle Sports +33.275
- Kamil Pawlowski – Audi R8 LMS Evo II – ITB Sainteloc Racing +34.141
- Chris Harteveld – Ferrari 296 GT3 – Scuderia Ferrari Esports Team +36.737
- Dario Iemmulo – Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2 – VS Racing by Ballas eSport +37.455
- Daniel Savini – Porsche 992 GT3 R – Jean Alesi Esports Team +44.799
- Arthur Kammerer – BMW M4 GT3 – BMW M Team BS+COMPETITION +49.304
- Luke Whitehead – McLaren Veloce – McLaren 720s GT3 +56.752
- Danilo Santoro – Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2 – Automobili Lamborghini Esports Team +57.077
- Jordan Sherratt – Ferrari 296 GT3 – Scuderia Ferrari Esports Team +1:02.297
- Luca Losio – Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2 – Automobili Lamborghini Esports Team +1:16.340
- Tristan Bollwinkel – Ferrari 296 GT3 – Grid Finder Racing +1:21.029
- Kieran Prendergast – Ferrari 296 GT3 – Brabham Esports Powered by O-Rouge +1:31.229
- Michael Romanidis – Porsche 992 GT3 R – VRS Coanda Esports +1:33.834
- David Tonizza – Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2 – Automobili Lamborghini Esports Team +1:38.897
- Bastian Richter – Mercedes-AMG Esports Team Unicorns of Love – Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo +1 lap
- Leonardo Porco – Onsite Qualification Monza – BMW M4 GT3 +1 lap
- Gregor Schill – BMW M4 GT3 BMW M Team BS+COMPETITION +1 lap
- Ricardo Castro Ledo – Porsche 992 GT3 R – VRS Coanda Esports +2 laps
- Dennis Schöniger – Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo – Mercedes-AMG Team Williams Esports – DNF
- Matteo Cinotti – Ferrari 296 GT3 – SPQRacing Team – DNF