Pfeffer proves better as Mercedes-AMG scores historic SRO Esports SIM Pro Series victory at Monza
Tobias Pfeffer came out on top of a tense first-ever SRO Esports SIM Pro Series event at Monza this afternoon to score victory for Mercedes-AMG Esports Team HRT by UOL.
Pfeffer survived some early chaos to run second across the first half, before finally making the decisive move for the lead against Mercedes-AMG Esports Team Unicorns of Love driver Tobias Gronewald. Once clear, Pfeffer stroked the car home to become the very first winner of the new SRO Esports SIM Pro Series, which is held live from the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS paddock, and run on the Assetto Corsa Competizione platform.
Qualifying came down to the very final lap of the session, with a superb late effort from Gronewald edging him 0.1s clear of the Williams Esports Mercedes-AMG of Dominik Blajer, the sister Unicorns of Love car of Bastian Richter, Dennis Schöniger in the second Williams Esports car and Pfeffer, who started in fifth.
When the lights went out, Gronewald got a good start to hold the lead into Prima Variante, but he would soon come under heavy pressure from the fast-starting Pfeffer, who was up to fourth through the first sector and then passed both Blajer and Richter when they rubbed into Seconda Variante and both ran wide.
Into first and second, Gronewald and Pfeffer proved the class of the field and gradually pulled clear. Pfeffer started to eat into Gronewald’s early three-second advantage, and was less than 1.5s down when both cars made their mandatory stops together with 28 minutes to run.
When both resumed, Pfeffer enjoyed the better second half, climbing all over the back of Gronewald’s car before eventually drafting past on the run into turn one to take a lead he would never lose. Despite having to deal with some traffic, Pfeffer pulled out a comfortable margin as the two Mercedes-AMGs ran to the flag.
Blajer was third, ahead of a great fight for fourth between ITB Sainéloc Racing’s Kamil Pawlowski and Mercedes-AMG Team Williams Esports Dáire McCormack.
Pawlowski grabbed the place on track in the final minutes, but was put back to sixth by a five-second penalty earned for contact earlier in the race. That handed McCormack fourth, ahead of Ar Muhammad Aleef’s Flash Axle Sports Ferrari.
Chris Harteveld was seventh for Scuderia Ferrari Esports Team, with Dario Iemmulo eighth in the VS Racing by Ballas eSport Lamborghini. Daniel Savini (Jean Alesi Esports Team Porsche) and Arthur Kammerer (BMW M Team BS+Competition BMW) rounded out the top-10.
Other notable runners included Richter, who lost touch with the leading pack after being elbowed off early on and then fell victim to a string of penalties. David Tomizza threatened to break the Mercedes-AMG stranglehold at the front in his Automobili Lamborghini Esports Team Huracan, but a drive-through for contact with Richter ruined his chances.
With the final grid slot reserved for the fastest driver from the public qualifying session, Leandro Porco earned a place in the field and ran as high as 15th in the special Mobileye-liveried BMW M4 GT3 before earning a penalty for track limits that dropped him back.
The next round of the SRO Esports SIM Pro Series takes place at Circuit Paul Ricard over the weekend of June 2-4.