Penalties, rain and even a red flag. They had to overcome multiple difficulties, but Simware.Pro are the Coach Dave 1000 champions. The trio made the best of the edge they had entering the season finale, capitalising on that and bringing home a well deserved success by taking the chequered flag in fourth. YAS HEAT fought hard until they could, but a costly mistake put the word ‘end’ on their chances for a comeback early. Meanwhile, Race Anywhere Simsport #55 stole the scene to title contenders and conquered the top step of the podium in the 6 Hours of Monza.
Cool nerves and patience gift Simware.Pro the title
Simware.Pro had the situation under control starting from qualifying. They set the third fastest laptime in the session, with YAS HEAT down in P12. Mikhail Bykov and Egor Ogordnikov showed some promising pace over the first two hours in the pouring rain. With the first two places running away from the rest of the group, #41 had to watch their backs from the very competitive M4s.
One of them provided a scary moment for the championship leaders, when Ogorodnikov collided with Alexandru Cascatau of the West Competition Racing #3 coming into turn 1. Luckily for them, both cars escaped with no major consequences. Simware.Pro then stayed in the podium fight until the red flag dropped on the track with 2 hours and 20 minutes left on the clock.
At the race restart, more action was awaiting #41. A contact between Maciej Malinowski and Bykov cost the latter a 5 seconds penalty. A further incident, this time with Dàire McCormack, sent the Bentley sideways in the middle of Parabolica. But with YAS HEAT hitting trouble, the last hour felt like a victory parade for Vyacheslav Abuladze, who only had to bring the Simware.Pro #41 to the line in P4 to start the celebrations.
YAS HEAT title hopes vanish following costly mistake
Anyone who has ever raced on Assetto Corsa Competizione must have received, at least once, a 30 seconds stop & go penalty for speeding in the pitlane. While this always hurts, regardless of the importance of the race, getting one of those when you have the big prize on sight must feel even worse.
Let’s make it clear: even without that penalty it would have required a miracle for YAS HEAT to be crowned Coach Dave 1000 champions. But the stop and go simply put the end word on the story one hour earlier than expected. Coming into the final round trailing by 7 points meant that simply beating Simware.Pro could not have been enough to win it all. But we can definitely say that the YAS HEAT crew members gave all they had in the tank to put up a fight and the mistake was a clear consequence of that.
Despite starting from P12 and some early struggles, the red flag put YAS HEAT back into the fight. Malinowski tried his best to recover, but multiple issues got in the way. First of all, he received a 5 seconds penalty for an illegal overtake on the first lap after the restart that cost him two spots. When he gained the positions back, Malinowski suffered from a screen freeze that put him behind once again. And, in the end, the speeding in the pitlane after failing to slow down in time. A slight mistake, but a costly one. The final P17 certainly did not make anyone any happier.
Race Anywhere Simsport steal the scene and get the win
While the attention was all on the fight for the title, Race Anywhere Simsport made a flawless race and ended the season on a high with a win. Following the first three disastrous races, Nicolas Nogueira, Grantas Kareckas and Till Vornam turned their championship around and finished in P3 in Silverstone and in P1 in Monza.
Qualifying clearly showed some promising signs, as #55 started from P2, right behind West Competition Racing #33. With the latter disappearing into the distance, the Race Anywhere Simsport never lost their cool and took their opportunities when they had the chance. The gaps reset after the red flag helped them in conquering the lead with less than one hour and a half left to go.
Till Vornam took the flag in P1. An important success, as it gives them the ninth spot in the overall standings with 86 points. An unbelievable result, when we take into account the fact that this team had 0 points after three rounds. A true demonstration that giving up early when things do not go in the right way is always a bad choice.
West Competition Racing and Williams Esport fight for P2 comes down to the final corner
Finishing behind them was another team that really turned things around in the second half of the season, West Competition Racing. Victor Nicolae took pole position and drove a fantastic first stint. When he handed the car over to his teammate, the gap to the rest of the field was impressive. Unfortunately for them the red flag reset everything and when Nicolae was starting to work on it once again he hit trouble. Coming into Parabolica Nicolae had some sort of issue (probably pressed the ignition button) and had to stop. He retook the track in P3, behind Race Anywhere Simsport and T3 Motorsport.
Nicolae then tried to regain the time lost, but instead he had to give up P3 to Williams Esports. With T3 Motorsport #166 forced to pit with less than two minutes left, McCormack was desperately trying to defend P2 from Nicolae. He did a stellar job for many laps, but it was not enough. A slight mistake entering Parabolica on the final lap and the M4 won the drag race against Williams Esports. In the end, McCormack had to settle for P3.
That overtake wrapped up yet another great championship. Following a close fight Simware.Pro came out on top talling 190 points in the standings, 34 more than YAS HEAT and 54 more compared to Williams Esports. Coach Dave 1000 is in the books, but here at The Sim Grid there is still more to come in August and in the near future.