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Dornieden tops eSports WTCC heading to the Nordschleife

Dornieden tops eSports WTCC heading to the Nordschleife

18/05/2017 18:00

Alexander Dornieden tops the eSports WTCC standings heading into the third weekend of the season and the hardest track of them all, the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

The Impact Racing Team Honda driver from Germany is four points in front of Team VSR’s Hungarian Honda exponent Márk Nándori with Germany’s Julian Kunze (EURONICS Gaming Chevrolet) and Hungary’s Gergo Baldi (Wauters Automotive Volvo) next up.

Due to the challenging nature of the virtual circuit, the drivers were much more spread out in pre-qualifying compared to the Hungaroring event when the top two were separated by 0.001s.

Julian Kunze set the pace in his Chevrolet with the EURONICS Gaming driver 1.4s quicker than his closest rival, Poland’s Nikodem Wisniewski with championship leader Alexander Dornieden rounding out the top three. Tim Heinemann, who won during the Monza season opener, was back in action after missing the Hungaroring event and was seventh quickest. Levente Toth from Hungary was the fastest newcomer in eighth and the only LADA driver to qualify.

The multiplayer races take place from 19h00 CET on Sunday (22 May) on YouTube via this link. James Kirk and Robert Wiesenmüller will provide expert commentary.

What happened at the Hungaroring?
The Hungaroring hosted the second event of the eSports WTCC season earlier this month as drivers adapted to the lower average speeds. The Division 2 drivers were in action first of all with Nikita Shaposhnik taking pole position only for a lightning getaway to propel Daniel Nieto into the lead. Nieto was out in front for much of the race only for Shaposhnik to get ahead on the last lap. Lars Hinrichs completed the podium.

Julian Kunze took his second pole position in Division One qualifying but lost out to Thomas Petitjean at the first corner of the opening counter. The Frenchman held on to win as Alexnader Dornieden beat Kunze for second. Gergo Baldi and Tanguy Pedrazzoli, running further down the order, collided while Jan Stange and Márk Nándori finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Slovakia’s Bence Bánki started the reverse-grid second race from pole but the Smile Power Racing driver was unable to fend off Baldi and also lost out to Wisniewski. Baldi used his experience to control the race out front, while Jan Stange pulled off several fine moves to demote Chris Butcher and Bánki for third. Passing Wisniewski proved a taller order but he eventually got ahead on the outside of Turn 2 although Baldi was too far ahead and Stange settled for second as Baldi handed Volvo its first win of the season. Bánki and Kunze rounded out the top five after a tough fight. Despite retiring on the opening lap following contact with Petitjean, Dornieden moved to the top of the standings.

Norbert Michelisz has received yet more silverware. Twenty-four hours after picking up his trophy for finishing runner-up in the FIA World Touring Car Championship at the FIA Prize Giving event in Paris, the Hungarian was honoured a little closer to home.

The top three drivers in the 2017 FIA World Touring Car Championship were honoured in Paris on Friday evening when the stunning Château de Versailles hosted the annual FIA Prize Giving ceremony.

FIA World Touring Car Championship promoter Eurosport Events has broken with tradition by awarding the prestigious WTCC Nürburgring Nordschleife Best Driver Trophy to not one but two drivers after Polestar Cyan Racing’s factory duo, Thed Björk and Nicky Catsburg, tamed planet earth’s toughest race track in spectacular fashion back in May.

Jean Todt has been re-elected as President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) at the organisation’s General Assembly in Paris today.

Thed Björk will be crowned FIA World Touring Car champion for 2017 at the FIA Prize Giving in Paris this evening. Here are some facts about Polestar Cyan Racing’s swift Swede.

The FIA World Touring Car Championship will be replaced from 2018 with new technical regulations, a new format and a new name following a vote of approval by the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris yesterday (6 December).