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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.

Thed Björk says having two title-chasing drivers in the same team can only make him stronger as he bids to become the first Swede to win the FIA World Touring Car Championship.

Norbert Michelisz has promised an “action-packed” second half to the 2017 FIA World Touring Car Championship season after he fought back into title contention with victory in the Main Race at FIA WTCC Race of Portugal on Sunday.

Zengő Motorsport’s Dániel Nagy returned to the scene of his FIA World Touring Car Championship debut 12 months ago when the WTCC visited Vila Real last weekend.

Néstor Girolami wants his frustrating run in the FIA World Touring Car Championship to end – starting with his home race in Argentina next month.

Rob Huff underlined his reputation as a street racer supreme with a charging display at WTCC Race of Portugal on Sunday.

Kevin Gleason’s RC Motorsport mechanics defied the odds to enable the American to bag a WTCC Trophy points finish in the second of two races in Vila Real last weekend.