until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Bock wins to slash Maguire’s GPVWC points lead

by Nathan Quinn
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Reigning GPVWC Superleague champion Jannick Bock won his second race of the season to substantially reduce his points deficit to championship leader Adam Maguire.

Bock was the second-fastest in qualifying, but a 10-place grid penalty for Daniel Brewer gave him pole position for what was the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard.

Bock led for the first 19 laps, but lost the lead to Fabio Sixta via a DRS-aided pass down the Mistral straight on lap 20.

They both pitted at the end of that lap, but a shorter stop for Bock put him out back ahead of Sixta.

What followed was another 27 laps of Sixta sticking firmly within DRS range of Bock, but unable to find a way ahead of him.

In that time, the rest of the top four drivers closed in on the lead battle, and Stephane Rouault then got in front of Sixta for second place by diving down the inside of the Austrian driver at Turn 8.

Sixta held his ground around the outside of the turn, but on entry to Turn 9 at the second part of the chicane, Sixta’s front left tyre hit Roault’s side pod and caused Sixta to spin around.

Rouault kept second place whilst Sixta dropped to fifth.

However, in the final few laps, Rouault was overtaken by Maciej Mlynek into Turn 8 and then by Giuseppe Ragusa down the start/finish straight at the start of the final lap.

The collision and subsequent jostling of positions meant Bock took an unchallenged race win with Mlynek in second, Ragusa third, Rouault fourth and Sixta fifth.

Bock’s team-mate at Evolution Motorsports, Dennis Jordan, was given a back of the grid penalty for this event.

Despite starting the race in 26th, Jodan finished in sixth after starting on the hard compound tyres and pitting much later than most other drivers so he could fit the soft tyres for his second stint.

Argentine touring car star Agustin Canapino started in 10th place and was able to finish in seventh through adopting a similar tyre strategy.

Both drivers were able to gain a couple of positions from a crash between Brewer and Fabrizio Gobbi in the final 10 laps.

Brewer, even with his 10-place starting grid penalty, had made his way up to sixth in the closing stages of the race.

He was coming under increasing pressure from Gobbi, however, and their battle ended spectacularly as Gobbi smashed into the rear of Brewer’s car.

Brewer’s apparent slow entry into Turn 11 caught Gobbi off guard, and Gobbi lost his front wing whilst Brewer retired after he shed his rear wing and skidded over the run-off area and into the wall, with the right-rear wheel becoming detached.

Championship leader Maguire was uncharacteristically slow in qualifying as he started the race in 14th.

He spent the majority of the race battling with Canapino, but an early first pitstop and then a second stop when everyone else was pitting once meant Maguire finished the race in ninth.

The low points score for Maguire means his points advantage to Bock has been cut from 25 points to just seven.

“It was a really good race for me,” Bock said after the race “I always had to look in the mirror for Fabio Sixta, unfortunately for him he got taken out in the end.

“But a good race for me, good result and I’m very happy.

“I hope we can win another few races this season and be on top in the standings but Adam Maguire was really good in the last races and so he deserved to lead, but we are reaching for him and trying to win every race now to be on top.”

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