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Estoril win boosts Simoncic’s FSR World Championship lead

by Matt Beer
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Jernej Simoncic became the first driver to win two races this season in the Formula SimRacing World Championship with a lights to flag victory at Estoril.

The winner of the inaugural The Race All-Star event last month took pole position by two tenths of a second over FSR championship rival Michi Hoyer.

With all of the top six drivers adopting the same pitstop strategy, it was down to the others to try to overtake Simoncic on track.

Despite drivers on alternate strategies holding up the frontrunners and keeping them all close together, no one was able to make a move on Simoncic to take the win away from him.

Hoyer wasn’t able to challenge for the win as he spun on two separate occasions. The second incident didn’t cost him any positions but the first one dropped him from second to fifth.

The lack of on track overtaking was epitomised by the fact that Dawid Mroczek passed Alex Siebel on the run to the first corner on the first lap, and in 74 laps Siebel never got back in front of him as Mroczek finished an eventual second.

Petar Brljak was a victim of the bunching of the frontrunners, as he tried to capitalise on it by overtaking Mroczek for a net third place, but Brljak hit his rival’s sidepod and spun around.

Facing the wrong way on the circuit, he was then hit by his Edge Esports team-mate, Jim Parisis, which caused Parisis to pit and Brljak to retire.

Brljak spin FSR Estoril

Jeroen Kweekel was a persistent frontrunner despite qualifying in 19th as he started on the hard compound tyres when the top 10 had to start on the softs.

Kweekel’s stern defence of his temporary race leads meant he was able to keep the net race leaders behind him for the majority of his stints, which put Kweekel in a good position in the final few laps.

The tables had turned late in the race as Kweekel was on the softs when most others were on the hards, and he used the difference in grip to charge back up the order.

With two laps to go Kweekel was in sixth and just behind earlier spinner Hoyer.

However at the start of the final lap the two drivers touched and spun in synchrony, demoting both of them down two places.

That promoted Danny van der Niet and Dennis Jordan up to fifth and sixth respectively.

Simoncic’s championship lead is now 30 points as none of his closest rivals had clean races.

Hoyer and Brljak are now tied on 50 points and Kweekel is on 49 points.

Estoril runner-up Mroczek caught up to the three drivers ahead of him as he now has 42 points, which is only just over half of Simoncic’s total.

“It was great fun but unfortunately only in the last stint when we pushed away with Dawid,” said Simoncic of the Estoril race.

“Before it was some kind of the same incidents, I’d have to check the replay to see what happened with Jeroen and the Edge guys – that was really unfortunate.

“Of course it’s good for me for the standings but it’s not good for the racing.

“So then I just decided I will not race Jeroen because it was too dangerous and I didn’t really have to pass him for the race.”

The next round of the championship is around Monaco on May 17.

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