until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Reigning GPVWC champion Bock wins on strategy call

by Matt Beer
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

The 2019 GPVWC Superleague champion Jannick Bock won the Hungarian round of the 2020 Superleague championship.

Bock took pole position, being only the second driver to do so this season as main championship rival Adam Maguire was the fastest in all three of the previous qualifying sessions.

Bock led the early stages of the race, but had Maguire behind constantly searching for a way through with a couple of nearly completed overtaking moves made in the opening laps.

Plenty of the top 10 qualifiers, who had to start on the soft tyres, were amongst the first drivers to pit as they opted for a two-stop strategy.

Maguire was one of those who stopped for a second set of softs, but his strategy appeared to backfire as he left the pit lane in traffic.

Bock pitted a few laps later and whilst he came out behind Maguire, Bock had no intention of pitting again as he fitted the hard compound tyres.

GPVWV Jannick Bock Hungary 2020

The one-stop proved to be the way to go as Bock won the race by 10 seconds, with fellow two stopper Jernej Simoncic finishing in second and beating Maguire, albeit quite fortuitously.

After Maguire left the pits for the final time, he was able to use his fresher rubber to catch up and overtake Simoncic down the inside of the first corner.

However, Dennis Jordan in a net second place along with a fast-charging Maguire were both the victims of lag as Jordan’s car suddenly jumped backwards and into Maguire’s car.

Jordan came out the worst as he pitted for his damage at the end of the lap, Maguire undoubtedly sustained some car damage but kept both wings in place and only ended up dropping one position, which was to Simoncic.

Jordan wasn’t the only driver to try and carry out the quicker one-stop strategy but got unlucky, as Germano Zappala spun on the kerb on the exit of turn three when trying to overtake Maciej Mlynek for seventh.

That dropped Zappala down to 11th and then he never completed the final lap as he sustained total brake failure heading into the first corner and ended up crashing head-on into the tyre barrier.

Gpvwc R4 Zappala Crash Pic

As a result of his crash only 16 drivers finished the race, with most going out in a big pile-up on the exit of the first corner on the opening lap.

Laurent Keersmaekers also crashed out as he lost control of the rear on the exit of the fifth corner, careened into the barrier backward and lost his rear wing.

Notable winners from that race include Fabrizio Gobbi who, despite starting down in 16th, elected to follow the same strategy as pole-sitter Bock and went from softs to hards in a one-stop race.

Gobbi pulled off the strategy to finish in seventh place, gaining nine positions from where he qualified.

Mirko Lucchini for Green Stripes Racing finished in 13th place, scoring his first-ever Superleague points as the top 15 drivers from each race score points in this championship.

Speaking after the race, winner  Bock explained how his victory didn’t come as easily as it appeared.

Gpvwc R4 Keersmaekers Crash Pic

“I had a good race and I’ll try to win the next few races.” Bock said.

“Today I was a bit lucky that Adam [Maguire] couldn’t pass Jernej [Simoncic] and I had like a 10 second gap in the end and could save the tyres and drive to the end.

“I killed the front left tyre and was struggling in the end to keep the pace up and I was I think the slowest car in the top 10 but it worked in the end.”

The next round of GPVWC’s Superleague will take place on May 7, with the race being held around the Baku street circuit in Azerbaijan.

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