The Green Hell lived up to its fearsome reputation as 28 drivers started the 45-minute race around the Nordschleife in the BMW M2 CS Racing Cup on rFactor 2, yet only 20 finished.
For polesitter and eventual race winner, Risto Kappet, it was a calm drive and unchallenged race win as he beat eventual second-place finisher Michal Smidl by five seconds.
Kappet earned €1000 and a ticket for the BMW SIM Live event to be held in Munich later in the year.
Behind the Triple A Esports driver though there was plenty of action, a lot of it involving the final two prize money paying positions.
Erhan Jajovski was running in 3rd but was passed by both Michal Smidl and Peyo Peev down the long Dottinger Hohe straight. It didn’t matter though since Jajovski had to serve a drive-through penalty for too many corner cuts which put him down to 9th.
Shortly afterward he recovered to his eventual finishing position of 8th, but only after passing Pierluca Amato who retired due to a technical issue.
Jajovski and McLaren Shadow Kevin Siggy kept trading places but the Triple A esports driver ended the race on top.
The biggest crash came 20 minutes into the race as Biancolilla and Sedalacek made side by side contact heading into the Bergwerk section of track.
The high-speed collision sent Sedalacek spearing off into the barrier for the hairpin turn sideways and Biancolilla also lost control and rear-ended the same barrier. Both drivers retired from the crash.
Williams Esports driver Nikodem Wisniewski spent the majority of the race in second place but remarkably lost two places down the long back straight as Smidl passed him to his left and Peev to his right as both took advantage of his slipstream.
Peev was able to overtake both drivers and moved up from fourth to second in one fell swoop.
Smidl soon re-passed Peev for second and made a brave move by committing to run side by side down Schwedenkreuz and used the overspeed to secure the position.
On the second to last lap Peev chose not to pass Smidl down the long back straight, opting to save the move for the final lap when Smidl couldn’t retaliate.
That plan didn’t work as Wisniewski overtook Peev for the final podium place at the high-speed complex of corners just before Mutkurve.
The relentless battle for the podium positions came to a boiling point at down the long Dottinger Hohe straight on the final lap of the race.
Heading onto the straight Wisniewski was in third, Peev on his tail in fourth and their on-track battling had even allowed Dominik Blajer, who started the race in eighth, to catch up to the back of them in fifth.
Slipstream meant they were all running side by side and mere centimetres from one another. Then the two drivers on either side of Blajer both tried to cut in front of him at the same time, had the rear of their car make contact with the front of Blajer’s, lose control and then make contact with one another.
Peev came out the worse from that collision as his car soared off into the barrier on the left of the circuit.
Wisniewski meanwhile caught his car mid-spin and carried on to take third place and even beating Blajer who had another crack at passing him around the final two corners.
Peev recovered to finish the race in fifth.
The winner of the first race was Michal Smidl for Varga Sim Racing Team with Kevin van Dooren second and Jernej Simoncic third.
That round took place around the GP layout of the Nurburgring and with only a 25-minute long race.
The next round will also take place around the Nordschleife for another 45-minute long race, but that time in the rain.
Gamers are competing not only for their share of an €1750 prize fund per race but the winner of each round will qualify for the BMW SIM Live event in Munich.
The winner of the SIM event will get the chance to drive the BMW M2 CS Racing in real life around a racetrack.