Esports Review 2018
The weather is getting colder, the roads are getting frostier and the RaceRoom Esports season is coming to a close for 2018. Time to look back on the stories and champions throughout our various championships and events.
Mercedes-AMG Motorsport eRacing Competition – Rebernak breaks the curse
In its third year, the eRacing had truly established itself. Double Champion Tim Heinemann secured a GT4 drive in real motorsports, while Mercedes-AMG extended the campaign this year with five cars (the historic DTM cars) and two live events.
The online season was won by Jack Keithley (ACR Zakspeed); after a rough start he dominated the second half of the season, scored four victories and beat Andika Rama Maulana (YLAB x GT-Sim.ID) by 32 points. Kevin Siggy Rebernak (EDGE Esports) and the EURONICS Gaming duo Julian Kunze and Andre Santos also qualified for the final, while Tim Heinemann (Turn1) attempted to take his third title after qualifying at the Museum Special live event in Stuttgart.
In the final in Hockenheim, these six competed against the Mercedes-AMG DTM drivers. Rebernak, after a long string of second place finishes both online and in last year’s final, broke the curse and dominated the event with a lights-to-flag victory, ahead of Keithley and Santos. These three can look forward to a test in high performance AMG sportscars.
Esports WTCR Oscaro Launch Event – Kunze takes the crown
The biggest RaceRoom event to date was the Esports WTCR Oscaro Launch Event in the ring°arena at the Nürburgring, with a 25.000 € prize pool, and it was arguably the strongest grid ever in a RaceRoom event.
On the leaderboard qualifier, Gergo Baldi (EDGE Esports) set the fastest lap, banked the first prize money and was going into the three round multiplayer championship as the favourite.
In the opening race in Zandvoort, it was Julian Kunze (EURONICS Gaming) though, who won after a close fight with Kevin Siggy Rebernak (EDGE Esports). Baldi won the second race in Hungary though, ahead of Wisniewski (Oscaro eSports) and Keithley (ACR Zakspeed). Coming into the final race, Baldi, Kunze, Rebernak and Keithley had a shot at winning the championship. After problems in qualifying, Baldi could not complete a lap and started from the back. Nordschleife expert Keithley drove on pole and dominated the race. With Heinemann and Rebernak between him and Kunze, Keithley would have taken the title, but then, the most controversial moment of the season happened: Heinemann dropped back after the final corner, Kunze was promoted to third in the race and took the title. Keithley had to settle for second, while Rebernak finished 3rd overall ahead of Baldi.
Division 2 was won by Daniel Fredriksson, while Rico Kistenmacher won Division 3 and Max Duhr took the title in Division 4.
Esports WTCR Oscaro Online Championship – Bánki unstoppable
Many had expected that the same protagonists from the launch event would dominate online, but instead it was Bence Bánki (Oscaro eSports) who dominated the season. The Slovakian picked the Honda and was on form from the first round on, scored two wins, consistent points and was confirmed as the champion with one round to go. In addition, Bánki also scored the time attack championship title.
The fight for second place was closer: Tim Jarschel (Impact Racing Team) came out on top in his Audi, especially after a stunning performance in Shanghai where he won both races. Rebernak scored third overall in a Hyundai, ahead of Audi driver Jan Stange (Impact Racing Team) and VW star Florian Hasse (EDGE Esports).
Super Racer – Dornieden defeats Löhner
While all the other championships and events are finished for this year, the Super Racer still continues. The best performers are preparing for the bootcamp, where they can secure a cockpit for the full 2019 motorsports season. Drivers with a racing license compete for a place in the VLN with Teichmann Racing, while rookies can win a season in the KTM X-Bow Rookies Battle. In the online season, Alexander Dornieden (Veloce Esports) took the title after a hard-fought battle with Moritz Löhner (Williams Esports). Both drivers competed in the rookie class and took three victories each. After a disconnect in Spa, Löhner was on the back foot, and with Dornieden’s consistency and pace, not even a victory in the final round was enough for the Williams driver to catch his Veloce rival.
Nikodem Wisniewski (Williams Esports) finished 3rd overall and became the tragic hero – he signed up for competing in the VLN category, but problems with obtaining his license meant that the place in the bootcamp went to Robin Fredriksson (Fredriksson Racing) instead.
You can still qualify for the Super Racer – on-site at the Essen Motor Show until December 6th. The Joker Round will take place on December 8th, also in Essen, before the bootcamp will happen either at the end of January or in early February.
Nürburgring eSports Team Endurance Championship – The title goes to Sweden (and the Czech Republic)
On the evening before the WTCR Launch Event, RaceRoom also hosted a four hour team event in the ring°arena with a remarkably strong grid. Jack Keithley put the ACR Zakspeed (Keithley / Schäfer / McGlade) Mercedes AMG GT3 on pole and led the first stint ahead of the Turn1 Mercedes (Heinemann / Dornieden / Weirich). Turn1 dropped back in the second stint, while ACR Zakspeed ran a risky three-stop strategy. Fredriksson Racing’s Porsche, driven by the brothers Robin and Daniel Fredriksson as well as Jaroslav Honzik, was consistent throughout the whole race. In the final stint, Lewis McGlade was leading for ACR Zakspeed but struggled to match the pace of his rivals. Daniel Fredriksson passed him with half an hour to go, before the surprise team Mittelbach Motorsport (Weber / Krämer / Fabry) also went past him. McGlade fought hard to keep EDGE Esports (Rebernak / Brugman / Hasse) behind, and he managed to do so with a photo finish. The title went to Fredriksson Racing though, winning the event ahead of Mittelbach Motorsport.
Porsche eSport Championship Russia – Antonov wins in Moscow
For the first time, RaceRoom Russia run its own Esports championship, with an online season and a final event in Russia. In the all-Russian field, Roman Ivanov won the online campaign after a tough fight with Alexey Azyrkin. At the final event though, it was Kirill Antonov, third in the online championship, who scored the title.
InsideRR.TV 4h Race at the Nürburgring – Huisman’s Juniors take the win
The on-site event in the RaceRoom Café traditionally focuses more on the fun, but with such a competitive grid, we just had to include it in the list. After running into technical problems in the previous year, Huisman’s Juniors team, consisting of Richard Schäfer, Niklas Lynn and Benedikt Kürsch, finally took the victory in convincing fashion with the Mercedes-AMG GT3. Falken Motorsports finished second, and their BMW was driven by only one driver: Moritz Kranz competed for the whole four hours – and crossed the line ahead of the international Lindner Motorsport team with Jack Wilson and Jaroslav Honzik behind the wheel.
ER Espeed Series – a huge event in Asia
RaceRoom’s Asian team was part of the craziest event of them all – the ER Espeed Series. Simply look at the stage! It was a double victory for the simracers from Hong Kong. Elton Chong won ahead of Charles Theseira, while Malaysian Mohd Sharil finished in 3rd place.