24 of some of the biggest names within the ACC sim racing community would end up battling each other at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuit during the 24 Hours of Spa this past weekend, with bragging rights and prize money also up for grabs. Taking place in the Fanatec Arena, the drivers would be put through their paces in what was an exciting event, with all taken out of their comfort zones by being there in person, as opposed to competing on their own sim rigs.
With a three-stage race event format combining qualifying, a qualifying race and feature race, it would showcase the very best racing, along with an atmosphere that everyone enjoyed with the arena at standing room only, where Scuderia Ferrari VELAS Esports’ David Tonizza took the spoils in Belgium to win the main event.
The qualifying itself was very closely packed as the top twenty drivers were covered by a mere 0.828 seconds. Kamil Pawlowski was fastest of all with a 2:15.972 over the session, but BS+ Competition’s Nils Naujoks ended up pushing his BMW M4 GT3 to within 0.073 seconds on his final lap of the #14, even being on course to steal pole position at the chequered.
Unicorns of Love would have Tobias Pfeffer secure the inside of the second row, which was completed by GTWR’s Luke Whitehead, followed by Tonizza, Dominik Blajer, Jakob Ostermann, Nikodem Wisniewski, Dennis Schöniger and George Boothby who completed the top ten, covered by just over three tenths.
Enthralling battling was happening up and down the order in the qualifying race, with Pawlowski ending up taking the win after 14 laps of the 7.004km circuit by 2.599 seconds, ahead of Pfeffer, who would fend off Naujoks in the closing stages for the runner-up spot.
Tonizza was able to make his way past Schöniger with a fantastic move for fourth on the penultimate lap of the race, with Michael Tauscher being the highest placed Audi driver in after storming his way up from 12th to take sixth.
Boothby would be the highest finishing Porsche driver in seventh, ahead of GTWR teammate Whitehead, who came under attack from Wisniewski in the last couple of moments. The Polish driver from Williams Esports would end up sideways whilst battling away with Whitehead, eventually putting him behind Ostermann.
The 60-minute Main Race itself was filled with drama and excitement in the opening minutes, coupled with the added strategy of a mandatory 25-second pit stop to provide an enthralling encounter, seeing Tonizza making the best of the situation to win after 26 laps and picking up the top prize of 6000 Euros.
But a major issue in the form of a disconnect for the Italian’s teammate Pawlowski saw a Ferrari 1-2 be denied just three laps from the end, promoting Unicorns of Love’s Pfeffer into second, who backed off in the dying stages to finish 4.352 seconds adrift.
Naujoks would round out the top three, having fought hard in the opening first few minutes, followed by Schöniger and Tauscher, who all picked up the remainder of the prize money that was up for grabs for the top five finishers.
Niklas Houben took sixth ahead of George Boothby, whilst Ostermann, Blajer and Gregor Schill rounded out the top ten overall.