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ADAC GT Masters eSports: Keithley & Högfeldt Win at Watkins Glen

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Almost everything went according to plan for Christopher Högfeldt in the second round of the ADAC GT Masters eSports Championship once again: The Swede driving for Virtualdrivers by TX3 secured his third win of the season as well as a second place in the sprint race at Watkins Glen and extended his lead in the championship. Meanwhile, Jack Keithley (Williams Esports) had a successful evening as well: The Brit also celebrated a win and a second places, moving up from sixth to second overall in the standings. 2021 champion Moritz Löhner had to endure another difficult night scoring only a few points, making his title defense more and more difficult.

At the end of the night, there were to very exhausted, but happy SimRacers in Keithley and Högfeldt. Keithly had made it his mission to go for the overall leader from the very fist session. Högfeldt, on the other hand, did everything he could to keep the Brit at bay. The Williams Esports driver laid perfect groundwork, setting the fastest lap in both qualifyings and staying in front in the 15-minute sprint race, securing his first victory of the season. While Högfeldt managed to keep up, he could not mount a serious attack and had to settle for P2.

The highlight of the duel between Keithley and Högfeld followed in the 30-minute feature race: Keithley was able to stay in front at the start, but could not shake Högfeldt and Bénce Bánki (Dörr Esports) in third. Strategically, the pit stop cycle would make the difference.

Högfeldt entered pit lane as the first out of the front runners, Keithley followed suit just one lap later. It was extremely close between both competitors: After his stop, the Brit re-entered right alongside Högfeldt, but the championship leader was able to prevail on warmer tires and took the lead. Bánki, who had pitted a lap after Keithley, could not profit from the battle and stayed in third.

Keithley had not given up yet, however, and launched another attack six minutes before the checkered flag. Högfeldt closed the door on the Williams driver though, and got Keithley into a bit of trouble as the Brit struggled to keep his BMW on track and in front of Bánki. In the end, Högfeldt secured his third victory of the season – “that was a tough piece of work”, said the Swede after the race. “I was extremely nervous before the event, but everything went well. In the feature race I thought that Bénce would stay out even longer to benefit from the fight Jack and I had. Now, I am looking forward to the Nürburgring.”

Keithley finished in second in front of Bánki, but was in a visibly good mood after the tough duel. “The second race was a lot of fun, even though I would have loved to win. I gave 110 percent on every lap – it was so damn close”, said Keithely. “I am completely exhausted.” The Brit also set the fastest lap in the second qualifying session and entered the fight for the Pirelli Pole Position Award.

In the overall standings, Högfeldt is leading with 154 points, followed by Keithley with 114. Bénce Bánki (108) is third, leading R8G Esports’ Erhan Jajovski (97.) Bánki took home the Fastest Lap Award and €250 with his 1.43:4140.

The next round is set to take place on March 15th when the ADAC GT Masters eSports Championship heads to the Nürburgring for the halfway point of the season.