High drama at ADAC SimRacing Expo 2021! What looked like a relatively undisturbed in the SimRacing Professional Trophy Final was a lot closer than it appeared – YAS HEAT’s James Baldwin almost lost the win at one point, but eventually prevailed, with Dennis Schöniger (R8G Esports) and Niklas Houben (Rutronik eRacing) as runners-up.
World’s Fastest Gamer, British GT Champion – and now the SimRacing Professional Trophy winner: Baldwin’s accolades continue to pile up. The Brit started on pole position at the Nürburgring and was in control for the majority of the race, but the NGK-Schikane almost cost the McLaren driver: Just ten minutes into the 40-minute race, Baldwin hit a bump in the second part of the chicane which send him to the grass, and Schöniger went past.
The R8G driver’s lead would not even last for a lap, however. “I made a massive mistake through the Schumacher-S”, said Schöniger. “I lost the lead and some tire pressure on the right side, which I struggled with for the rest of the race.” Baldwin went back through and built up a decent lead that he would not relinquish despite another off-track excursion.
“I am relieved to be honest, because I went off twice”, stated the McLaren driver who found racing in a different simulator than the one he was used to difficult: “The motion rigs are challenging. They move a lot, which meant a lot of adapting for me. I felt like I had a bit less control than at home.” Speaking of home: The €5000 winner’s cheque comes in quite handy for the Professional Trophy champion, as Baldwin revealed: “My girlfriend and I just bought a house, so that helps.”
Meanwhile, Schöniger received €3000 for his second place after fending off Houben’s attacks for multiple laps. “It is overwhelming, my heartbeat was probably constantly over 170”, said the runner-up. Houben had pushed hard to find a way past the R8G driver but could not find a gap – but the Rutronik racer was pleased with his finishing position either way: “I tried to keep up in case someone made a mistake. I am very happy with P3”, stated Houben. His third place netted him a €2000 cheque – definitely not a reason to be unhappy, anyway.
SimRacing Professional Trophy - Final Result
- James Baldwin – YAS HEAT – McLaren 720S GT3
- Dennis Schöniger – R8G Esports – Audi R8 LMS Evo GT3
- Niklas Houben – Rutronik eRacing – Audi R8 LMS Evo GT3
- Giorgio Simonini – GTWR R8G Academy – Audi R8 LMS Evo GT3
- Tobias Pfeffer – R8G Esports – Audi R8 LMS Evo GT3
- Marc Balzer – Rutronik eRacing – Audi R8 LMS Evo GT3
- Adam Pinczes – Arnage Competition – Bentley Continental GT3
- Andrea Capoccia – GTWR R8G Academy – Audi R8 LMS Evo GT3
- Ben Hitz – Haupt Racing Team – Mercedes AMG GT3 Evo
- Luca Kita – Biela Racing Team EURONICS – Audi R8 LMS Evo GT3
- Kevin Siclari – Racing Line Motorsport – McLaren 720S GT3
- Nikodem Wisniewski - Williams Esports - Aston Martin AMR V8 Vantage GT3