- EUROPEAN FINAL
- Ten Drivers from the Hotly Contested European Final Advance to the World Final!
- Nations Cup: European Final
■Block A Final
Plenty of Twists and Turns as the UK's Adam Suswillo (GTP_Aderrrm) Goes Pole-to-Win!
Block A saw the UK's Adam Suswillo (GTP_Aderrrm), who had topped the online rankings, go head-to-head with Italy's Giorgio Mangano (Giorgio_57), the winner of the Nürburgring World Tour event.
The front row of the grid was occupied by two British drivers. Suswillo (GTP_Aderrrm), driving an FT-1, took pole, with Martin Grady (GTA_Tidgney), in a GTI VGT, taking second place. Mangano (Giorgio_57) 's M6 GT3 was in third position.
The race got off to an incident-packed start. Suswillo (GTP_Aderrrm) took off from pole position only to overrun a corner and enter a half spin.
Suswillo (GTP_Aderrrm) rejoined the race, only to be given a warning for colliding with Mangano (Giorgio_57), who was in third place.
Grady (GTA_Tidgney) took advantage of this to move into the lead.
The two British drivers had elected to go with soft tyres, and before long a gap opened up between them and the chasing pack vying for third place.
Mangano (Giorgio_57), having selected medium tyres, got sucked into this group, who were mostly using hard tyres, and lost his third place as a result.
At the first pit stop, Suswillo (GTP_Aderrrm) took the lead.
Grady (GTA_Tidgney) was in second place, but he had pushed his medium tyres to the limit, and was starting to lose speed.
On the final lap, Mangano (Giorgio_57), who had been saving his soft tyres for one last spurt, chased Grady (GTA_Tidgney) down and threatened to overtake him, but Grady (GTA_Tidgney) held on to consign the Italian to third place.
Mangano (Giorgio_57) had been one of the favourites to win the race, but proved unable to seize victory on the day, meaning that his only hope of proceeding to the next round lay in the repechage.
Despite his half spin at the start of the race, Suswillo (GTP_Aderrrm) was able to adjust his race strategy on the fly in order to emerge victorious, showing that his online prowess would not be diminished in live events.
Grady (GTA_Tidgney) took second place, meaning that the top two positions were both taken by UK drivers in an excellent display of British driving talent.
■Block B Final
Hungary's Patrik Blazsán (TRL_Fuvaros) Takes the Win with a Show of Dominance!
In Block B, all eyes were on Hungary's Patrik Blazsán (TRL_Fuvaros), the top driver from strong online series outfit Team Red Line.
Blazsán (TRL_Fuvaros), in a Porsche 911 RSR, took pole position, and immediately built up a lead over the chasing pack.
Closest to him were France's Anthony Duval (RC_Atho), in a Beetle Gr. 3, and Belgium's Mathieu Collin (MathieuCollin), in a WRX Gr.3.
On the first lap, there was a large accident in the middle group of cars. Hungary's Ádám Tápai (TX3_Adam18), who had been in sixth place, saw his M6 GT3 leave the track completely.
The accident had been caused by Italy's Marco Grasso (garasa-91), driving a R.S. 01 GT3, who had been positioned two places further back. He braked too late and crashed into the back of Portugal's Diogo Cordeiro (JIM_Azorean_Fat), who was driving a Lancer Evo Gr.3.
This triggered a pinball-style chain reaction which culminated in Tápai (TX3_Adam18) leaving the track and dropping down to last place.
The leading pack of Blazsán (TRL_Fuvaros), Duval (RC_Atho) and Collin (MathieuCollin) were unaffected by the accident, and went on to finish the race in first, second and third place respectively.
Blazsán (TRL_Fuvaros) held first place throughout the entire race, making for a very impressive pole-to-win performance.
Duval (RC_Atho), who finished in second place, would join Blazsán (TRL_Fuvaros) in the next round.
Immediately after the race had finished, Grasso (garasa-91) rushed to the race steward's booth. He apologised for ruining Tápai (TX3_Adam18)'s race, and said he should be disqualified. He asked the stewards to give Tápai (TX3_Adam18) another chance in the repechage. Unfortunately, the stewards had to explain that the rules are the rules, and that final race positions could not be changed.
Grasso (garasa-91) was unhappy at having been the one to ruin Tápai (TX3_Adam18)'s race, but in truth they were both victims of an unfortunate racing accident.
What's more, it was a beautiful moment of sportsmanship - made even more touching by the fact that it was not done for the benefit of the cameras.
■Block C Final
Spain's López (Williams_Coque14) Beats the Mighty Hizal (TRL_LIGHTNING)!
In Block C, big things were expected of Germany's Mikail Hizal (TRL_LIGHTNING), one of the favourites to win the competition, and one who had performed very impressively in the online series.
It was quite a surprise, therefore, when pole position was claimed by Spain's Jorge López (Williams_Coque14), ranked 16th in the online rankings. The local boy enjoyed very vocal support from the crowd, who rallied behind him to cheer him on.
López (Williams_Coque14), driving a GTI VGT Gr.3, was obviously keen to give the crows something to cheer for, but had an early setback when he overshot the first corner. This allowed Hizal (TRL_LIGHTNING) to briefly take the lead, but López (Williams_Coque14) soon regained first place after rejoining the track, the two cars coming together momentarily as he did so.
Taking a cue from Asia/Oceania finalist Jonathan Wong, Hizal (TRL_LIGHTNING) saved his soft tyres for one last spurt, but was unable to overtake López (Williams_Coque14) in the last lap, despite the latter's worn tyres.
López (Williams_Coque14) emerged victorious to claim the highly prized scalp of the better-ranked Hizal (TRL_LIGHTNING), and went into the next round full of confidence.
Another Chance for the Defeated Drivers!
From the first repechage, Italy's Giorgio Mangano (Giorgio_57) in an NSX Gr.B and Carlos Salazar (pcm_stj) in a Lancer Evo Gr.B advanced to the next round after finishing first and second respectively in a close-fought rally cross race, having been side-to-side for most of its duration.
From the second Repechage, the Spanish ace Manuel Joaquín Rodríguez Rincón (TRL_MANURODRY) had tyre trouble and was unable to advance to the next round - quite the surprise for all concerned.
The two successful drivers from the second repechage were both from France: Pierre Lenoir (RC_Snake91), driving a Focus Gr.B and Florent Pagandet (Jomas_74).