October 11, 2022
A new pecking order. A championship leader on a hot streak. And three legendary tracks just begging for some wheel-to-wheel action
Event 2 of the 2022 F1 Esports Series Pro Championship, presented by Aramco, is coming your way! Here’s everything you need to know going into our second trio of races.
2022 SO FAR…
If we cherry-pick some stats, you may be forgiven for thinking our first event was nothing out of the ordinary. Jarno Opmeer started with a strong podium. Like Harry Kane in August, Frede Rasmussen had a customary slow start to his season, even though he was instantly on the pace thereafter. But aside from two big-hitters copying their trends of years gone by, there were plenty of things that indicate this will be anything but a normal season.
First up – Lucas Blakeley. We’ve always known he has speed, but 2022 seems to be the year where No-More-Mr-Nice-Lucas (this is a play on words, he is an extremely nice fellow) has rolled up his sleeves and truly unleashed his potential. He sits well out in front in the driver standings, his 65 points so far towering above all comers. He swept the first two races in Bahrain and Emilia-Romagna, and is perhaps the new favourite for this year.
He didn’t have it all his way though, as Frede Rasmussen took the third win of the event around Silverstone. He and team mate Marcel Kiefer formed a two-pronged attack in Imola, pressurising Blakeley, but they had to settle for a double-podium without victory.
And if you hadn’t heard… Thomas Ronhaar has arrived. Fresh off his Pro Ex title in June, he wasted no time shuffling himself in amongst the biggest names in the series, and was a constant figure in the top five across pretty much every session in the first event.
Behind the front three? We’re seeing more variety than ever before. 26 drivers appeared in the first three races – 18 of them scored. It means we have drivers like Sebastian Job, Bari Boroumand and Dani Moreno all mixing it up in the midfield, separated by just one point. There’s a distinct feeling that it really could go any way this season!
Event 2 is an all-European showstopper, with events in Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands all on the agenda.
Austria has featured on the calendar three times previously, with Opmeer taking victory most recently in 2021. Kiefer and David Tonizza have also taken victory around the Red Bull Ring; Kiefer’s as part of an incredible display of teamwork with team mate Rasmussen.
On that note, the Dane has won the last two trips to our second venue in Event 2 – Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. Perhaps the most beloved track on the calendar, our new 50% distance settings will really test the drivers as they tour the Ardennes Forest 22 times. Rasmussen isn’t the only two-time Spa specialist on the roster though, with Dani Bereznay taking the W in both 2018 and 2019. Point-less since 2020, Spa could be the perfect place for Dani to get back to his very best.
The final track of the trio takes F1 to Zandvoort, where we’ll have not one but two home racers vying for victory. Opmeer and Ronhaar have both taken a second place so far in 2022 and are close-matched on points, so the two of them could be well in the mix on digital home soil. Dani Moreno took his maiden F1 Esports victory here last year.
ONES TO WATCH
Ronhaar was one of the names on everyone’s lips in the first event – our 2022 F1 Esports Series Pro Exhibition Champion. The Dutchman turned up like a seasoned veteran, qualifying inside the top three in all three races – including pole in Imola. He crossed the line fourth in that race, and second at Silverstone, and only missed out on points in Bahrain after picking up damage. 30 points from your first three races is a solid return, especially for a rookie. But it’s no stretch to say that he may feel the first event could have been even better. Event 2 will be his chance to prove it was not just beginner’s luck.
The other driver in searing form in the first event was, of course, our new championship leader Lucas Blakeley. The Speedy Scot opened his 2022 account with two unbelievable wins – the first, a dominant display around Bahrain; the second a superb defensive drive in Imola. He backed it up with another podium around Silverstone to put himself in serious championship contention.
Both David Tonizza (2019) and Jarno Opmeer (2020) have previously started a season with two wins and a third place, and they went on to dominate those years respectively. No pressure then, Lucas!
The third and final one to watch for Event 2 is Simon Weigang, who punched well above his 2021 weight in the first event. He scored 10 points all year last season, but bettered that instantly with P4 in the first race of 2022, and added a bonus two points in Imola. While this tally of 14 points so far doesn’t put him right at the pointy end of proceedings, it’s great to see so many names in the mix in 2022.
Event 2 tees off on Wednesday October 12, with Qualifying from the Red Bull ring commencing at 15:30 BST (14:30 UTC) on Twitch, YouTube and Huya. Not too long after that, the race gets going from 19:30 BST (19:30 UTC) on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, Huya, and with select TV broadcasters including Sky Sports F1, Viaplay, and ESPN. We hope to see you there!
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