After a tense beginning to the racing season at Atlanta, ESL Racing Series MAPFRE crossed the pond for an exciting event at the mighty Silverstone Circuit with the McLaren 720S GT3, on which Erhan Jajovski made amends on his first race issues and his grid penalty to bring Team Vires the win.
Jajovski had taken the pole on qualifying, but the North Macedonian driver had his laptime erased for exceeding track limits, just like 29 other drivers, falling to seventh on the grid. Risto Kappet (ACR Zakspeed), the winner at Atlanta, inherited the pole from eighth place and kept the lead on the start, while Kevin Siggy Rebernak (Edge eSports) passed Marc Pérez (MSi eSports) for second, and drivers like Jim Parisis and Alejandro Enamorado disappeared from a top 10 they didn’t belong to, pace-wise.
At the front, the go-kart race situation replicated himself, with Siggy Rebernak being unable to keep within close range of Kappet. Because of that, Marc Pérez passed him on Lap 3 and began hunting the leader with a great pace. Almost at the same time, Jajovski, already in the top 5, jumped to fourth over Oriol Bohé, the other MSi driver. A lap later, the Spaniard was turned around by Alsabti, Jajovski’s teammate at Vires, falling to ninth place. Alsabti, who had touched with Michele D’Alessandro (Musto Racing) as the Italian spun around at the start, would receive a Stop&Go penalty shortly after because of Bohé’s incident.
Siggy Rebernak, who was saving fuel, was soon surpassed by both Vires drivers and Kevin Ryan (Alien Performance), who had started eighth, and would climb to fourth when Alsabti served his penalty. Pérez started pressuring Kappet from Lap 8, and even went side-by-side on Lap 11, but the race leader denied him, their fight allowing Jajovski to close on them. The three leaders made their pit stop on Lap 14, but Pérez’s detention was a slow one, losing places to Jajovski and Ryan, who had stretched his stint a lap further and was right behind the leaders.
The North Macedonian didn’t lose any time, and went side-by-side on Hangar Straight with a brilliant move, getting by Kappet on the inside at Stowe. Ryan didn’t took long to also attack Kappet, something Jajovski took advantage of to lead the last five laps without opposition, on route to the win. Despite a good chance with three to go, Ryan didn’t make it past Kappet, settling for third, and Pérez stayed behind waiting for a mistake that never happened, achieving a valuable fourth place for MSi.
Fifth position belonged to Nikodem Wisniewski (Williams eSports), who won seven places by avoiding the initial incident and by undercutting both Siggy Rebernak and David Greco (GSR SimRacing) with an earlier stop. Bohé ended up eighth, while Alsabti and Yuri Kasdorp (Veles) completed the top 10.
The third round of ESL Racing Series MAPFRE, which will mark the halfway point of this second stage, will take place in another historic racetrack like Zandvoort, this time with the Nissan GT-R employed by the Japanese manufacturer on Super GT’s GT500 class. An exciting one ahead!