David Tonizza’s Mobileye GT World Challenge Europe Esports season got underway with a second place at Misano circuit. The Scuderia Ferrari Velas Esports Team driver produced a solid performance, the only driver to be able to match the pace of race winner Daire McCormack, in the Munster Rugby Gaming car. Kamil Pawlowski’s debut with the team was compromised by a penalty at the end of the race.
Qualifying. The duel between Tonizza and McCormack was very close right from qualifying, when the two of them fought it to the thousandth of a second, with the Italian taking pole in his Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2022, just 38 thousandths faster than his closest rival. Pawlowski was fifth for much of the session, but was beaten right at the end by Michael Tauscher (Unicorns of Love).
Hesitation. At the start, David reacted just a fraction slower than McCormack who thus led into turn 1, fending off the Italian’s advances for all of the opening lap. The Irishman then began to pull out enough of a lead to protect himself from a possible undercut from Tonizza. The Italian sim racer did give it a try, making his obligatory pit stop one lap earlier, with just over 15 minutes to go. But McCormack produced the best drive of his career to take the win. Nevertheless, Tonizza drove well and finished ahead of his other main rivals, first and foremost Nils Naujoks (fourth), Arthur Kammerer (sixth) and reigning champion James Baldwin (eighth).
Incidents and penalties. While Tonizza’s second place was never in doubt, Kamil Pawlowski’s debut in the Mobileye GT World Challenge Europe Esports Championship as a driver for Scuderia Ferrari Velas Esports Team was much more complicated. At the start, the Pole was involved in a collision with Jordan Sherratt (Automobili Lamborghini Esports Team) which dropped him to eighth place. Shortly after that, Dominik Blajer hit the number 14 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020, which slowed Kamil even more. In the closing stages, he was fighting with Luca Losio in the Mobileye X Jean Alesi Esports Academy team car for seventh place.
Kamil was quicker over the lap, but down the straight, the Italian had the upper hand and the duel ended with Pawlowski ahead as they crossed the finish line. However, he was given a penalty that dropped him to 17th place. Nevertheless, his performance demonstrated why he is the reigning Ferrari Esports Series champion and that points are bound to come soon. The next round takes place on 4 May at Zandvoort in the Netherlands.