The FDA Esports Team picked up another fifth place courtesy of David Tonizza in the last race of the third round of the F1 Esports Pro Championship, using the Circuit of the Americas track. Over the two days, he picked up 28 points, the same as he scored over the first six races of the season. Brendon Leigh fared less well, involved in some very tough battles during the race, eventually dropping out of the points, after being a front runner in the early stages.
Qualifying. When it came time to decide the grid positions, Tonizza held his own, securing a good fourth place, while Leigh struggled a bit, getting into Q3 but ending up in tenth place.
Start. The Englishman got a great start, blasting off the line on Soft tyres to leap up to fifth place behind Tonizza. Before long he had moved up to fourth, ahead of his team-mate and even dealt with Jarno Opmeer (Mercedes) and Nicolas Longuet (Alpine) to find himself in second place. But then the Softs started to go off and Longuet retook third place forcing Brendon to pit. The tyre change went smoothly and the number 72 Ferrari rejoined tenth. On lap 9, Tonizza came in from fifth to go from Mediums to Softs, rejoining 11th, while Leigh had already moved back up to eighth.
Closing stages. At half distance, Brendon was passed by Lucas Blakeley (Aston Martin) and Tonizza, dropping down to tenth, while once all the tyre stops were over, David was sixth behind Blakely and would soon make a move that would take him to fifth. Unfortunately, Brendon collided with Dani Moreno (Mercedes,) which put him down in 13th spot. He then collided with former team-mate Filip Presnajder (Alfa Romeo.) Tonizza was passed by Kiefer, who was later given a penalty so that the FDA driver was classified fifth. Leigh was given a 5 second penalty for the incident with Presnajder to be classified 14th.
Standings. After today’s race, Tonizza is still eighth, behind Longuet, but having got ahead of Fabrizio Donoso (Alpine.) Leigh is 11th on 22 points. In the teams’ classification, the FDA Esports Team is back in sixth place, two points off McLaren who had Bari Boroumand finish fourth in today’s race, which was won by Opmeer. The fourth and final round takes place on 15 and 16 December on the Imola, Mexico City and Sao Paulo track layouts.