FDA Esports take the title with Tonizza and De Salvo!

Maranello 18 ottobre 2021

That’s another title in the bag for the FDA Esports Team and David Tonizza. After winning the 2019 F1 Esports Series, the Italian the Ferrari Driver Academy’s Esports division has just won the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Series, run on the Assetto Corsa Competizione platform. A key part in the success was played by Giovanni De Salvo,who has been outstanding this year, paired with Tonizza in all five races of this great season.

Qualifying. The FDA Esports Team had a comfortable 12 point lead coming into the final round. Doing the maths, if the 191 Bentley of Racing Line Motorsport won the final round in Barcelona, the Ferrari drivers would need to finish at least third to win. However, a few doubts were raised after qualifying, as Marek Schinz in the 191 car took pole, helped by a 10 kilo weight advantage over the Ferrari thanks to the Balance of Performance. In the 488 GT3 Evo 2020, De Salvo did his best to secure fourth on the second row of the grid behind the Jota and Yas Heat teams’ McLarens.

A scare at the start. As the lights went out, the field charged down to the first corner with the 191 leading the Jota’s 38, while in the 149, Mikhail Statsenko collided with De Salvo’s Ferrari, ending up sideways across the track, causing chaos behind. It was a scary moment for the FDA Esports Team as the race director was investigating the behaviour of the 51 Ferrari, which was in a championship-winning third at the time. However, to everyone’s relief the stewards deemed it was a racing incident, so Giovanni was able to get on with his job with no further concers. 40 minutes into the race he then pulled off a great pass on Robbie Stapleford to go second and began to close on the leader, making it even more likely that the title would be secured.

Closing stages. After about an hour, Tonizza took over behind the wheel of the Ferrari, closing on the lead car driven then by Kevin Siclari. In the final part of the race, when De Salvo was back in the cockpit, the team decided not to take any unnecessary risks by getting too close to the Bentley and so Giovanni brought the 488 GT3 Evo 2020 home to secure the best possible second place to clinch the title on 98 points to the 93 of Racing Line Motorsport. So “Tonzilla” is a champion again, but this is no time for him and the FDA Esports Team to rest on its laurels, because the SRO championship Sprint Series is yet to be decided. David currently leads James Baldwin (McLaren Shadow) by just five points with two races remaining and he is also racing weekend, which sees the start of the F1 Esports Series Pro Championship. So it’s on to the next one and good luck to everyone!