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SRO E-Sports GT Series: Tonizza third in championship after two races

Maranello 10 May 2020

The Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) Hublot Esports Team brought home a good points haul in the second round of the SRO E-Sports GT Series, held on Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps circuit and David Tonizza now finds himself third in the championship. Enzo Bonito attacked all the way making no mistakes on his way to fifth place, while “Tonzilla” was unfortunately involved in an accident but was able to work his way back up to eighth in the Pro class for real racing drivers, the best placed Ferrari was that of Maksim Yefanov (Fasttuning) who finished twelfth.

Silver Class. In qualifying, the BOP (Balance of Performance) did not favour the FDA Hublot Esports Team drivers. Pole went to Andrea Capoccia in the GTWR Racing Team Audi and Bonito qualified ninth ahead of Tonizza, who was running a 10 kg heavier car because of the ballast he had to carry following his podium finish in the first round of the season at Silverstone (the winner gets a 25 kg penalty, 15 kg for second and 10 kg for third).

First part. At the start, Dutchman Hani Alsabti led in the Tech 1 Racing by Triple A Lexus, having passed Capoccia, who retook the lead after five laps. From the fifth role, Bonito profited from a slight hesitation from Jan-Marcel Dietrich to get ahead of the Rowe Racing Porsche, while Tonizza stayed tenth. Then, Dietrich and Giorgio Simonini (GTWR Racing Team Audi) collided at the Bus Stop chicane and that meant Bonito and Tonizza made up one and two places respectively to go seventh and eighth.

Close fight. A few laps later, the pack formed a train which included the Lamborghini of the Pole Kamil Franczak (FFF Esports), the Audi of German Tobias Pfeffer (Team T3 Esports) and the two Ferrari. Bonito passed Pfeffer and set off after Franczak, but shortly after he had to fend off the German who was then given a 35 second penalty to be added to his final time for a previous collision. On lap 7, Enzo finally shook off Pfeffer who was now in Tonizza’s sights, the Italian getting by at the end of the Kemmel straight on lap 17. On the following lap, rather unsportingly, the German hit the FDA Hublot Esports Team driver, sending him into a spin. Tonizza was thus overtaken by the Lamborghini of Pole Kamil Pawlowski (Thrustmaster Esports) and Italy’s Danilo Santoro (Jean Alesi Esports Academy). The F1 Esports Series reigning world champion stayed focussed and set off at a great pace which saw him catch and pass Santoro for eighth place.

Closing stages. As for Bonito, he was still on a charge and in the number 155 488 GT3 he passed the Iranian Amir Hosseini in the Racing Line Motorsport Mercedes at the end of the Kemmel straight to finish fifth. Victory went to Andrea Capoccia who now shares the lead on 25 points with Patrick Selva, in the Racing oN3 team’s McLaren. Tonizza is six points behind them. As for the other sim drivers at the wheel of Ferraris, worth noting is the 16th place for Moreno Sirica (Williams Esports). Further back, Kieran Prendergast (MTR Racing) who was involved in an accident at the start and Manuel Biancolilla (Musto GT Esports) finished 44th and 45th respectively. The next round is at the Nürburgring on 17 May.

Pro Class. In the class for professional drivers, Ferrari’s finished outside the top ten. At the wheel of a Fasttuning 488 GT3, Maksim Yefanov finished twelfth in an action packed race, which did not go that well for the Prancing Horse cars. The official Ferrari Competizioni GT drivers again put on a great show, moving up the order but that all came to nothing because of some bad luck. That’s what befell Daniel Serra, who started from 24th on the grid and had to retire with a technical problem when it looked as though the Brazilian could finish in the top ten. Miguel Molina did his best for the works team, finishing 18th having started from the 16th row. The Spaniard made clear progress which confirmed the Barcelona driver’s improvement at the wheel of the virtual 488 GT3. Niklas Nielsen qualified well on his debut but was caught up in a multiple pile up at Eau Rouge which pretty much put him out of the race, as he was a lap down after pitting for repairs. The other Ferraris finished as follows: David Fumanelli (Kessel Racing) 14th; Chris Froggatt (Sky Tempesta Racing) 19th; David Perel (Rinaldi Racing) 21st; Nicolas Hillebrand (Butter-Pat Motorsport) 39th. Jean-Eric Vergne (Coasch Dave Academy) went out on the opening lap.