David Tonizza has given himself and the whole FDA Esports Team the best possible gift for the imminent winter festivities. The 2019 world champion returned the team to the winner’s enclosure for the first time this season, by taking victory in the opening race of the final round of the F1 Esports Series Pro Championship, run against the backdrop of Imola’s Enzo e Dino Ferrari Circuit. His British team-mate, Brendon Leigh also got a great result finishing in the points. The second race set in Mexico went less well, although the team picked up a good points tally. Delight at winning went some way to make up for the disappointments of this season.
Qualifying. In what is really the most important phase of the event, qualifying, David and Brendon were finally on great form: Tonizza was just two thousandths slower than pole man Josh Idowu (McLaren Shadow) while Leigh was third quickest, although he then picked up a three place grid penalty. Even with that, this was still one of his best starting positions of the season.
Imola. The two FDA Esports Team drivers lined up on different tyres: Soft for Tonizza and Medium for Leigh. The Italian made the most of his soft tyres to take the lead, while Brendon lost a few places, not getting on too well with his tyre choice to the point that he pitted ahead of his team-mate on lap 7. Two laps later, Tonizza’s Softs gave up and the Italian switched to Mediums. After the run of pit stops, Leigh was in the lead, but on Softs that did not look capable of going all the way to the flag, while performing consistently. He was passed by Idowu on lap 16 and Brendon let David by before slipping down the order. Towards the end, there was a duel we had not seen since last year, as Tonizza battled with Jarno Opmeer (Mercedes) and once again, as was the case in so many of these fights between the two, it was “Tonzilla” who came off best to take his first win of the season. Despite his Softs, Brendon defended well to finish fifth, his best result of the season.
Mexico. Qualifying went less well for this race with both cars out in Q2 so that David and Brendon started from 11th and 14th places respectively. They lined up on Medium tyres and went to half-distance on them with no great excitement. Pitting when they did allowed Brendon and David to gain several places and with hardly any overtaking required they were now fifth, for the second consecutive time and ninth respectively. Tomorrow sees the final race run at Interlagos and the FDA will field a different driver line-up. David Tonizza will make way for Domenico Lovece, the Italian reserve driver who will thus make his debut in the series.