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The race report of the tenth Challenge: Battle for Glory

Michal Smidl secures his fourth title in the Racing Unleashed Championship after a thrilling final. Janik Pletscher triumphs in the Challenger League.

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Racer League

It could hardly have been closer. Michal Smidl wins title number four in the Racing Unleashed Championship - Beyond the Pinnacle by a margin of three points. Although his championship rival Alejandro Sanchez won the final race in Portimao, he was only able to reduce the ten-point gap to three points in the Racer League, as the Czech sim racing star secured second place.

In sporting terms, it was a bitter outcome for Sanchez, who nevertheless offered his fair congratulations after the race and, in addition to second place in the championship, can also look forward to a huge amount of prize money. He bagged a total of around 30,000 euros (paid out in Swiss francs). The Czech champion, who, like Formula 1 triple world champion Max Verstappen, competes on the sim racing stage for Team Redline, has a few thousand more to his name.

"The season was more of a disaster for me," replied a self-critical Smidl, who made fewer mistakes in his last title in 2022 and secured the trophy with a significantly larger points cushion. "But the race in Portimao was quite good, I had a slight contact with Alejandro in the first corner, it was very tough but fair racing."

Sanchez also categorised the small incident in the start phase in the same way. "I was very happy with my pace and didn't make any mistakes. I'm very happy about that." Third-placed Christoph Holstein almost became a decisive man in the championship battle.

The race winner from Spielberg took the lead after the first few corners, but had to let Sanchez and Smidl go. Angelo Michel from Bernbeuren ends the season in third place in the championship.

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Challenger League

The Challenger League title rivals also experienced a drama in several acts. Janik Pletscher dropped back to tenth place following incidents. At one point, it looked as though Marcos Valverde could become champion. However, the Spaniard had to lose places and moved up to third place after a green table decision, but ultimately lost out to Pletscher by two points.

"I was actually fast the whole race, but was unlucky in some situations and then made the mistake in the duel against Mohamed Ramzy," analysed Pletscher, who became champion in the assisted driving class despite the faux pas. A German, Nico Fahland, also secured third place in the Challenger championship.

Top 3 Racer League

1st Michael Smidl - 147 points

2nd Alejandro Sanchez - 144 points

3rd Angelo Michel - 94 points

Top 3 Challenger League

1st Janik Pletscher - 133 points

2nd Marcos Valverde - 131 points

3rd Nico Fahland - 119 points