IMG 2419

Title defender wins thanks to rocket start

RU Smidl Michael

Michal Smidl secures victory on his comeback

However, it was not easy for the Czech. Due to the new Racing Lounge in Madrid and the participation of the Spanish sim racers, Smidl had really tough opponents. In qualifying, he had no chance against Alejandro Sanchez and opening winner Alvaro Aznar. He paved his way to victory with a raked start: he out-accelerated Aznar and passed pole setter Sanchez on the outside in the first corner.

After that, Aznar and Sanchez stayed a short distance right behind Smidl. But as in real Formula 1, overtaking was not easy on the track in Barcelona. Smidl was not allowed to make a mistake.

Sanchez made one. When he tried to overtake Aznar, he turned his compatriot around. Although he got a time penalty of five seconds for this, it was still enough for second place, Aznar came third. "I am very disappointed with Alejandro. I don't agree with the five-second penalty because the action cost me second place," Aznar said.

Sanchez took the blame: "I was a bit too optimistic. Alvaro was on the brakes very early. I've already apologised to him, I'm sorry."

Nevertheless: with 40 points Aznar remains leader of the standings ahead of Sanchez (26) and Smidl (25).

"I was nervous, the pace wasn't what I thought it would be. But in the race it was a solid performance. The start was really awesome. I had to manage the lead after that, because I couldn't afford any mistakes. I'm happy."

- Michal Smidl

Mass crash in the Challenger League

In the Challenger League, the Spaniards dominated. As in the season opener, all three first-place finishers came from the lounge in Madrid. Only: Championship leader Nestor Garcia was not at the start. Winner of the virtual race on the Barcelona track was Javier Loro. He came in second at the opening race in Zandvoort and can therefore, besides 300 Swiss Francs (274 Euros) prize money for the victory, also look forward to 43 points and thus the lead in the overall standings.

Loro about his great ride: "Of course, the qualification was extremely important. I had a bit of trouble with the car, but after that it went like clockwork."

The Spaniard didn't get off to a great start, but still defended his lead through the first corner. Behind him, chaos broke out with a mass crash. Loro managed a flawless start-finish victory. It is true that his lead over David Cid shrank briefly to 1.5 seconds due to the laps. But in the end, the Spaniard had a lead of about 15 seconds over Cid. Third place went to Marcos Valverde (now second in the standings with 30 points), as in Zandvoort.

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