Fulín wins the opening round of ESET iSeries
The first two races of the brand-new ESET iSeries were dominated by Petr Fulín as the Czech driver managed to win twice at Hungaroring.
Sunday evening marked the first-ever race for ESET iSeries esports championship. The first round of this virtual GT3 series took place at a virtual version of Hungaroring and the fans were in for a treat. The starting grid offered some incredible names like a two-time European Truck Racing champion David Vršecký, a three-time European touring cars champion Petr Fulín, a WTCR race winner Maťo Homola or our former champion Jakub Knoll.
But it was a completely different name that finished on the top of the standings in qualifying. Pavel Gellner, a Vekra Racing team race engineer, has shown his sim racing skills in the best light after beating all the experienced real-life racing drivers and taking a pole position for the main race.
However, it was a front-row lockout for Porsche 911 cars as Petr Fulín took the 2nd place on the grid. Jáchym Galáš, who is racing for GT2 Motorsport, set the 3rd fastest time of the qualifying.
But this time, it was Petr Fulín, who took the glory. Fulín put together a dominating performance, after making his way through Gellner in the first corner after the start. It was a strong win for him, while Pavel Gellner had to settle for only the 2nd place.
Jáchym Galáš then took the final podium spot, after starting from the 3rd position. But his race was not easy at all. Right at the start, he was overtaken by Josef Záruba from Mičánek Motorsport powered by Buggyra, and it took him 4 laps before he was able to return to the podium spot again. Since then, Galáš was unchallenged.
Záruba finished in 4th place, but he also had to fight hard for it. Not just with Galáš, but also with last year’s Formula Renault 2.0 champion Bartlomiej Mirecki. The Polish driver tried very hard but finished only in 6th place after he lost out to Michal Makeš from Jiří Mičánek’s team in the end.
Then it was Dávid Němček, Tom Beckhäuser, Maťo Homola and Keijo Keke Platzer rounding out the points finishers in TOP 10.
The next race of the day also offered a dominant performance by Petr Fulín. However, it did not start as well as the first one, as he dropped behind Pavel Gellner and Josef Záruba to the 3rd place.
Yet, ‘Fulda’ never gives up and he overtook Mičánek Motorsport powered by Buggyra driver already during the opening lap and chasing Gellner. That took him only until Lap 6 before he got back into the lead and drove towards a victory ahead of Gellner.
While in the first race, Josef Záruba finished just outside of the podium, this time, he finally could taste virtual champagne after being classified in the 3rd position.
Bartlomiej Mirecki finished 4th, ahead of Michal Makeš. The two-time champion of Renault Clio Cup was followed by both ARC Bratislava driver Maťo Homola and Dávid Němček in 6th and 7th places, respectively. Then Jan Černý finished 8th, ahead of Filip Sládečka and Miha Primožič. The last two names scored the points despite they spun during the race.
Primožic faced this complication in the Turn 1, where he crashed into Jáchym Galáš and the Czech driver also spun. Galáš, who finished 3rd in the 1st race, was classified 11th and he didn´t score any points in this battle.
The opening round of the season did not go well for David Vršecký and Jakub Knoll. While the former had to deal with a DNF after a collision and a 21st place in the 2nd race, Knoll finished in only 19th and 16th places.
But they will get a chance to redeem themselves soon enough, as the esports championship continues with Round 2 at Red Bull Ring on May 17.