After Guerrieri does the double, Baldi does the Hungaroring triple in Esports WTCR
Shortly after Esteban Guerrieri wrapped up win number two at WTCR Race of Hungary, one of the country’s best online racers enjoyed a triple taste of success as the Esports WTCR Championship got underway last night.
Home-grown sim star Gergo Baldi, the Beat the WTCR Drivers champion from earlier this year, was on top form on RaceRoom’s version of the Hungaroring, taking three poles and three wins for M1RA Esports.
The Hungarian’s performance in a digital Hyundai i30 N TCR, puts him 22 points up on compatriot and team-mate Dávid Nagy, who has switched to an Audi RS 3 LMS for 2020. Inaugural Esports WTCR champion Bence Bánki is third.
Race 1 recap: Wisniewski’s early advances repelled
Nikodem Wisniewski (Williams Esports / Audi) was the driver on the move at the start of Race 1, passing Baldi on the inside at Turn 1.
Baldi struck back two laps with a move that started around the outside at Turn 1 and was completed exiting Turn 3 following some side-by-side action.
One lap later, Wisniewski tried but failed to re-take the lead into Turn 1, which resulted in Nagy taking advantage by not only getting ahead of the Pole, but also Nagy for a brief moment.
By now Baldi, Nagy and Wisniewski had built a small gap over the rest of the field, with Russia’s Kirill Antonov (LADA Sport Rosneft eRacing / Lynk & Co) trying to hold on against the fastest Alfa Romeo of Moritz Löhner (Williams Esports). But German Löhner got ahead with eight minutes left on the clock and the positions remained unchanged to the finish.
Race 2 recap: Bánki in the mix with Löhner battle
Baldi started Race 2 alongside Löhner on the front row, but Löhner immediately lost out to Bence Bánki (Red Bull Racing Esports / Lynk & Co) after Bánki made a better start.
Bánki and Löhner then engaged in a frantic battle thereafter, frequently making contact, which allowed Baldi to pull clear.
Löhner passed Bánki just after the halfway mark but picked up a slowdown penalty and dropped behind Bánki, Nagy and Wisniewski in quick succession.
Nagy then slipped ahead of Bánki at the first opportunity, completing another M1RA Esports 1-2 with Bánki, Löhner and Wisniewski rounding out the top five. Antonov, meanwhile, crashed out on the first lap.
Race 3 recap: Baldi makes it an Esports WTCR hat-trick
Sharing the front row with team-mate Nagy for the final counter, Baldi remained in front as Bánki once again made the best start to take second.
Bánki stayed close to Baldi throughout, never letting the Hungarian pull a gap like he managed in the previous race. Bánki waited until the last lap to make his move, trying a surprise effort in sector two. But it was to no avail. Baldi won again, taking his third win of the night, ahead of Bánki, while Löhner passed Nagy on the final lap to clinch the first Esports WTCR podium for the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR by Romeo Ferraris with Nagy fourth.
Tim Jarschel (EURONICS Gaming / CUPRA) completed the top five having swapped places with Löhner in the early stages when several drivers were involved in incidents. They included Gianmarco Fiduci (Absolute Motorsport / Lynk & Co), Florian Hasse (EURONICS Gaming / Honda) and Nikodem Wisniewski (Williams Esports / Audi), who fought back from qualifying in P12.
Baldi on top heading to virtual Slovakia Ring
Baldi heads to a virtual Slovakia Ring this Sunday evening (19h00 CET, October 25) for the second event of the Esports WTCR Championship with 75 points on the board. Nagy is second on 53 followed by Bánki (46) and Löhner (42). Wisniewski, Zoltan Csuti (M1RA Esports / Audi), Antonov and Jarschel , plus Triple A Esports duo Adam Pinczes and Martin Barna round out the top 10.
Watch the Hungaroring Esports WTCR action again
Follow this link to catch up on all the action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozNw4_OzGSI
Photo: Baldi leads Bánki in Esports WTCR action from the Hungaroring.