Rebernak, Stange win at Macau’s all-action Esports WTCR OSCARO finale
The inaugural Esports WTCR OSCARO Multiplayer Championship on RaceRoom concluded in dramatic fashion at a virtual Macau on Sunday evening.
With Bence Bánki having already taken the crown and electing not to start the Macau finale to avoid the risk of picking up any penalties, the focus switched to the battle for second place in the final standings. While Kevin Siggy Rebernak and Jan Stange shared the street race wins, it was Tim Jarschel he claimed the runner-up spoils following an action-packed race night.
Race 1: Rebernak triumphs following early drama
Playing it safe proved to be a wise move by Slovak sensation Bánki, who would have started fifth had he not withdrawn, and could have potentially got caught up in the multi-car collision at Manarin Corner shortly after the start of Race 1.
Balint Benedek and Michael Rächl made contact, Dirk Knatz slowed to avoid the melee only to be collected by Guillaume Theot, which triggered a sizeable accident. Márk Nándori suffered a double barrel roll, landed on top of Mark Balazsin’s car and was then launched four metres into the air before before coming to rest on his roof.
However, there were no such problems for Kevin Siggy Rebernak (EDGE Esports / Hyundai). Starting on pole for the first time this season, Rebernak survived an early attack from Tim Jarschel to hold the lead.
But there would be more drama – this time at the Melco Hairpin. Despite the permanent yellow flag to warn against overtaking due to the tight nature of the turn, Adam Pinczes clipped the back of Rächl’s Audi, spinning him around and briefly blocking the road.
The race calmed down significantly after this with the fight for fifth among the Hondas of Jaroslav Honzik and Alexandre Vromant a notable highlight. Vromant came out on top as Rebernak and Jarschel were unchallenged at the front with Rebernek taking his first Esports WTCR OSCARO victory ahead of ahead of Jarschel and Florian Hasse, who had been under pressure from Norbert Leitner, for whom fourth represented a season best for the Audi driver.
Behind Honzik in sixth, Gergo Baldi, Moritz Löhner, Attila Dencs and Jan Stange, who had started P16, completed the top 10.
Race 2: Stange takes unlikely win
Stange and Dencs lined up on the front row for the reverse-grid second counter with Mandarin Corner once again the centre of early attention.
This time it was Baldi who got onto the dirty side of the track and crashed into the wall. Miraculously, all other cars in the top 10 avoided him, but Mark Balazsin had nowhere else to go and hit Baldi head-on.
At the front, Stange converted his pole into the lead, ahead of Dencs and Löhner. Löhner instantly put pressure on Dencs, who clipped the wall a few times in his efforts to stay ahead.
Löhner tried to pass into Lisboa on lap two but was denied so attempted to gain the place on the outside of Mandarin a lap later. Dencs tapped the brakes into the corner, Löhner did not and hit the left rear of Dencs’s Honda, sending both cars flying into the barriers and collecting Honzik and Leitner in the process.
Following this dramatic moment, Elmar Kurbanov, Nuno Miguel Abreu and Pinczes were now in the top 10. However, Honzik was in trouble in his heavily damaged car and had to let most drivers through after a while, which promoted Kurbanov into fifth in his Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
Out front, Stange held a comfortable lead over Vromant, Hasse and Jarschel. Vromant was driving consistently faster than Stange although Stange held on for an unlikely victory having qualified P16.
Pinczes passed Abreu for sixth after the Portuguese made a mistake and rapidly closed on Kurbanov. On lap eight, Pinczes got alongside Kurbanov before Mandarin, Kurbanov duly surrendering the place to Pinczes before the corner. Leitner also got ahead of Kurbanov, who was on course for seventh – the Alfa’s best in 2018 – only to strike the wall while running wide.
His misfortune promoted Abreu back into seventh ahead of Löhner and Rächl, who started last, and Benedek. Vromant and Hasse completed the podium ahead of Jarschel, Pinczes and Leitner.
Second best for Jarschel
Impact Racing’s Tim Jarschel takes the runner-up spot in the standings following the Macau weekend, while Rebernak, Stange and Hasse complete the season each one point apart in third, fourth and fifth respectively. Bence Bánki, meanwhile, can celebrate as the official Esports WTCR OSCARO champion for 2018.