Remembering when… WTCR ace Guerrieri beat “amazing” pro simracers − and got semi-Sepang revenge
While Esteban Guerrieri’s last real-life appearance at the 5.542-kilometre Sepang International Circuit ended in disappointment when Norbert Michelisz beat him to the 2019 WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup, he had reason to celebrate after taking the chequered flag first the eighth and final race of the Pre-season Esports Beat the Drivers series back in May.
“It was so close in the previous event, and, on top of that, that it happened at Sepang, where we had this bittersweet feeling last year,” said Guerrieri. “This is a little bit of a gift to the ALL-INKL team and to Honda for what we missed last year. It’s different, and it’s not the real thing, but what I put in, the effort and dedication, and the spirit of the battle, this is real. So, even though my mechanics or Honda aren’t here with me, I wanted to share this with them. It was good fun and a good show, so I’m thankful to WTCR for putting this together.”
Having started from the reverse-grid pole after finishing P10 in Race 1, Guerrieri led throughout and relished the occasion. “There was actually a lot of pressure from Kuba Brzezinski (pictured). I didn’t want him to get into my slipstream so I had to push in every lap and make no mistakes.
“I am quite happy [that] I could find a good pace and drive against these amazing drivers who have many hours and days in the simulator like I do in real life. I went for it and it paid off in the final race. Challenges are what makes it good, makes it exciting and we are here with a nice win.”
A virtual Sepang International Circuit hosts the deciding rounds of the Pre-season Esports WTCR Championship from 23h00 CET tomorrow (Sunday).