Francis, Kicera Take Trans Am Esports Wins at Daytona
Tyler Kicera continued his winning form in the third day of Trans Am by Pirelli Esports Championship competition, while Ernie Francis Jr. picked up his maiden win on Saturday.
The field for Trans Am’s rounds at Daytona International Speedway included IndyCar star Tony Kanaan along with numerous Trans Am aces.
Francis started Race 1 from pole but was soon passed by Kicera off the line, battling for the remainder of the race alongside series esports standout Josh Hurley, who made a move on Kicera with three laps to go.
It led to the series’ closest finish to date, with Kicera crossing the finish line 0.039 seconds clear of Hurley, and Francis slotting in third, but still only 0.759 seconds down.
TA2 rookie Kent Vaccaro lined up alongside Cameron Lawrence on the front row for Race 2, but Francis charged through the field from eighth on the grid to slot into third at the end of the opening lap.
A good run through NASCAR Turns 1 and 2 let him eventually pass Vaccaro for the lead through the Bus Stop. He remained out front for the remainder of the 20-minute round to finish two seconds clear of Hurley.
Esports News & Notes
***The first-ever virtual Ricomotech iRacing Global Mazda MX-5 Cup race was won by 2016 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout winner Matt Cresci, who came out on top after 40 minutes of racing at Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday. The race had 35 entries, including three former Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup champions.
***Tom Blomqvist and Lucas Auer won Sunday’s pair of DTM Esports Classic Challenge races, held at Anderstorp with 2013-era DTM cars. Other highly-placed drivers included reigning DTM champion Rene Rast, Sheldon van der Linde and Ben Tuck.
***Andrea Capoccia won the Silver Series race in Sunday’s second round of the SRO E-Sport GT Series at Spa-Francorchamps. Capoccia drives an Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo entered by GTWR Racing Team in the Silver Series, which is reserved for top-level sim racers.
***ByKolles LMP1 driver Tom Dillmann and LMP2 race winner Job van Uitert shared the victories in last weekend’s All-Star Series pro division round. The Legends Trophy series saw wins for 2018 Super GT champion Jenson Button and off-road star Petter Solberg.
Other News & Notes
***Callaway Competition has unveiled a new livery for its Corvette C7 GT3-R that will compete in ADAC GT Masters. Markus Pommer and Jeffrey Schmidt are set to drive for the German team in 2020.
***Race tracks in France are open for testing as of today, as lockdown measures are beginning to be eased throughout France. The French government allows people to drive within a radius of 100 km (62 miles) from their homes. Circuits will still have to adhere to strict regulations, including a ban on groups of more than 10 people in close proximity.
***Creventic made a number of announcements during its 24H Series Pub Quiz Show on Friday night, in which dozens of team crew members, drivers, fans and media answered trivia questions relating to the series. The quiz was won by Dutch journalist and press officer Marcel ten Caat, while three of Sportscar365’s staff placed in the top ten, including Jake Kilshaw in third.
***The announcements included the addition of a 12-hour race at Zandvoort on Nov. 13-14 as a replacement for the 24H COTA, which has been made impossible with MotoGP now occupying that date at the Texan track.
***The Dutch organization will also host a six-hour race at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit on Jan. 8-9, 2021. This is the weekend before its centerpiece 24H Dubai, and teams will be encouraged to remain in the UAE to compete in both rounds.
***Creventic also plans to charter a flight from Düsseldorf to Portimao to take teams to its Hankook 24 Hours of Portimao on June 12-14. Teams will only be permitted to bring eight crew members, excluding drivers, to the race, and social distancing measures will be enforced.
***A team led by former ByKolles LMP1 team manager Manfredi Ravetto and experienced GT racer Paolo Ruberti will field a Ferrari 488 in GT-Cup configuration in the Italian GT Sprint Championship and potential additional endurance races. Scuderia Ravetto & Ruberti (SR&R) was founded in 2017 and has so far primarily raced Citroen and Abarth touring cars.
***Porsche GT4 squad Allied Racing plans to test at Oschersleben this week, building on from its appearance during an open test at Hockenheim that marked the first sports car track action in Europe since the start of coronavirus restrictions.
***Brabham Automotive is taking a “watch and see” stance on the development of Le Mans Hypercar as the niche constructor eyes a racing future for its track-focused BT62. In a recent release on the company’s second anniversary, Brabham affirmed its intentions to compete at Le Mans in 2022 or 2023.
Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report