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Barnicoat Claims Nürburgring Victory in Tight Finish

McLaren driver puts himself in SRO E-Sport series lead with Nürburgring win…

Image: Gary Parravani/Xynamic/SRO

Ben Barnicoat kept Louis Deletraz at bay for victory in a tight finish to the third round of the SRO E-Sport GT Series at the Nürburgring.

Barnicoat, who is a factory McLaren GT driver, put a move on long-time race leader Deletraz off-camera late in the one-hour affair and appeared to initially pull away.

However, Deletraz was not giving up easily and kept the pressure on, closing right up at the final corner as the pair dragged to the finish line.

Barnicoat in his McLaren 720s GT3 crossed the line 0.070s ahead of the Porsche 911 GT3 R of Deletraz in a photo-finish.

Andy Soucek finished third followed by Romain Monti and David Perel.

At the start, Deletraz snapped up the lead with a quick getaway off the front-row of the grid moving in front of Jordan Pepper’s pole-sitting Bentley Continental GT3 before Turn 1.

Slight contact between Barnicoat and Pepper saw the South African sent spinning on the exit of the first corner as Pepper, who is the equal series points leader dropped outside the top 20.

Alessio Picariello lost third position as Soucek shouldered past in his Bentley and was followed through at the final corner by Monti in similar machinery.

Picariello then came under attack for fifth from equal series leader Lorenzo Marcucci, however, the Porsche 911 GT3 R defended well against the Audi R8 LMS GT3.

That all changed when the pair came together on the main straight which saw Picariello fall down the field, while Luca Ghiotto was also reportedly caught up in the incident.

Perel in his Ferrari 488 GT3 passed Marcucci for fifth with a decisive move down the inside at Turn 1 and was followed through by the McLaren of Ben Tusting.

As the race reached the halfway point Barnicoat had closed to within a second of leader Deletraz and kept tabs for a number of laps as the pace fluctuated.

The Brit made the race-winning move with less than 10 minutes on the clock and fended off Deletraz in the closing stages.

The win sees Barnicoat rise to the top of the SRO E-Sport Pro standings on 43 points, with Deletraz now nine points behind.

Pepper lost significant ground in the title hunt finishing outside the points after his race unraveled on the opening lap.

The next round of the SRO E-Sport GT Series takes place at Barcelona in two weeks’ time.

Slade Perrins is an Australian-based junior reporter for Sportscar365. Perrins won the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars 'Young Gun Award' for journalism for his work with speedcafe.com.

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