Lorenzo Marcucci claimed a dominant victory in the second round of the SRO E-Sport GT Series at Spa while Ivan Pareras finished second to make it an Audi one-two.
Marcucci, who raced sporadically in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series last year, took pole and survived the first-lap squeeze through Eau Rouge before setting off out front.
The Italian driver’s advantage over Pareras, whose Audi R8 LMS GT3 started second, gradually inflated over the course of the one-hour race on Assetto Corsa Competizione.
Marcucci took the checkered flag 15.492 seconds ahead of Audi GT3 regular Pareras who was forced to defend from Luigi di Lorenzo’s Aston Martin in the last few laps.
Consecutive top-five finishes for di Lorenzo in the opening two SRO E-Sport GT Series races at Silverstone and Spa mean the Italian teenager now leads the Pro series.
Formula 2 aces Louis Deletraz, piloting a Porsche 911 GT3 R, and R-Motorsport Aston Martin driver Luca Ghiotto crossed the line in fourth and fifth while Dan Wells took sixth in his Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
British racers Scott Malvern, Jody Fannin and Seb Morris finished seventh to ninth while Ezequiel Perez Companc rounded out the top ten.
Morris and Perez Companc benefited from penalties to Ben Tusting and David Fumanelli, who initially crossed the line ahead of Malvern and Fannin but dropped down in the results after the finish.
Fumanelli’s sanction was applied after the Italian instigated a multi-car pileup at Blanchimont in the early stages that impacted the races of Silverstone winner Jordan Pepper and 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button, among others.
Problems also befell special guest Jean-Eric Vergne who didn’t make it past two laps after the two-time Formula E champion was disqualified for a pit lane violation.
Several drivers lost key positions as a result of incidents, notably Nicolas Hillebrand who crashed his Ferrari out of second place when he speared off the slippery left-side curb at Raidillon and into the right-side barriers.
Almost identical incidents hampered the efforts of Simone di Luca, who spun out whilst running fourth, and Mikael Grenier who was in seventh.
Lamborghini factory driver Albert Costa was another front-runner and had worked his way into the top five by quarter distance after starting from 16th on the grid.
Just after the halfway point Costa was pressuring Matteo Cairoli for fifth, but the Spaniard punted the Porsche driver around at La Source which incurred a penalty for himself and a large loss of time for his rival.
This coming-together helped Deletraz to move into fourth behind Marcucci, Pareras and di Lorenzo who were the three fastest drivers of the day.
Sunday’s results have put di Lorenzo at the top of the championship on 27 points, while Marcucci and Pepper have 25 each. Pareras is on 24 points thanks to a pair of top-ten results.
The next round of the SRO E-Sport GT Series takes place on the Nürburgring next weekend.