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Macau’s Leonardo Lopes De Oliviera and Frederico Duarte Joaquin Teixiera won the second and third place respectively
The top sim racers from the Asia-Pacific countries competed over the weekend in the Nations Cup Asia-Pacific organised by IR eSports and the SRA on the iRacing platform, with 31 racers from 11 nations going toe-to-toe in the inaugural, invitation-only event. Racers from Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Macau, Australia, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, China and India participated in the inaugural Nations Cup Asia Pacific, which consisted of two race events employing the Dallara Formula 3 cars, and took place on the virtual rendition of the famed Spa Francorchamps circuit.
Australia’s Aaron Borg, the 2019 Toyota Racing Series Champion, was the crowned the overall winner after finishing second in race 1 and emphatically winning the reverse grid race 2. Leonardo Lopes De Oliviera from Macau, won race 1 but sustained damage and could only finish tenth in the second race. Meanwhile, Frederico Duarte Joaquin Teixiera, also from Macau, was third overall after finishing a consistent fifth in both races.
A hotly contested qualifying saw Oliviera bag pole with a laptime of 2:11.654 minutes, a mere one-hundredth of a second ahead of Chennai’s Sai Prithvi. Singaporean Charles Theseira was a further five-hundredths off Prithvi.
Sai Prithvi and Amith Kutti, champions of the Indian Sim Racing League, started race 1 in P2 and P5 respectively, but crashed out of contention in Lap 1 itself. At the same time, Oliviera had a good race from pole, and won the race less than 1 second ahead of Aaron Borg, with Singapore’s Charles Theseira rounding off the grid. However, all was not bleak for Prithvi who set the fastest lap of the race after recovering from his shunt.
As always, the grid for race 2 consisted of a reverse order of the top 12 finishers from race 1. Here’ race 1 winner Oliviera was caught out in a crash, sustaining damage which forced him to pit. For his part, Borg, who started eleventh, stormed through the field to eventually win the race comfortably ahead of Thailand’s Jakkapan Jansuroj in second and Hong Kong’s Calix Poon was third.
Thrissur’s Abdul Qadir was the overall highest-placed Indian, finishing fourth in Race 1. Many other Indian participants, though unable to finish high enough in the overall standings, were still able to showcase their speed with laptimes which were right up there, showing the potential for better results in future such races.
Speaking at the successful conclusion of the race events, Rayomand Banajee, eight-time national karting and racing Champion, and founder of IR eSports said, “It is fantastic to see the response we have received from across the Asia-Pacific region. Our Indian racers proved they had the speed, but need a bit more experience in this sort of competitions. All the racers loved the event and we will definitely have a strong Asia-Pacific Championship in the near future. We must thank Mark from the SRA who has been instrumental in helping us organise this event as well as the Mumbai Falcons and Volkswagen Motorsport India.”
IR eSports will soon launch Season 4 of the popular ISRL, while the next round of the Nations Cup Asia-Pacific will take place later in the year.