Set in the hillsides of Belgium, SRO America real world pros and Champion Motorsports sim racers took on Round 4 of the GT Rivals Esports Invitational at Circuit de Spa Francorchamps on Assetto Corsa Competizione. The bucket list circuit, known for SRO’s Total 24 Hours of Spa, is a highlight of the GT Rivals esports series for many racers and fans alike.
Late addition Christian Szymczak from Murillo Racing shocked the internet claiming pole position in his first start with GT Rivals. However, a bad start heading into Eau Rouge dropped Szymczak’s Mercedes-AMG down to fourth and set off a chain of incidents in Les Combes.
This allowed Bryan Heitkotter to take the lead with Canadian Nelson Mason in hot pursuit in the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo. Sim racer Dirk Groeneveld and his BMW M6 GT3 took over the second position when Mason encountered technical issues and pushed to close the gap with Heitkotter.
Contender Kevin Boehm had qualified 3rd but internet connection difficulties regulated the CrowdStrike Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 to start last. With the incidents on the opening lap, Boehm managed to move up to mid-pack before coming together with James Pesek’s Aston Martin that put him in the wall in Eau Rouge and out of contention.
A heated battle within the Top 10 was showcased throughout the 60-minute contest. Dakota Dickerson, Karl Wittmer, Kenny Murillo, Guy Cosmo, Kevin Anderson, and JT Tami were locked into a multi-car battle, exchanging positions and running wheel-to-wheel nearly all race long.
But in the end, Bryan Heitkotter pulled off his third overall victory in his Nissan GT-R GT3 Nismo racecar. He had a little help in the beginning, but drove hard to the finish to claim the win over second place finisher Dirk Groeneveld.
Dakota Dickerson took another podium finish in the Ferrari 488 GT3, working his way to the front after a poor qualifying effort, starting in 22nd. Karl Wittmer placed the Honda NSX GT3 Evo in the fourth position with Kenny Murillo settling in the fifth spot in his Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Murillo’s teammate Christian Szymczak recovered from his poor start and a drive-thru penalty to finish in sixth. With Nelson Mason crossing the line in seventh just ahead of TechSport Racing’s Kevin Anderson.
Thomas Merrill had another solid race in his second GT Rivals start, finishing in the ninth position after a late race time penalty for contact. K-PAX Racing’s Guy Cosmo finally broke into the Top 10 in the Bentley Continental GT3, even with a drive-thru penalty for spinning the Aston Martin of Anderson early in the race.
Spa Francorchamps delivered an exciting race throughout the field and what could've been a tight battle up front without the opening lap incidents. We look forward to the next round where the GT Rivals Esports Invitational heads to Japan for Round 5 at Suzuka. Join us at 3pm ET on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter to follow all the esports action.
The SRO America GT Rivals Esports Invitational is in partnership with ASUS Republic of Gamers, ASUS TUF Gaming, Fanatec, Sim-Lab, Champion Motorsports, and SYM TV. Along with series partners AWS, CrowdStrike, Pirelli, Rebellion Timepieces, Total, Optima, Skip Barber, and 5.11.