Igor De Oliveira Rodrigues extended his winning streak by claiming victory yet again in the third round of the Mobileye GTWC Esports America Sprint Series championship at Silverstone Circuit. The Williams Esports driver has been untouchable so far this season, further adding to his championship lead.
After finishing in second place at Circuit of the Americas in the previous round, this time it was Cody Sherratt’s turn to move up to the top step of the podium in the Silver category.
Igor De Oliveira Rodrigues claimed the Pro class and overall pole position once again, and immediately set off down the track as soon as the green flag waved, with an excellent exit out of Turn 1 propelling him forward in his No. 124 Audi R8 LMS Evo II. Rodrigues continued to build up the gap to those following him, establishing a 2.5 second lead after 8 laps, in addition to setting the fastest lap of the race.
Renan Nigrini, who started second in his No. 2 Asetek SimSports Visceral Audi R8 LMS Evo II, tried to remain within range of Rodrigues, but soon had to keep an eye on his mirrors as Fidel Moreira inched closer and closed in the No. 41 Williams Esports Porsche 992 GT3 R.
As the pit window opened, Moreira was the first of the frontrunners to come through pit lane to perform his mandatory pit stop, with just a little over half of the race remaining. Negrini was next to complete his pit stop, and the two re-emerged on track, this time only separated by half a second. Rodrigues chose to extend his opening stint and ran a few laps longer, but was able to maintain his lead once he returned to the track.
As the closing stages of the race approached, it was Moreira’s time to strike, moving up into second place with just under 15 minutes left on the clock as his rapid pace launched him ahead of Negrini, who ran wide and went off-track briefly shortly after, leaving him unable to defend. The two went wheel-to-wheel throughout multiple corners, fighting tooth and nail for the position, but it was Moreira who came out on top in this battle.
Rodrigues crossed the finish line first, securing his third consecutive win of the season in dominant fashion. His teammate Moreira went on to claim second place, making it a perfect day for Williams Esports with a 1-2 finish. Negrini took the final spot in the Top 3.
In the Silver category, Sherratt claimed a very important pole position in class and started fourth overall in his No. 22 Genisus Esports Ferrari 296 GT3, which also played to his advantage as he had some Pro class cars separating him from his fellow class competitors behind.
Although Mérick Lévêque was running second in class in his No. 88 Asetek Simsports Visceral Ferrari 296 GT3, he was tasked with getting through a number of Pro class cars if he wanted to raise a challenge for the lead. Lévêque opted to complete his pit stop just before the halfway mark, with Sherratt following suit. The gap between the two was reduced slightly, but the advantage still swung in Sherratt’s favor.
Sherratt and Lévêque crossed the line to finish first and second in class, as well as fifth and sixth overall. As for the final remaining spot on the podium, it was a tight battle between Diego Paul Fimbres Casas in the No. 95 Pillars Racing / Sim Racing Alliance Porsche 992 GT3 R and Koapono Patrick in the No. 59 Sim Racing Alliance Porsche 992 GT3 R. The two were separated by less than a second in the final minutes of the race, with Patrick fighting with all his might while Fimbres Casas was deploying maximum defense. In the end, it was Fimbres Casas who went on to claim third place.
The Silver class championship standings saw major changes following this race, with Sherratt and Lévêque now tied for the lead with 66 points apiece.
The next round of the Mobileye GTWC Esports America Sprint Series takes place at Watkins Glen International in just a couple of weeks on Saturday, August 5th.