GT Radial Eurasia show good speed at Spa Francorchamps in the E1 Championship
Date posted on September 30, 2021 · Published by eurasiapr
A week on from the rollercoaster that was the Charlotte Roval, there was a sense of returning to some form of normality as the E1 Championship returned to the fan-favourite Belgian circuit of Spa-Francorchamps.
For GT Radial Eurasia, the fifth round of the second season of E1 sim competition was somewhat compromised with Inigo Anton being excluded from qualifying having breached a points limit for contact over the last three rounds. It was unfortunate and arguable, but the team focused instead on the two races ahead.
However, having served his penalty, the young Filipino was soon battling back through the field to secure top seven positions in both the Sprint and Reverse Grid races. GT Radial Eurasia teammate Joaquin Garrido meanwhile showed plenty of flair in recovering from a turn one incident, not of his making but had to be content with two top 11 positions today.
Inigo lined up 18th for the opening Sprint race and made the most of contact from rivals ahead at La Source, as well as an aggressive opening lap, to gain an impressive eight positions. Settling in behind Kalen Chin initially, he soon made the move and passed the Blackwolf racer to run ninth behind Freddie Ang. With attrition ahead, the battle with Chin resumed with the latter gaining the advantage back in a battle for seventh, a position he would have to settle for at the end of the 15-minute nine-lap Sprint.
Having finished 11th in the Sprint, Joaquin claimed the pole position for the reverse grid. By his own admission, he was running a ‘base setup” and his objective was to hold the field up and to try and help GT Radial teammate Inigo. It was an impressive start as he retained position and by the end of the opening lap, enjoyed a two-second advantage over Mikko Nassi.
However, with the field so closely bunched up behind, a small mistake at Les Combes in lap two cost him dearly, with three cars streaking past, demoting him to fourth. Inigo meanwhile had not made the best of starts from fifth, suffering contact from behind and subsequently crashing at Eau Rouge before resuming in eighth.
Five laps later, with co-operation, he passed Joaquin and lined up behind Ar Muhammad Aleef just as the mandatory pitstop sequence began.
The status quo remained after the stop, and he found himself under pressure from Joshua Thomas from behind. He yielded the place initially, before regaining the place in style on the final lap to finish sixth. Joaquin meanwhile battled on, taking the chequered flag tenth.
With 131 points on the board and a solid sixth in the championship, GT Radial Eurasia return to the E1 Championship in two weeks’ time for round six, at a yet to be determined Mystery venue!
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