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BMW M SIM Cup: Third unique URANO start win at the Nürburgring

URANO Esports truly monopolized the BMW M SIM Cup in 2023. A win for one of the top three competitors was assured in the three rounds to that point, with the DATAGROUP machine leading the championship through Vlad Khimichev.

Road America had proved the old adage once again; to finish first, then you must finish first. URANO has perfected the art of soaking up the spoils of other riders’ mistakes and enjoyed a podium finish in his most successful performance to date. However, his marked lack of pace compared to others around her suggested things could have been very different on another day.

For the first time this season, the championship headed outside of the United States of America to Europe and the Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit. No visit to the Nordschleife has certainly been a relief for many, as traffic problems have plagued every encounter so far.

qualification

Dominik Hofmann was the best-qualified URANO member in the second-place hunting, sponsorless entry. Only ten thousandths separated him from pacemaker Patrick Wolf for Apex Racing Academy. Edoardo Leo placed his SRC Mivano Corse GTP Rosa machine in third place ahead of Valtteri Alander in the BS+Turner.

The championship leaders would be in eighth place – Jonas Wallmeier behind his Huawei stablemate Dylan Scrivens, by the way.

As the GTP leaders faltered, the GT3 breakaways grew stronger. Diogo Pinto was on pole for Team Redline, himself and Chris Lulham 15 points ahead of the chasing group. Grid-and-Go.com’s Sven Haase emerged as a surprise front row partner ahead of Jimmy Antunes and Leandro Anderrüti for Apex Racing Academy and Team PGZ respectively.

race

For someone driving the only URANO not to have won a race so far in 2023, Hofmann seemed quite surprised when the traffic light turned green. Wolf sprinted into the distance, Leo dove down the inside of Turn 1 with little resistance and claimed second place. The young Italian’s early pace was brilliant, allowing him to follow Wolf quickly and apply pressure even in the early traffic cycles.

It was a relentless pursuit that ended after twenty-five minutes into the race when Leo jumped at an opportunity. As Wolf spotted a GT3 on his right in Turn 1, the Mivano slid out of the rear alongside them. A stunning move to earn the lead.

As for the German, his round just kept getting worse. His apex was surrounded around the back half of the track thanks to a jumble of GT3s dodging out of the way of the pilot who had just passed him. He defended bravely, but in the end both Hofmann and Alander and Josh Lad in the Williams Esports MAHLE got through the Warnsteiner curve. Scrivens would also find his way just a few laps later.

BMW M SIM Cup Nürburgring 2023 Round 4 – Patrick Wolf Apex Academy vs. Edoardo Leo

Lad continued his own climb up the order – finishing third thanks to a slowing down penalty for Alander – before pitting behind leader Leo. Reaction was immediate as most dived on the following lap except Scrivens and Wolf in particular.

Disaster was to sadly strike Leo when a GT3 incident sent Ole Steinbraten’s #1 Redline hurtling down the hill from Turn 5 into the exit of Turn 6 where the two met. The damage sustained forced a retirement, which resulted in a URANO car incredibly finding itself back in the net lead.

For all the madness of the GTP class – including Wolf seemingly having one big, one tiny stopping strategy – the GT3 field had been largely overlooked. The big story, aside from Pinto having an almost six second advantage at this point, was the upward trend of the #190 URANO HP under the wheel of Luca Kita, which eventually paved the way to second place.

BMW M SIM Cup Nürburgring 2023 Round 4 - Racing action

Williams triggered the more traditionally timed second phase of pit stops for the GTPs as the event entered the final fifty minutes. Meanwhile, his close rival at Alander had sunk the BS+Turner trip for a podium thanks to a major backmarker incident. A severe punishment was inflicted on them.

When everything shook, Daniel Alves Lourenco still found the URANO #90 ahead, albeit ahead of its Huawei counterparts now. They had followed a similar method to the polesitters, giving Yoep de Light a six-second lead to chase him down.

A desperately slow stop by the Williams MAHLE also contributed to this luxury. At Apex Academy No. 198, Owen Caryl sat in sixth place behind his own No. 199 teammates.

BMW M SIM Cup Nürburgring 2023 Round 4 - Redline wins GT3

Another big thrill was to come when a small wobble from Lourenco out of Turn 7 startled Chris Lulham in the GT3 in first place. He hit hard on the inside wall but kept the lead despite a short charge from Alexey Nesov. It was an incident neither of the class leaders wished for, but mercifully both walked away with a win.

The shape of URANO continues to impress. All three unique GTP entrants have now won, with this race seeing another 1-2.

BMW M SIM Cup, Round 4, GTP results

  1. Dominik Hoffman/Daniel Alves Lourenco – URANO eSports – +LEADER
  2. Dylan Scrivens/Yoep De Ligt/ – URANO eSports Huawei – +2,256
  3. Josh Lad/Matt Farrow – Williams Esports MAHLE – +21.534
  4. Patrick Wolf/Owen Caryl – Apex Racing Academy – +27.160
  5. Daniel Sivi-Szabo/Markus Soholm – Apex Racing Academy – +36.029

BMW M SIM Cup, round 4, GT3 results

  1. Diogo Pinto/Chris Lulham – Team Redline – LEADER
  2. Luca Kita/Alexey Nesov – URANO eSports HP +4,814
  3. Jimmy Antunes/Yoann Rouyer – Apex Racing Academy +6.778
  4. Luke McKeown/Elvis Rankin – Apex Racing Team +8.285
  5. Sven Haase/Rico Wenzel – Grid-and-Go.com – Esports +10,698

Pictures: RaceSport TV/BMW

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