Hawkin leads the NA contingent to the Ferrari Esports Series Grand Final

Brandon Hawkin dominated the two races at Laguna Seca and Watkins Glen in the North American finals of the Ferrari Esports Series.

It’s only been a day since the EU Regional Finals of the Ferrari Velas Esports Series. Michael Romagnoli, Marcin Swiderek and Jonathan Riley formed a formidable trio with their sights set on the grand prize of a seat wearing the Scuderia’s official Esports outfit following the EU Championship final.

However, before they do battle at the LAN Grand Final in Italy, three high-profile drivers from North America needed to be identified. The route to securing an invitation would be a world of difference from the likes of EU Regional Champion Michael Romagnoli as two new tracks were chosen to race at.

Narrow and winding, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca opened the night before the fast and furious Watkins Glen would decide who was the best of the best.

Race 1 qualification

As in Europe, Assetto Corsa and the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo were the first to enter the field. Brandon Hawkin secured pole position ahead of Matt Adams. Mexican Yordi Maldonado completed the top three. With only the qualifying races as a point of reference, anticipation was high.

race 1

Maldonado’s start had all the hallmarks of trying to grab tires on ice. He tumbled down the order while Aloo Gobi pushed through the ensuing madness to grab second place. Unfortunately, their joy lasted a full twenty seconds at Turn 5 thanks to an unwise look from Adams.

With an almost certain penalty, MĂ©rick LĂ©vĂȘque, who was now third, had a lot to think about in the following twenty-nine minutes.

Hawkin, who strolled away into the sunset, left much interest in the rest of the top ten as a good result around Laguna Seca could still make for a successful evening. Erie Riley certainly felt the power of his potential win as he led a clean move across the inside of Brian Woodward into the Andretti hairpin.

While Woodward would continue to look back, Chris Severt only looked at fourth place finisher Max Baughman; the potential recipient of a podium given Adams’ earlier transgression.

With thirteen minutes to go, after many stared at his compatriot’s rear wing, a pass attempt was attempted but came off poorly. Riley sneaked through to claim fourth place for himself.

Unfortunately, Riley’s race would come to a heartbreaking end on the last lap as a suspected fuel problem cost him all the points he had earned. Completely the opposite for Hawkin, who barely worked a sweat on his way to twenty-five points.

DRY LAGOON TOP 10

  1. Brandon Hawkin
  2. Merick Leveque
  3. Christopher Severt
  4. Ryan Woodrow
  5. Matt Adams*
  6. Max Baughman
  7. yordi maldonado
  8. Aloo Gobi
  9. Andy Trupiano
  10. Richard Rivera

*After applying the post-race penalty

Race 2 qualification

The change to Assetto Corsa Competizione and the 488 Challenge Evo could not significantly shake the competition order. Hawkin again ended up on pole ahead of fellow podium finishers Severt and LĂ©vĂȘque.

Based on their raw pace at Laguna Seca, Gobi, Adams, Maldonado and the under-the-radar Ryan Woodrow all posed significant threats to the top three from the top seven.

race 2

An early mess on the exit of Turn 1 hampered Adams and Maldonado while Gobi again showed great attention to break the chaos. A gap had already formed to the top three, but unlike in the first race, Hawkin was not allowed to swerve. At least at first.

At half-time, Hawkin was about six seconds ahead of Severt, who was beginning to struggle with overheated tyres.

This had demanded pressure from LĂ©vĂȘque and Gobi, who was obviously biding her time, saving her tires specifically for a late-game push. It so happened that half the job was done for them as Severt had trouble shifting up with twelve minutes to go on the home stretch.

With Gobi now in third place, they both had to keep aiming for LĂ©vĂȘque’s second place and hope that the equipment problem worsened for Severt. Unfortunately for those who supported the championship’s most competitive woman, it was not to be.

LĂ©vĂȘque’s pace was simply too constant for a real chance to ever materialize. As for Severt, his problem has been fixed inside corners. Despite losing another spot to Woodrow, it was still more than enough to confirm his place in the Grand Final.

He would be joined by LĂ©vĂȘque and Hawkin, who had really dominated action in the regional finals. Heading to Italy there was no doubt who the new favorite was.

WATKINS GLEN TOP 10

  1. Brandon Hawkin
  2. Merick Leveque
  3. Aloo Gobi
  4. Ryan Woodrow
  5. Christopher Severt
  6. Matt Adams
  7. yordi maldonado
  8. Pierre Olivier Cloutier
  9. Max Baughman
  10. Andy Trupiano

FINAL NA REGIONAL RANKING

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