Home Sport Martin Štefanko takes the World eX title

Martin Štefanko takes the World eX title

by Mikael Harris

The format of the first world championship for virtual electric racing cars is unique: like in a soccer world cup and in other sports, the final is decisive – and this is held on the longest and most difficult racetrack in the world, the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.

The superior driver in the first season of the trendsetting esports racing series was clearly Lasse Sørensen. The Danish pro racer won three of the first five races of the first World eX season and celebrated another victory in the final round on the Nürburgring sprint circuit.

But with that, the likable Dane “only” secured pole position for the all-decisive grand finale on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, for which all of the first season’s race winners qualified. In addition to Sørensen and Štefanko, the list of drivers included Risto Kappet (R8G Esports), Phillippe Denes (BS+COMPETITION), Bruno Senna (Williams Esports), as well as Luca Kita and Nicolas Hillebrand (both from Biela Racing Team EURONICS).

#7, Lasse Sørensen, TK9 E-SPEED (pro)

Photo by: VCO

Initially, everything went according to plan for Sørensen: from pole position, the Dane took the lead ahead of Martin Štefanko, Risto Kappet and Luca Kita, who were involved in a fierce battle for third place. The images of the 1,000-hp all-electric eX ZERO on the Nordschleife made the fans at home hold their breath in front of their screens.

Sørensen was able to extend his lead ahead of Štefanko to over a second on the first lap. But in the last sector before the Döttinger Höhe, the Williams Esports driver was able to make up ground on the leader and finally made his move in the slipstream. Sørensen stayed within striking distance of Štefanko on the second lap, but at the end of the Döttinger Höhe he was too far behind to use the slipstream for a counterattack.

Martin Štefanko crossed the finish line as the beaming winner. The new world champion was not the only one to let his emotions run free with a loud cry of victory. Štefanko’s mother, one floor below, was so happy about her son’s title win that her cry of jubilation could even be heard on the livestream.

#7, Lasse Sørensen, TK9 E-SPEED (pro)

Photo by: VCO

“I am overjoyed,” said the new world champion. “Normally, I always doubt myself. But today, I had a good feeling and a lot of confidence from the beginning. The all-important final was longer than the other races in World eX. That’s why I was able to play to my strengths: low tire wear and good energy management – I couldn’t show that in the shorter races of this series. My big thanks goes to Williams Esports for making it possible for me to become a professional sim racer. Now we have won our first world title. Unbelievable!”

Lasse Sørensen, the most successful driver of the year with four wins, respectfully congratulated his rival on the title: “Martin was simply faster on the Nordschleife today. The format of World eX is unique. Actually, I should not be happy with it today, but it’s part of the game. It was a lot of fun for me to be part of this first season and trying something completely different. I will talk to Tom (Kristensen) to see if I can be back in 2022.”

Sørensen and Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen’s TK9 E-SPEED team secured the world championship title in the teams’ classification, which was determined by the number of wins and podium finishes. Sørensen took the title virtually single-handedly with his four wins this season. His two teammates, Lasse Bak and Andreas Jochimsen, finished a distant 24th and 27th.

Third place in the drivers’ championship went to Risto Kappet from Romain Grosjean’s R8G Esports team, who also finished third on the Nordschleife after a fierce fight with Luca Kita from Biela Racing Team EURONICS.

Before the grand finale, Alen Terzic (BS+COMPETITION) and Martin Štefanko had completed the podium behind Lasse Sørensen at the AvD eX Prix of Germany on the Nürburgring sprint circuit. Terzic raced hard against the eventual world champion Martin Štefanko in Levels 3, 4 and 5, but failed to beat Lasse Sørensen in the 1-lap Super Final and thus had to watch the all-important race on the Nordschleife.

The RCCO World eX Championship is about more than just Esports Racing. With every race lap, the #RacingForTheClimate jackpot grew by 10 euros. In total, the participants collected  12,875 euros and the world champion decides on which climate conservation project will receive the prize money. Martin Štefanko and Williams Esports chose the Letcombe Brook Project, a chalk stream that runs from Letcombe Regis to East Hanney, running through part of the Williams factory at Grove in Oxfordshire. There are only 25 of these kinds of brooks in the whole world.

“Congratulations to Martin (Štefanko), who drove a great race on the Nordschleife,” said World-eX Co-Founder Mike Rockenfeller. “The final was an absolute highlight. Lasse Sørensen would also have deserved the title. The fact that Tom Kristensen has clinched a world championship title in his first season as the team principal of an Esports team is great. It’s been a fascinating first season of World eX and we’re already looking forward to 2022. I hope that we will find strong partners and that the first manufacturers will also rely on our platform. We have learned a lot in the first season and will come back even stronger for our second season. Many thanks to everyone who made this first successful season possible.”

Start atcion

Photo by: VCO

 2021 RCCO World eX Championship – AvD #GermaneXPrix Results           

1st       #7 Lasse Sørensen (DK) TK9 E-SPEED (pro)2nd      #27 Alen Terzic (SLO) BS+COMPETITION (esports)3rd      #98 Martin Štefanko (CZ) Williams Esports (esports)4th      #8 Gordon Mutch (GB) R8G Esports (pro)5th      #29 Liam de Waal (NL) Patrick Long Esports (esports)6th      #32 Dries Vanthoor (B) Esports Team WRT (pro)7th      #10 Risto Kappet (EST) R8G Esports (esports)8th      #33 Henry Drury (GB) Patrick Long Esports (pro)9th      #89 Beitske Visser (NL) BS+COMPETITION (pro)10th    #9 Lasse Bak (DK) TK9 E-SPEED (esports)11th     #20 Yifei Ye (CN) Absolute Racing (pro)12th     #31 Emily Jones (NZ) Esports Team WRT (esports)13th     #28 Thomas Schmid (CH) NIANCO esports (esports)14th     #11 Luca Kita (D) Biela Racing Team EURONICS (esports)15th     #62 Esteban Muth (B) Wild Card (esports)16th     #16 Bruno Senna (BR) Williams Esports (pro)17th     #99 Michi Hoyer (D) Absolute Racing (esports)18th    #51 Mike Rockenfeller (D) NIANCO esports (pro)19th     #61 Luca Munro (GB) Wild Card (esports)20th    #71 Nicolas Hillebrand (D) Biela Racing Team EURONICS (pro)

Fastest Lap: #98 Martin Štefanko (CZ) Williams Esports (esports) 1m 12.724s

The Finale – Nordschleife1st       #98 Martin Štefanko (CZ) Williams Esports (esports) 2 laps in 13m 38.935s2nd     #7 Lasse Sørensen (DK) TK9 E-SPEED (pro) + 1.501s3rd      #10 Risto Kappet (EST) R8G Esports (esports) + 2.832s4th      #11 Luca Kita (D) Biela Racing Team EURONICS (esports) + 2.931s5th      #16 Bruno Senna (BR) Williams Esports (pro) + 17.427s6th      #89 Phillippe Denes (USA) BS+COMPETITION (pro) + 18.805s7th      #71 Nicolas Hillebrand (D) Biela Racing Team EURONICS (pro) + 28.804s

Fastest Lap: #98 Martin Štefanko (CZ) Williams Esports (esports) 6m 49.112s

Final standings World eX drivers’ championship:1st       #98 Martin Štefanko (CZ) Williams Esports (esports) 1 win + P1 in finale2nd     #7 Lasse Sørensen (DK) TK9 E-SPEED (pro) 4 wins         3rd      #10 Risto Kappet (EST) R8G Esports (esports) 1 win4th      #89 Philippe Denes (USA) BS+COMPETITION (pro) 1 win5th      #11 Luca Kita (D) Biela Racing Team EURONICS (esports) 1 win6th      #16 Bruno Senna (BR) Williams Esports (pro) 1 win Final standings World eX teams’ championship:1st       TK9 E-SPEED 4 wins 1 x P2 1 x P32nd     Williams Esports 2 wins 1 x P2 3 x P33rd      Biela Racing Team EURONICS 2 wins 4th      BS+COMPETITION 1 win 2 x P2 1 x P35th      R8G Esports 1 win 1 x P2 3 x P36th      Absolute Racing 2 x P2 7th      Esports Team WRT 1 x P28th      NIANCO esports 1 x P29th      Patrick Long Esports 1 x P3

Source : Motorsport.com

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