The weekend produced wins, podiums and very positive results all over the board for the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN esports racers, with Antonio Giovinazzi finishing in P7 in a very competitive Spanish Virtual Grand Prix, ahead of Thibaut Courtois in 11th; Bardia Boroumand claiming P2 and Daniel Bereznay in fourth in the Pro Exhibition Race; and Bereznay winning race two in the Veloce “Not the GP” Belgian race.
It was redemption, at last, for the team during the latest round of esports races: banished were the technical gremlins, the game freezes and the other misfortunes that, without fault to our drivers, so negatively influenced our previous rounds.
Antonio, so often relegated to the sidelines by game crashes, was finally able to show his talent, running in the front positions for the majority of the race and eventually claiming a top-10 finish, while Real Madrid goalkeeper Courtois produced a clean, effective performance to finish in P11, ahead of some big names from motorsport and as the lead footballer.
In the Pro Exhibition race, Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN had a commanding performance; Bardia Boroumand started in pole position and, while he was unable to contain the attacks of Frederik Rasmussen, he claimed his first podium for the team with a fine second place. Daniel Bereznay was in contention for the final spot on the podium for the entirety of the race, eventually finishing fourth.
The Hungarian was in fine form on Saturday, in the Veloce “Not the GP” in Belgium. On the hallowed racetrack of Spa-Francorchamps, Daniel claimed P3 in race one, before a dominating win in race two.
The uptick in performance and the resolution of the glitches holding the team back are hopefully a good omen for the next rounds of the esports competitions.
Antonio Giovinazzi (P7, Virtual GP; DNF/DNF, Not the GP): “Finally we left the technical issues behind us and we were able to complete the race. Our first objective was to see the chequered flag, now we have done that and we can go back to focussing on performance. Because of the freezes, I didn’t have the chance to train as much as I would have liked, but for the next race we’ll prepare better and hopefully the results will show that on track.”
Thibaut Courtois (P11, Virtual GP): “I am really happy for the performance we produced as a team. Daniel [Bereznay] told us to go on medium tyres and it was a good strategic call. We had good pace and to finish where I did, in front of real drivers, is definitely a good result. I tried to keep out of trouble at the start: it cost me some time, but I didn’t want to ruin my race by taking risks. In the end, it was a fun experience and it was great to race for Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN. I am looking forward to the next time.”
Daniel Bereznay (P4, Pro Exhibition race; P3/P1, Not the GP): “I really enjoyed the weekend of racing. On Saturday, streaming in front of more than 40,000 people on my YouTube channel, I was involved in some very fun and clean fights on track. I was racing for fun, not the ultimate result, but in the end the position was great. The Pro Exhibition race was always going to be difficult because Spain is one of my weakest tracks. I was really happy with P4 in qualifying, then in the race I was close to overtaking Nicolas Longuet for P3: we ran side by side for one and a half sectors, but he was smart, placed his car well and I couldn’t pass. Frederik [Rasmussen] was uncatchable but my team mate Bardia was amazing: he was very consistent, played for the team and raced smartly. I am happy for the team with second and fourth, and I can’t wait for the next race.”
Bardia Boroumand (P2, Pro Exhibition race): “First podium in just my second esports race, I am really happy with how the race went. I started on pole and did all I could to keep the place, but Rasmussen was so fast and fully deserved the win. I didn’t do mistakes, pitted at the right time so I don’t have regrets. We’ll try to go one better in the next one.”