Michael Niemas extends overall lead

In the third round of the second season of the RCCO E-Sport Series, which has been contested since the beginning of the year with the 1,000 hp eX ZERO electric sports car on the rFactor 2 platform, last year’s champion Michael Niemas extended his overall lead. However, “winner of the day” was guest driver Robin Pogadl with a second place and a heat win.

On the famous “Circuito do Estoril” built near Lisbon in 1972, which hosted Formula 1 races from 1984 to 1996 and MotoGP races to this day, 14 competitors fought exciting duels for every position in the field on the undulating track with 13 sometimes tricky corners. Oliver Sittler commented on the race action, which was broadcast live for the first time on the new Twitch channel @rccoworldex, with passion and lots of information about the new esports racing series and the upcoming premiere of the RCCO World eX Championship with the eX ZERO on Thursday at 8 PM.

Guest driver Robin Pogadl (AvD) already hinted at his potential in free practice, when the mechanical engineering student, who has already gained plenty of esports racing experience, set the best time of the evening with a lap time of 1m 19.591s. The qualifying race, however, ended with a double victory for tv racing: Andre Dietzel secured pole position for the first of the two scoring runs ahead of Thomas Voigt. Jens Wippermann (MSC Ruhr-Wenne e.V.), who was also strong on race night, started from third place.

In Race 1, however, the top trio was already blown up in the first corner when Dietzel, Pogadl and Wippermann were involved in a collision. Niemas, who started from seventh on the grid, took advantage of the situation and snatched the lead from Thomas Voigt on lap three, which he did not relinquish. Behind him, exciting fights for positions broke out. In lap six, Dietzel misjudged his position at the end of the start-finish straight and took his teammate off the track with him.

Robin Pogadl worked his way up from the very back to second place but was no longer able to threaten Michael Niemas. Paul Wingens crossed the finish line in third place.

The second race was started in reverse order of the results of race 1. Voigt started from pole position but was unable to maintain his lead for long. Robin Pogadl had already ploughed his way through the field from 13th on the grid and with strong times took the lead early on, which he brought to the finish in commanding style. Behind him, Andre Dietzel really turned up the heat, securing his ticket for the Superfinal on the Nordschleife on May 10 with second place. 

“I’d like to thank tv racing for the cockpit and the support of Steffen Walter during preparation. I am really happy to finally have a countable result and the qualifying for the final. However, the fact that I pushed off Thomas in Race 1 is really a shame. That was clearly my fault.”

The RCCO slot car record holder was also unlucky in the second race. On the last lap, Voigt collided with Dominik Heußen while running third – and thus the final ticket was also within his grasp. “A typical racing accident” both said after the race. Voigt: “I didn’t have in mind that Robin Pogadl, a guest rider who doesn’t count for the championship, was in front of me. So I wouldn’t have had to defend myself so hard against Dominik.”

Laughing third (in the truest sense of the word) was Paul Wingens, who thus managed a double podium in Estoril just like Robin Pogadl.

The next exciting stop for the e-sports racers is Germany – and a real electrical challenge. The tight Formula E circuit in Berlin-Tempelhof has now hosted numerous and popular Formula E races. 

But before that, the world premiere of the RCCO E-Sport Series at Silverstone is on the agenda. The season opener will be shown in the #RacingForTheClimate broadcast on Thursday from 8 PM on www.motorsport.tv and will also be streamed on the new World eX Twitch channel. Subscribers to the Twitch channel @rccoworldex will have a chance to win a bio-hybrid worth around € 10,000 in the post-race show on Thursday night. RCCO E-Sport standings leader Michael Niemas will compete at Silverstone as a wirld card driver.

Race 1

1st Michael Niemas (NReSports)

2nd Robin Pogadl (AvD)

3rd Paul Wingens (wingens racing team)

Race 2

1st Robin Pogadl (AvD)

2nd Andre Dietzel (tv racing)

3rd Paul Wingens (wingens racing team)

Standings RCCO E-Sport Series after 6 of 11 rounds and already qualified for the Super Final:

1st Michael Niemas (NReSports)

2nd Denny Wenzel (Heikki21 Simracing)

3rd Andre Dietzel (tv racing)

4th Bodo Kräling (bspowersports)

5th Paul Wingens (Wingens Racing Team)

6th Dominik Heußen (nikdom)

7th Steffen Walter (tv racing)

8th Jens Wippermann (MSC Ruhr-Wenne e.V.)

9th Stefan Waschow (NReSports)