PESPC Win #3 Denied by Knockout Blow!
The Porsche Esports Sprint Challenge was contested at the weekend at the Silverstone circuit with Cooper and Simone right in the thick of the running throughout the series, including a win each between the pair. Their season form would continue after qualifying, lining up 2nd and 3rd on the grid respectively.
The race would kick off well, both maintaining position off the start line and piling on the pressure. Cooper, running 2nd at the time was unable to make a clear move on Mikkel Gade, and on lap 3 Simone made a decisive move to get past Cooper, to take on the leader. Cooper was a bit vulnerable to an attack for 3rd, and frustratingly for the Australian a massive netcode contact would occur resulting in a spin to drop down the order outside of the top 10.
Simone, now in 2nd place would have Gade firmly in his sights, and mid way through the race put together another decisive move to position his car strongly the final corners of the lap, to take the lead.
With the race now just a three horse race with Moreno Sirica, Simone was defending well against Gade as they reached Stowe corner, with the draft down Hanger straight being very strong. Then with just two laps and a few corners to go, disaster would strike as Gade would poorly execute a dive, drilling Simone right in the back shortly after applying the brakes and sending the Italian off the circuit and into the wall hard.
The win was lost in what was a very upsetting moment in the race, however Simone was remarkably lucky to not receive irreparable damage and could return to the circuit. By the race end, Cooper would come home in 9th with a great recovery, and Simone back 11th.
We will lick our wounds and move forward to the next round at Road Atlanta, with Cooper sitting 3rd in the Championship despite Silverstone, and Simone also in the top 10.
UPDATE: The incident on the penultimate lap that cost Simone the victory was been protested/appealed and Gade was disqualified from the event as a result of multiple infractions across the season. Another penalty applied to another driver means that Cooper finished 7th, and Simone 9th in the end.
As a result, Cooper now leads the championship, with Simone sitting in 8th.