Brendon Leigh And Mercedes Clinch 2018 Pro Series Titles
November 17, 2018
It was a weekend to remember for Mercedes AMG-Petronas Esports and Brendon Leigh, as they completed a memorable double by clinching the team and driver championships at the 2018 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series Grand Final in London.
Leigh arrived on Friday for the opening races of the Grand Final with a 43-point lead in the standings but he didn’t have things quite his own way in Race Seven at Hockenheim. It was Sauber Esports driver Salih Saltunc who stole the headlines with a near-flawless, dominant display from the front – taking the chequered flag for a popular victory and the top step on the podium, with Leigh having to be content with second position. Red Bull’s Joni Tormala completed the podium finishers, will Leigh extending his lead in the standings with three races to go.
Round Eight also came on Friday and it brought another victory for Leigh, moving him to within three points of clinching the driver championship with Saturday’s final two Grand Final races to come. Starting from P2 on the grid, Leigh quickly moved past Enzo Bonito on the opening lap and was almost three seconds clear by the end of lap four. He held off a determined challenge from Williams Esports driver Alvaro Carreton following the pit stops mid-race, but crossed the line ahead of the Spaniard to take a 73-point lead into Saturday, where a maximum of 75 points would be available to those behind him in the standings.
And Leigh wrapped up the title at the first available opportunity on Saturday, racing to victory at COTA to complete his championship defence. His team mate, Daniel Bereznay, who was the only driver who could mathematically catch Leigh, finished runner-up – helping to clinch up the inaugural F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series team championship for Mercedes.
Amazingly, despite both championships already being decided, the final race of the 2018 Pro Series was arguably the most exciting of all. It was double distance and double points on offer around Yas Marina, and from an early pile-up right through to some last-gasp overtaking, it proved to be a thrilling and fitting finale to the competition. In the end it was Bereznay who crossed the line first for his second Pro Series victory of 2018 and consolidating P2 for him in the overall driver standings. He was followed home by Bono Huis, of McLaren Shadow, and Toro Rosso’s Frederik Rasmussen in P3.
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