Ronhaar Secures F1 Sim Racing 2023 World Championship Opening Race
December 1, 2023
The new signing at Alfa Romeo F1 Team KICK Esports, Thomas Ronhaar, dominated the opening race of the F1 Sim Racing 2023 World Championship at the Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday, silencing many who doubted the abilities of the Dutchman. Taking place at DreamHack Winter in JÃ¶nkÃ¶ping, Sweden, the series returned to its first LAN race in 4 years and what a thrilling race we were enticed with!
Starting from the front of the grid, Ronhaar led the field into the first corner without any challenge on soft tyres. The only moment that the Dutchman didnât lead the opening race was during the pit stop phase on lap 11, before all cars pitted; and he resumed the lead on lap 19. Ronhaar kept his focus to extend an impressive 6 second gap to that of Jarno Opmeer when the chequered flag fell at the end of lap 29.Â Â
Nicolas Longuet, starting from 5th place on the grid, was caught up with a turn 1 collision on lap 6 between himself, the 2022 champion Lucas Blakeley and Haasâ newest signing Alfie Butcher. A 3 car overtake unfortunately ended badly for the Frenchman and saw him fall down to 10th. However, the new Ferrari signing quickly regained positions after a wing change was in order on lap 10, bringing him out in 17th. Blakeley was left to stay further back as the race continued without any points in the bag at the time of the chequered flag. Longuet, on the other hand, bettered his starting position and finished P3.
Jarno Opmeer, the two-time F1 Sim Racing World Champion, surged from P9 on the grid to finish P2 after plenty of on track battles with the likes of Longuet, Norgrove and Blakeley, before picking off Haasâ Butcher and his Mercedes team mate, Daniel Bereznay. Opmeer even pulled off an impressive two car overtake down the pit straight on lap 23. However, Opmeer was unable to chase down the flying Dutchman, Thomas Ronhaar.Â
Bari Broumand, the new Ferrari signing, bucked the trend of the majority of the grid and started on Hard tyres. This played into his favour during the battles and incidents, where pit stops were mainly forced early due to increased tyre wear. This left the Iranian with a fresher pair of soft tyres towards the end of the race where he chased down the pack and executed some impressive overtakes to bring home a Ferrari P3 (Longuet) and P5Â (Broumand). This resulted in the multi-race winner, Broumand, achieving the fastest lap and taking an extra point for the Italian team. However, Broumand was unable to catch the surging Red Bull of veteran Frederik Rasmussen, who after executing some exception passes finished in a solid 4thÂ place, having started the race back in 10thÂ position.
Once the chequered flag fell, we saw the top three being Ronhaar, Opmeer and Longuet. This meant Ronhaar secured a healthy prize of $5,000 as, new for 2023, the top 3 drivers in each event get a prize payout.
The standings look a little different to 2022, but we still have plenty of Sim Racing action left to come, with the next races scheduled for the 15thÂ and 16thÂ December 2023. Be sure to follow us on all of our new social media channels!
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