Roberts claims valuable win in chaotic Bathurst outing
Wednesday 10 August, 2022
Photos: Tim Nicol
The second round of the 2022 Motorsport Australia iRacing Asia Pacific Single Seater Esports Qualifier Series has seen Benjamin Roberts stake his title claim after victory in a chaotic race.
Held at the iconic Mount Panorama, the 19 drivers were behind the wheel of Formula 3 cars for a race which saw plenty of drama as many drivers struggled to handle the conditions, leading to multiple incidents throughout the race.
There was no such problem for Roberts, who started on the front row alongside polesitter Mario Vartanian and took the lead on the first lap and led the field for the whole 21-lap affair, eventually beating Vartanian to the line by just under two seconds.
Although he almost led from start to finish, Roberts never truly had a comfortable run towards the chequered flag with Vartanian always within reach.
The battle for the victory also included Tom Katsidonis, who finished a further second off Vartanian, however being involved in an incident himself saw him lose valuable time.
The trio were in a league of their own during the race, with the next best driver being series leader Liam Reston a further 13 seconds off the pace.
Fourth place was a fantastic result for Reston, after a solid recovery drive saw him finish just seven tenths ahead of Daniel Yeaman and six places higher than where he qualified in P10.
Reston’s result sees him stay on top of the standings ahead of the final round, with just one point now separating he and race two winner Roberts.
Sitting in third place five points off Reston is Katsidonis, who has enjoyed two podiums in the two races, while Vartanian’s runner-up finish puts him eight points of the leader and confirmed him as the fourth and final genuine contender.
One round remains in the 2022 Motorsport Australia iRacing Asia Pacific Single Seater Esports Qualifier Series, with the finale to be held at Suzuka Circuit on 15 August.