Williams Esports driver Dáire McCormack became the first ever two-time ESL race winner as he dominated the field at Hockenheim as the team achieved their highest points tally in a single round this season!
Read on for our detailed report.
It was a monumental Friday Quarter-Final session from the team, with all four drivers qualifying for the semi-finals for the first time this season.
Nikodem Wisniewski kicked off the Easter weekend with a battling performance in QF1, performing a classy switchback on Lap 2 to make his way into the top six, before a slow-down penalty from one of the cars ahead helped him cement his position in the qualifying spots.
Dennis Schöniger achieved one of his best qualifying sessions of the season, starting in P4 for the race. As we have seen in countless races this season, the top four drivers decided not to battle, with the top six guaranteed a semi-final spot, and Dennis coasted his way through into the next round.
QF3 saw us achieve our first pole position of the weekend as Kuba Brzeziński took the fastest time in qualifying and went on to control the race on his way to SF2.
Soon after, Dáire achieved a similar feat, but this time achieving the fastest qualifying time of the day. The dominance from the Irishman was scary and truly showed what excellent form he is in, flying away from the rest of the pack and finishing ahead of his nearest rival by a 3.5-second margin.
With all four drivers into the semi-finals for the first time, we had the chance to see two Williams drivers in each Semi-Final.
In SF1, Niko set a competitive qualifying time, sitting in P3 and matching the time of Mercedes driver James Baldwin. Dennis, however, couldn’t quite show the speed he had in his quarter-final, having to settle for 11th on the grid ahead of the race start.
The German battled hard in the race despite suffering from illness this week, but sadly he was hit with two slow-down penalties, leaving him in 12th position. Niko meanwhile, despite losing his third place early on, got his head down and navigated a tricky round to make it into the final for the third time this season.
SF2 saw Dáire continue his fine form, missing out on pole by only 0.002 seconds, with Kuba also reaching the top six in qualifying as the Polish driver looked to reach the Grand Final for the first time this season.
Overtaking Bakkum early on, Kuba settled his nerves and finished in P5 to reach his first final of the season.
Dáire secured a P2, leaving the team with three drivers in the Grand Final and a great chance to become back-to-back winners.
As the only team in the Grand Final with three drivers, the team were already likely to secure their best points haul of the season before Dáire put his Mercedes into P2 to start the race behind Joni Tormala. With long-term teammates Kuba and Niko lining up next to each other in P8/9, Hockenheim was set up for a thrilling conclusion.
It did not take long for Dáire to make the move as he flew around the outside on Lap 1 to take the lead and never looked back despite some pressure from Tormala behind, maintaining the gap at around 0.7s throughout the race on his way to the win.
Dáire became the first driver to win two races in ESL R1 and the first driver to win back-to-back races in the competition, moving himself up to P4 in the overall standings.
Alongside his performance, top 10 finishes for both Kuba and Niko saw the team elevate themselves to third in the overall standings.
The team would like to congratulate all the drivers for their phenomenal performance and Dáire for his second ESL R1 win!