Williams Esports’ Nikodem Wisniewski secured a phenomenal P3 in the third round of ESL R1 after two days of competition.
Williams Esports were competing in Round 3 of the new sim racing competition ESL R1, run by esports powerhouse ESL and using the new sim racing game, Rennsport.
After a solid but unlucky performance at the season-opening Katowice LAN event left us eighth in the teams’ championship, the drivers were racing at the Nurburgring from the comfort of their home sim rigs.
With this being the first race-at-home event, the quarter-finals took place on Friday night, with the Semi-Finals and Final on Monday.
On Friday, our four drivers, Niko, Kuba Brzezinski, Daire McCormack and Dennis Shconiger took part in the quarter finals of Round 3, streamed live on the Williams Esports Twitch channel.
In QF1, Kuba finally got the luck he deserved after missing out on the semi-finals in the previous two rounds, by finishing in P5 and securing one of Monday’s semi-final positions.
Daire was up next and after getting the car onto the second row in qualifying, an incredible launch off the line saw him shoot up to second place, which he maintained across the eight lap race to make it two for two into the semi-finals.
Sadly, in QF3, Dennis was hit early on as he worked his way through from the back of the pack, and finished in P10.
Niko rounded out our appearance in the quarter-finals and was made to work hard for his semi-final position, defending the final P6 qualification spot from Lap 1 in order to make it through to Monday’s main event.
Daire McCormack would go on to reach the final
The Monday event was split into two-semi finals, with the qualifiers from the first two quarter finals featuring in semi-final one, and the qualifiers from the third and fourth quarter-finals taking part in semi-final two.,
Daire and Kuba took part in semi-final one, and it was Daire’s performance that stood out once again. He qualified in P6 before launching the car up to P4 at the start of the race. He maintained his position and took his Mercedes to the final for the second time in ESL R1.
Kuba put in a valiant display after qualifying in P12, making up three positions early on. Despite this, he sadly failed to qualify for his first final event.
In the second semi-final, Niko put in an exceptional qualifying performance that earned him a P3 start for the race. He produced another masterclass in maintaining position, ensuring we would have two cars through into the final.
Niko Wisniewski on his way to P3
The Grand Final
Williams Esports were the only Mercedes car that had navigated its way to the final, and considering the BoP favoured other cars at the Nurburgring, the team had put in an exceptional performance to get two cars through to the final stage.
McCormack was on course for a sensational pole position, but sadly a slow-down penalty meant he would have to start near the back of the pack. Niko, on the other hand, put together an electric lap and he achieved another top five start ahead of lights out.
After a perfectly-timed launch, Niko shot up into P3 and slotted in behind the two lead cars for the full eight laps. With the cars ahead having more straight line speed, Niko managed his tyres and stayed out of trouble to secure P3, the first podium for Williams Esports in ESL R1.
Javi Guerra, Operations Manager at Williams Esports, said: “It was truly a brilliant performance from the team considering the BoP of the Mercedes and this being the first online event of the series. We went into this round knowing that we had to be braver and willing to battle harder after IEM Katowice (the LAN event).
“Niko epitomised this and reaped his rewards with a P3 finish. All of our drivers put in such a high level of effort that I am confident this is just the start of a strong debut season in ESL R1.”
Nikodem Wisniewski, Driver for Williams Esports, said: “Wow, what an amazing feeling. To achieve the result we did shows how much work we have put in. as we are currently on the backfoot with the BoP.
"Nevertheless, I knew that I could maintain my position if I was aggressive from the start and got ahead of the rival cars.
“This is just the start for us. I am delighted to have got the podium, but next round we want to see all of us in the final and battling for the top spots. We have put in the work, so I am confident we will get there.”
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