Attila Diner Wins NGK Spark Plug Esport Cup Title
After four previous rounds using RaceRoom racing experiencewhich determined who would enter the decisive race for the title, 26 drivers lined up in an identical Mercedes-AMG GT3 at the start of the qualifying session.
The 12.944 mile layout dropped the Grand Prix circuit meaning a full lap had to be completed before a timed attempt, creating a high pressure scenario.
In the end, it was Kodi Nikola Latkovski who won, setting a time more than a second faster than Diner in second, Leonard Karten in third and Philipp Drayss in fourth.
This was then followed immediately by a 60-minute race to decide the championship.
From the standing start, as the back of the grid stretched around the final corner, it was Latkovski who nursed the leader by diving into Hatzenbach.
Karten and Drayss traded blows for the rest of the first round in a battle for third place which allowed the top two to pull away from the draft.
On the Döttinger Höhe for the first time, Luciano Witvoet beat Yuval Rosen for fifth place, the two nearly falling to each other in Tiergarten. Rosen would give up another position a few minutes later to Petr Pliska after running on the grass to the fast right-hander from Flugplatz.
Further down the peloton, Alexandar Grünwald spun into the barriers at Kallenhard, with Nico Söhnel and Stef Cremers running wide to avoid before scraping the Armco themselves moments later.
After 15 minutes, Diner raced down the long straight and took the lead from Latkovski, with a charging third-placed Drayss now close.
It looked like the top three would then sit in single file and save fuel, with the gap back to fourth at almost five seconds, but Latkovski had other ideas, once again weaving in the lead through the dreaded Mutkurve . Once again, Diner would return the favor further down the lap.
Drayss would drop back down to fifth in the opening sector heading into the mid-stage, leaving the front two in front and battling for the win.
Latkovski again took the lead at Mutkurve, but this time Diner seemed content to sit second and watch.
Down the top 10, the beleaguered Rosen made contact with Sebastian Reeh, finding himself in the wall. He continued, only to shoot with just over 10 minutes to go.
In the lead, for the next two laps, Diner trailed leader Latkovski – closing in on a move on the Döttinger Höhe, but falling back. On the penultimate lap, however, the young German rider took advantage of the draft through Kesselchen to reclaim the lead.
It all came down to the closing corners of the final lap, as Latkovski tried to round the outside at Tiergarten, but eventually fell back to second. He then veered left and right, all the way behind the leader on the final curves, diving inside at the last possible moment – but Diner had it all covered, crossing the line just 0.277 seconds ahead.
“[That was] incredibly stressful, in fact the whole race was exhausting. explained the new champion.
“It was very hard work but in the end the strategy worked – staying behind Latkovski, saving fuel and then attacking in the final laps.”
NGK SPARK PLUG ESPORT CUP RESULTS
- Attila Dinner – 66:09.199
- Kodi Nikola Latkovsky +0.277
- Petr Pliska +14.769
- Philipp Drays +20.199
- Leonard Karten +21.811
- Rasmus Salo +23.269
- Luciano Witvoet +23.849
- Sebastien Reeh +29.545
- Yuval Rosen+40.551
- Beau Dixon +54.343