Caruso and Ariel win in at the Red Bull Ring
Jordan Caruso comes through to take first win in the sprint race
The evening kicked off with the usual two-stage qualifying session in which, for the second round in a row, Alejandro Sánchez (E/Stormforce Racing ART) set the fastest time. Within less than a tenth of a second of him in second was points leader Jordan Caruso (AUS/Altus Esports) with Zac Campbell (USA/VRS Coanda) in third. 2022 series champion Diogo C. Pinto (PT/Team Redline) joined him on row two of the grid for the ten lap long sprint race.
Early on, pole sitter Alejandro Sánchez managed to hold onto the top spot ahead of Jordan Caruso, with the battles for position kicking off right away behind those two. After having briefly gotten ahead of Zac Campbell on the opening lap, Diogo C. Pinto kept up the pressure and managed to snatch third place away from Campbell on the lap three. A lap later, Sebastian Job (GB/Oracle Redbull Racing Esports) also put a move on the American, demoting him to fourth. By the halfway mark, both Jordan Caruso and Pinto had closed up to leader Alejandro Sánchez. Caruso didn’t mess around, passing Sánchez on lap six.
Gustavo Ariel with opportunistic main race triumph
In the twenty lap main race, pole sitter Sirica wasn’t able to hold onto first place for very long at all. Both Jamie Fluke and Julien Soenen (B/R8G Esports) got by the Italian before the end of the opening lap, soon followed by Alejandro Sánchez, who in turn began challenging Soenen for his runner-up spot. When he eventually managed to overtake Soenen, Diogo C. Pinto also slipped by the Belgian. Both Sebastian Job and Gustavo Ariel (BR/TXC Racing by TK) also advanced a position each when they demoted Moreno Sirica from fourth to sixth. Then on lap nine, not long after Alejandro Sánchez moved to the lead following a battle with Jamie Fluke and Diogo C. Pinto, the first major bit of drama of the main race occurred.
Sprint race winner Jordan Caruso was involved in a collision with a spinning Cooper Webster (AUS/Oracle Redbull Racing Esports) which forced him and his countryman off the circuit and dropped them outside the top twenty. In the scrap for top honors, Gustavo Ariel established himself as a possible contender by moving from sixth to fourth, picking off Sebastian Job and Jamie Fluke. Once he moved to third when doing the same to Soenen, it put the Brazilian into the prime spot to capitalize should anything happen to the scrapping duo of Diogo C. Pinto and Alejandro Sánchez. And as if planned by him all along, that’s precisely how it unfolded, allowing Ariel to take the lead just a few laps from home.
Casey Kirwan and Christian “keny500” Ortega top podiums in the All-Star-Series
Casey Kirwan topped the time charts in qualifying, getting his third pole position, just ahead of Pablo “ThePulpoLopez” Lopez. A slow getaway from the grid resulted in Kirwan dropping behind Lopez, also Tyson “Quirkitized” Meier at the start of the sprint race. Kirwan didn’t hesitate to at least get back ahead of Meier, doing so part-way through the opening lap and setting the stage for another race-long fight for the win between himself and Pablo Lopez, but this time Tyson Meier and Emily “Emree” Jones got involved too. Ultimately, Kirwan got the upper hand and took the win by a fraction of a second ahead of Lopez and Meier.
On the inverted grid for the second race, Lyubov “LoveFortySix” Ozeretskovskaya started from the top spot after a difficult sprint race. She would be dropped to the end of the field by the time the field got to third turn, allowing Christian “keny500” Ortega to take the lead after starting 2nd. An early incident between Emily Jones, Casey Kirwan and Tyson Meier removed all three from the equation for the race win. The recovering Pablo Lopez and Jaroslav “Jardier” Honzik caught up with Ortega in the fight for victory. Ortega went on to cross the line first after he won the final lap duel against Honzik. Before that, an accident removed Pablo Lopez from the battle for the first position on the podium.