Drama at Watkins Glen brings double podium for Tomáš Enge SIM Racing
- Season’s favourites duel for the win in a thrilling race, with Lukas Prada narrowly losing out to Martin Kadlecik
- Mercedes-Benz Virtual GP rookie Adam Pilo celebrates his first podium
For the first time in its history, the Mercedes-Benz Virtual GP championship visited the legendary American circuit Watkins Glen. The third round of the season once again promised a battle between the favoured teams of Tomas Enge SIM Racing and Entropiq. However, few expected it to be a battle for the win down to the last few metres. Qualifying was even more important than usual at Watkins Glen as the track profile was not conducive to overtaking. Going against the chronometer, the Entropiq team’s pair did best. The Mercedes in the colours of Tomas Enge SIM Racing were on the second row of the grid, just like last time, although this time it was very close. Lukáš Přáda was confident of at least the front row, but one small mistake sent him to 3rd position.
Both Lukáš Přáda and Adam Pilo drove the best race of the season, consolidating 2nd place in the standings for their team Tomáš Enge SIM Racing.
After a fleeting start, the order at the front remained unchanged and the leading four went into the 55-minute race close behind. They immediately began to build a lead over the rest of the field, with a number of duels and collisions occurring in the opening laps. The sports commissioners spared no penalties and a number of offenders were handed drive-through penalties. This soon caused the front runners to overtake the stragglers by a lap. Lukas Prada was on his toes and kept pushing Entropiq’s number two Martin Sirotek. He made a mistake under pressure, which both riders of Tomáš Enge were able to take advantage of to move into the medal positions. Leader Kadlecik quickly responded with a pit stop, while Prada and Pile continued on. When they too headed to the pits a few laps later, the order returned to its original form. This time no one gained a noticeable advantage or disadvantage, but it was obvious that Lukáš Přáda would be the driver of the final laps. He confirmed this not only with the fastest lap of the race, but especially with his constant attacks on the leader Kadlecik. In the last lap they both went through several corners side by side, but Kadlecik was more lucky in the end. Lukáš Přáda, after his best performance so far this year, crossed the finish line 246 thousandths of a second later in 2nd place, while Adam Pilo crowned the success of the Tomáš Enge SIM Racing team with his first podium finish.
Martin Kadlecik (7) and Lukáš Přáda (18) were literally fighting for every centimetre in the final laps. The former was the luckier one at the finish.
Lukáš Přáda: “I didn’t have a bad start, but I couldn’t fully react to the tactical performance of my opponents. Then I held on to Martin Sirotek so he wouldn’t lose the slipstream, while saving my tyres with a view to a better pit stop. Unfortunately that didn’t work, we all had more or less identical stops. Then it was just about the last few laps. I tried a lot of things, but none of them worked. Hopefully it will work next time.”
Adam Pilo: “I had a very close fight with Martin Sirotek, but we left ourselves enough room. The first lap after the pit stop was not easy at all because the tyres on the left side were cold. I worked up quite a sweat to keep 3rd place.”
Drivers – 1. Martin Kadlecik (Entropiq) 105, 2. Lukáš Přáda (Tomáš Enge SIM Racing) 70, 3. Martin Sirotek (Entropiq) 64, 4. Adam Pilo (Tomáš Enge SIM Racing) 54, 5. Tomáš Hora (Big Shock!) 42, 6. Martin Nejedlík (Lenovo Legion) 39, Teams – 1. Entropiq 169, 2. Tomáš Enge SIM Racing 124, 3. Big Shock! 78, 4. Lenovo Legion 57, 5. JD simracing 51, 6. Alchemistr 33.