F1 Esports Series Pro Championship: Opmeer returns to winning ways in Round 8 at Mexico City
Two-time F1 Esports Series champion Jarno Opmeer struck back in fine style on Thursday evening, winning the Mexico City round.
Having not taken to the top step in the opening seven races, he scored victory at the venue which saw his last win, back in 2021. It follows a disappointing day on Wednesday, where he scored no points in Monza, and sees him back in the mix in the championship.
Pole-sitter Frede Rasmussen was unable to convert, clocking up a longlist of penalties while skirmishing for the podium places with Thomas Ronhaar, and ultimately finished in P11.
Opmeer – who started third – got the jump at the start, easily out-dragging Ronhaar’s Haas, decked out in hard tyres. He followed in the wheel-tracks of Rasmussen until Lap 16, when the Dane pitted.
Ompeer’s ascendancy was complete one lap later, as he emerged from the pits ahead of Rasmussen; a clean in-lap proving crucial for the Mercedes man.
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It was a race of opposing strategies, with most of the field opting to run mediums then hards. That was except for Bari Boroumand, Ronhaar, and Daniele Haddad, who all took the pain of the slower tyres for their first stint. None were a factor at first, with Ronhaar hitting the front once the frontrunners pitted.
After that, Haddad became a cork in a bottle. Leading the race by virtue of not pitting until Lap 21. Opmeer passed him with ease, but Rasmussen lost vital time through Mexico’s Esses, and dropped to 1.4s behind Opmeer.
That left him vulnerable to attack from behind. The resurgent Boroumand worked his strategy to perfection, and blitzed Rasmussen for P2 on Lap 28. One lap later and it was Ronhaar’s go, going up the inside at Turn 4.
Clearly Ronhaar’s move rattled Rasmussen’s cage, and on Lap 32 he appeared to barge Ronhaar off the road, ushering him towards the wall at the same corner. The Haas driver maintained track position despite this, but Rasmussen was hit with a penalty.
Despite the compound differential, Boroumand was unable to make inroads into Opmeer’s lead, and he headed across the line 3.5s ahead of the McLaren Shadow racer. Rasmussen finished third on the road, but plummeted to P11 following his penalties.
Ronhaar completed the podium in third, ahead of Marcel Kiefer in P4, and Josh Idowu in P5. Nicolas Longuet was P6, then came Points leader Lucas Blakeley in P7, Jake Benham in P8, Brendon Leigh ninth, and Shanaka Clay took the final point in P10.