An eSport weekend to forget for Visser and Flörsch
Updated: Apr 19
It was all set for Beitske Visser and Sophia Flörsch's debut in the first Kokoro Invitational Series Round in Barcelona, but then it all turned into a black friday for both ladies on the grid.
The launch of the Kokoro Invitational Esport Series, featuring a plethora of international real-life racing drivers, live coverage and cash prizes was awaited and well received. The championship includes 4 rounds with two races each (the second one with a reverse grid of the first 20 finishers) and drivers from FIA Formula 3, W Series, Formula 4, Road to Indy and some more international single seater series. Participants will use the Dallara F3 car with a fixed setup on the iRacing platform and they will take advantage from Apex Racing TV live coverage with commentatory and graphics on Youtube.
The first double-header round was in held on the Barcelona virtual racetrack on Saturday 18th.
A first glimpse of the drivers performances was given by the one-hour training session, where Beitske Visser (P15) and Sophia Flörsch (P13) showed some promising pace. The 15-minutes qualifying session ended with 2019 Formula Regional champion Frederik Vesti claiming pole position ahead of Zak O´Sullivan and Alfred Nilsson. Visser qualified in 11th place while Flörsch was down in P28.
The first race began with some chaotic action erupting already before the first corner, involving Visser among the others. She dropped back, but could then impressively recover directly to fourth place after the opening corners. Flörsch had some luck with the crashes in front of her and was straight into the top 10 after the first lap. The Saftey Car was deployed for the first lap crashes and settled the field.
Unfortunately, a wrong setting in the game session forced the organizers to restart the whole session after a short break, which was hard luck for both ladies who were looking strong in the leading positions.
With a further one-shot quali of 5 more minutes, Visser and Flörsch both set no time and started from the back of the grid. Vesti was confirmed pole-setter, ahead of Macau GP winner Richard Verschoor and Dion Gowda.
Both races revealed to be a real mess: crashes, hard battles and some more bad luck for the racings ladies summed up their debut in the Kokoro championship. Visser had no real chance to recover as she got involved in some contacts and finished the race in P28. Flörsch had no better luck as she finished on P20, one lap down.
Ahead, it was a relatively easy victory for Dane Frederik Vesti, ahead of Verschoor and Paul Aron.
The second race featured a reverse grid and Sophia's 20th place meant that the young German had gained the pole position, ahead of O´Sullivan and Gowda. Unluckily, Flörsch had a bad start, had too much wheelspin and dropped back fast. She fought back to second place with some decisive moves into turn 3 and 4, but shortly after she lost her car on the outside kerb of turn 9 and spun in the middle of the pack, crashing into the inside wall. After the incident, she was effectively out of the race.
Beitske Visser started from the 28th grid slot and fought back into the midfield before being involved in some crashes as well. The Dutch racer was out of the competition before the end of the second lap.
Gowda claimed the second race victory, ahead of Maloney and Kai Askey.
The next double-header race will be contested at Barber Motorsports Park and will be streamed on April 24th.
Beitske Visser said via her Instagram stories:
"Was off to a good start but unfortunately a technical error meant we had to restart and then was involved in some crashes. Next Friday we go again."