It was round five & six of the Kokoro Invitational Series in Brazil, as Sophia Flörsch and Beitske Visser returned to the iRacing grid. Flörsch picked up more points after another action-packed race.
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.
This Friday the series stopped to Interlagos, Brazil, for round 5 and 6. Both Sophia Flörsch and Beitske Visser returned to the series, with Victor Martins and Max Mayer also making their first appearance on the grid.
Beitske Visser finished the practice session in eighth place and Sophia Flörsch in 16th position.
The qualifying was the calm before the storm: Zak O´Sillovan secured pole ahead of Richard Verschoor and Marius Zug. The best female driver was Beitkse Visser who slotted-in in eleventh and Sophia Flörsch followed in 13th, just two places behind the Dutch lady.
It was a very long starting procedere until the lights went out and it was a clean start until a car spun after the first corner and took another driver off track. The fight for the first position was on fire between O´Sullivan, Verschoor and Frederik Vesti. At the end of the first lap, Zane Maloney was in the mix too and joined the leading group. Sophia Flörsch and Beitske Visser advanced to seventh and eighth place.
On the third lap Flörsch clashed with Ugo de Wilde, who wanted to pass on the outside and tagged Sophia's right rear wheel, spinning the German out at turn 4. She rejoined in 16th place. Beitske Visser was also victim of another contact, spun and dropped back to position 17.
In a hard fight, Paul Aaron bumped into Gus Bowers, left the track and slid through the gravel. With an impressive drive through the field Sophia Flörsch secured eighth place and Beitske Visser finished the race in P13 having also made a good recovery. O´Sullivan won race 1 ahead of Verschoor and newcomer Victor Martins.
Thanks to the reversed grid for the second race, Mayer started from pole ahead of Laurens van Hoepen and Frederick Lubin. Beitske Visser started from eighth, a couple of rows ahead of Sophia Flörsch who took the start from position 13.
In the mid- and at the back of the field, the race started with several spins and crashes. Unfortunately, Flörsch was one of the unlucky drivers to be involved and returned to the pits. Visser didn't get better luck and dropped down to P14 after the first lap.
On lap number 4, the young German's race came to a stop after a heavy crash as Flörsch, a lap down, closed the line and crashed into Wilde, who flew up and destroyed his car. Flörsch returned to the pit again.
"After crashing in race 2 my repair time was 8 minutes so, well, I quit", Sophia wrote on her Instagram.
In a race defined by many crashes and with only 15 drivers crossing the finish line, Verschoor took home the victory ahead of Mayer and Bowers. Visser finished on eleventh place in a cleaner race.
2019 Formula Regional European champion Frederik Vesti now leads the standings with 78 points, ahead of Verschoor (66) and O´Sullivan (58). The next round will be on 8th May in Silverstone, which will also be the last double-header and final event of the Kokoro Invitational season.