The Mobileye GT World Challenge Europe Esports series travelled to Misano for the opening round of the season, with 48 cars vying for top honours at the twisty Italian circuit.
Almost the entire field was separated by just a single second as the 15-minute qualifying session concluded, with 60 minutes of action-packed racing following shortly afterwards.
The Irishman started on the front row alongside Ferrari Formula 1 Esports champion David Tonizza, but after turn one, it was the Munster Rugby Gaming Bentley that had wrestled the lead from the Italian stable, a lead that McCormack would not relinquish.
I had a quick chat with Dáire to get his thoughts on the race.
Coming into the race, what was your expectation for where you would finish?
My expectation for the race was nothing less than a podium. I was very confident in the car and my ability to take the win or at least a podium
What preparations did you and the Williams team go through for this race?
At Williams, we went through many preparations leading up to the first round of SRO Sprint. We split up prep by doing about 1/3 quali and 2/3 race prep. We did several full race runs and simulations to ensure that fuel and tyre strategies were correct
Your fan base continues to grow with your successes, do you have a lot of support back home? There aren’t as many successful Irish sim racers compared to other countries, do you feel that you are a trailblazer in that regard?
I have so much support at home it’s crazy. My dad was watching the race and he said he nearly passed out from excitement haha.
We were celebrating all night because the win means a lot to my family as well as me.
Also being Irish I have a lot of pride in my achievements. There certainly aren’t that many Irish sim racers at the top level of Racing Esports and I’m glad I can fly the flag for our country!
Speaking to Team Manager Sebastian Hawkins from Williams Esports, this is what the team’s aspirations were heading into the race:
The immersive hype ahead of the 2022 SRO Championship has captured the sim community, and with this comes a lot of pressure on our drivers to deliver the perfect results.
The dedication and passion each driver has for the sport gives me the confidence they will fight for podiums and wins throughout the season.
Dáire was feeling very positive ahead of Round One, and hours before the race we spoke about how a good result could be on the cards. Dáire really stamped his mark on the series, and as a team, we continue now to support the roster to keep delivering these kind of performances
The Bentley seems to be a less favoured chariot in ACC, what was behind the decision to run it?
Daire was nominated on behalf of Bentley in order to represent our Irish partnership with Munster Rugby Gaming.
It was paramount a talented driver like Daire had a chance to contend with the pros and we had to make that happen.
Keep an eye on the Williams outfit’s social media, or Dáire’s own Twitter page @WIL_Hydra to keep track of his continued success.
Images © Williams Esports & MrF1Alex