The Formula Pro Series has seen a lot of very intense action from numerous esports teams, and round two travelled to the temple of speed, Tifosi territory, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. On the rFactor 2 battlefield, the victors in virtual Italy were Burst esports, Jernej Simončič bringing home the win from pole for the Danish squad. Burst had four drivers taking part, Jernej partnering up with Michi Hoyer, the second squad representing the Bykolles Burst brand having Dawid Mrocek and Damien Skowron at the helm. I caught up with Jernej for his thoughts on the victory.
How confident were you of a strong result coming into qualifying?
The tyres are slightly slower than in season 1, so we had compared the lap times from round 1 at Spa from both this and previous season and compared that with what we were doing in Monza testing relatively to season 1. And we were pretty fast while the car was a dream to drive. But it is very hard to feel confident when competing at the top level, so I did not dare to expect anything, I just nervously focused on getting into the hotlapping groove.
It must have felt great to get Pole. When the race began, did you start to feel that a good finish was possible?
I knew that the car was set up well for the long run balance, but at the same time I knew there would likely be a fierce fight for the lead in the first few laps, given how strong the slipstream was, but happily, I was wrong.
With 4 drivers representing both Burst teams, what was the strategy for teamwork?
From the testing, we knew how to drive and work together on track to capitalize on it, but then I got the pole position and was far enough ahead of my teammates that any teamwork was out of the question.
You lead the championship now, does the training change at all?
The biggest change will be the 10kg weight ballast that I’m receiving for the next round as the championship leader. The top three from round 1 who had the ballast in Monza seemed to hurt significantly from it, so I will adjust my expectations for qualifying, which will perhaps affect the setup orientation and the strategy planning.
Burst esports are a very busy team, taking part in multiple different championships over several different sims. We get to enjoy their company in the EEWC, as well as their participation in the ERL Spring Series by VCO on ACC. I also had a chat with team manager Jesper Pedersen about how he juggles the expectations of the team.
Were there any particular expectations heading into this weeks Formula Pro race?
Before the race started we knew we had a good setup and was well prepared, so our expectations was fairly high, but still knowing it’s a extremely competitive field. Qualifying highlighted that our feeling about the setup was true with pole position. From here it was just a matter of managing the race after a clean start.
You had four drivers representing both Burst brands, how do you manage such different characters going into an event like this?
The four drivers racing are four very different characters, but they are working together well. Three of them have been racing together before their time at Burst Esport, so managing them is very limited, they think before they act and they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This makes my job easier.
We enjoy Burst esports company in the EEWC, how does preparation differ between the EEWC and the Pro Formula series?
The preparation is very different from the two championships. We have some experience and a set-up bank for the Dpi car we are racing in EEWC. So, preparation is mostly just showing up for qualifying and race what we got, whereas the Formula Pro car we have not much experience. We really must put in the hours both drivers and engineers to reach a competitive level. Here we can easily spend four to five hours a day.
Burst esports has huge potential, in any arena that they compete, and we look forward to seeing their continued success.