Things looked quite difficult for the drivers of the European Sim Racing Association V8 Supercar GT Omega Championship early in the practice session for the first race of the championship at the Suzuka International Circuit.

Rens Broekman was very fast indeed early in practice and took the pole position, nearly a full second faster than Italian sim racer Andrea Scognamillo.  Thomas Van Bussel, Michele Curina and Tobias Czerny completed the top five and pinned their hopes for the race on the fact that they were running consistent times with their race setup.

Broekman leads the ESRA V8s into Turn One at Suzuka.

The start of the race looked very impressive with 31 roaring V8s going down to the first corner of the magnificent Suzuka track. Broekman used his pole position to maximum effect, taking a lead he would hold to the finish.  The race seemed over after the pit stops where his team did a brilliant job to enable him to maintain his grip on first place.

Rens was very silent after the race, and our journalist couldn’t have any words about the victory with him as he rushed into his truck right after the podium. We will catch him next race !

We did talk with Tobias Czerny after the race and asked him what he missed to win the race.  He showed great wisdom in his race analysis:

“ I was able to achieve this second place with driving very defensively, trying not to make any mistake, and that worked very well,” he said.
“ I found myself on third position and tried to catch up to Thomas van Bussel, as he started to become slower due miscalculation of fuel, I guess. Eventually I got the second position on the last laps. Rens Broekman was too fast for me so second race was the best I could hope in this race.”

“Rens Broekman was too fast for me so second race was the best I could hope in this race.” — Tobias Czerny

Asked about the next race at Motegi and what he can hope over there, he said “I hope to have the same performance in the next race, although I think it will be a lot harder cause I don’t like Motegi that much. Motegi is a tyre killer”.

We also spoke with Scognamillo, who said he was very surprised with his second spot on qualification.  After Van Bussel made a very fast start to take second, Andrea ran for 10 good laps at third spot and was trying to find a spot to pass. Unfortunately, a rebellious curb threw his Ford Falcon off the track and, after the incident, his nerves got the best of him and he was forced to retire.

Many thanks to Andrea for his funny accent, and many thanks to him for his learning of the English language ! Good job Andrea !

Although Broekman drove to a dominating win, there was no shortage of close racing at Suzuka.

Other than those at the top, the race featured close, competition – the online racing was hard but very clean.

We also had a nice little talk with a driver who finished in the mid-pack: Sebastien Ferrara who is running the ESRA Pinguin Team.

“I was quite surprised with my race” he said. “Even though the results might be way better (18th place), after my calamitous practice sessions, I never thought I could bring my brand new car home in one piece.”

Well, he did, and in a brilliant manner!  Given his times in the first official practice session at Motegi, we are quite sure Sebastien will perform even better in Round Two of the European Sim Racing Association V8 Supercar GT Omega Championship.

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