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Esports News: Haas F1 reserve Deletraz takes maiden SRO GT victory

Haas Formula 1 reserve driver Louis Deletraz has taken the SRO GT Esports championship lead after winning the penultimate round of the series at a virtual Catalunya circuit

Prior to the fourth round of the GT World Challenge Europe's sim racing series on Assetto Corsa Competizione, GPX driver Deletraz was the only driver to have scored points in each of the first three races.

McLaren factory GT driver Ben Barnicoat denied the Formula 2 race-winner his maiden series victory by just 0.070 seconds in the previous round at the Nurburgring.

The Swiss responded by taking his first pole position of the season in his Porsche 911 GT3, ahead of another Porsche driven by 2012 International GT Open champion Federico Leo (pictured below) in a wildcard entry.

Deletraz survived early pressure from Leo and he broke away from the sister Porsche when Leo became engulfed in a battle for second with Audi drivers Lorenzo Marcucci and Arthur Rougier.

Their battle enabled Deletraz to build a comfortable advantage at the front of the field. He held that advantage until the chequered flag where he claimed his maiden victory in the series.

With just over 15 minutes of the race remaining Marcucci, who led an Audi one-two at the second round at Spa, finally managed to pass Leo on the exit of the tight-Turn 10 hairpin.

Leo held on to finish third, but his wildcard status means he's ineligible for points so ex-Renault junior Rougier earned his best points haul since the Silverstone season opener.

Spanish 19-year-old Ivan Pareras made it three Audi drivers in the top five, with avid sim racer David Perel the best Ferrari driver in sixth.

Barnicoat was caught up in an opening lap incident at the first corner, which dropped him down to 19th place. The Briton climbed back up the field but could only get as far as 12th place, which means he drops from first to third in the championship standings.

Deletraz now heads into the final round of the season with an advantage of 10 points over Marcucci, with Barnicoat a further six points adrift.

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