Veloce's James Doherty headlines F1 eSports qualifier

Veloce eSports member James Doherty was among the qualifiers from the penultimate week of the first stage of the second season of Formula 1's virtual series

Veloce's James Doherty headlines F1 eSports qualifier

Doherty became the second driver from Veloce, which recently revealed a partnership with current Formula E championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne, to qualify for the Pro Draft - where nine of the real-life F1 teams will choose drivers to represent them in the next stage of the competition.

He dominated a wet race at the Spanish Grand Prix circuit to beat Vegas eRace winner Bono Huis - one of Doherty's sim racing idols - by more than 10 seconds after just 17 laps of racing.

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Swede Kimmy Larsson - a semi-finalist in McLaren's 'World's Fastest Gamer' contest - edged Christoph Holstein by just 0.178s to book his place in the Pro Draft.

Frenchman Samuel Libeert jumped poleman Marek Schinz into Turn 1 on the opening lap of the PC race and held onto the lead until the end of the race. German teenager Schinz came home in second place, beating Tino Naukkarinen by 0.480s.

Meanwhile, Vitsaniemi Petteri, one of the members of Williams's new eSports team, picked up a five-second penalty for causing a collision with Istvan Puki on the opening lap, Puki was immediately eliminated from the race after losing his front-right wheel.

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PS4 polesitter Floris Wijers dominated the final race of the penultimate week of qualifiers to win by over four seconds.

"It was the best race I've ever driven," the 18-year-old Dutchman declared.

Jani Vitsaniemi took second with Gianfranco Giglioli, who finished eighth in the inaugural F1 eSports event in 2017, sealing the final qualifying place in third position.

Gamers will have one more chance to qualify for the Pro Draft, with Monaco playing host to the final round of qualifiers.

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Author Josh Suttill
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