The Circuit of the Americas (COTA) was the scenario of the last round of the 2017 World Championship Grand Prix Series. With only 12 rounds, this edition of the World Championship has been shorter than previous versions. This was an important fact, because during the first rounds, the participation in the qualifying session is higher, and only the best 35 drivers out of the 50 WC licenses can qualify for the race. Therefore, the impact of the first rounds in a shorter championship is considerably more important than in versions of the championship with more rounds.
The last edition of the championship has been dominated by Martin Kronke, with a 100% of victories. The second, third and fourth places were brilliantly taken by Bono Huis, Freek Schothorst and Mack Bakkum. All of them reached the WC this year, and this gives an idea of the difficulty of the last edition of the ‘Pro Series’. Two other drivers finished in the top 10 with a WC license acquired this year: Marcus Jensen, and Jamie Fluke. In conclusion 50% of the top 10 were drivers coming from the last edition of the Pro series.
Positive SimRacing took part as a second consecutive year in the World Championship, with Diogo Oliveira (2017 was his second year in WC) and Daniel Bida (who qualified in the last edition of the Pro series).
During the first rounds, the challenge was to qualify for the race. Daniel succeeded in the first round, finishing the race in a promising P21. However, Diogo faced hardware problems that were decisive for a difficult start of the season, missing the two first races. Round 2, Sebring, was disappointing, as none of the PSR drivers could qualify for the race.
The last 5 races of the season were also critical for the final results. Diogo and Daniel were out of the top 30, which is the last position with the privilege of securing the WC license for one more year. During these 5 rounds, both PSR drivers made very good races, with Daniel scoring 75 points and Diogo 66. Despite the difficult start of the season, Diogo was very close to the target: During some parts of the last race, he was only 5 points away of P30, but unfortunately he finally couldn’t get a good result and finished in P33 in the championship. Three missed participations and an incident at the start of the race at Imola have probably been the responsible of this disappointing result for the team, despite the good pace of the Brazilian driver.
On the other hand, thanks to the good results during the last 5 races, Daniel secured a 28th position in the standings, preserving his WC license under the flag of PSR. Now, the team faces the third consecutive year in the WC with more experience and a good group of drivers that have been working hard to be prepared for the imminent Pro series: Ricardo Orozco, Tommy Østgaard, Manuel Domingo, Ruslan Sabitov, Matteo Calestani and Reinaldo Augusto will represent PSR in the next edition of the Pro series, fighting for WC licenses and the consolidation of the team in the WC. At the same time, the team is hearing proposals from other WC drivers and working with sponsors to strength his position in future championships.
Broadcast of the last round: