February 4, 2022
Reigning F1 Esports Series Champion Jarno Opmeer is no stranger to silverware, and on Friday he added another accolade to his growing trophy cabinet – eROC World Champion!
The Dutchman prevailed over F1 Esports rival Lucas Blakeley at the special event held in Sweden on Friday February 4, mixing simulator driving with real-world experience on the snow and ice track in Pite Havsbad.
Starting off driving the simulator, Opmeer, Blakeley, and fellow finalist James Baldwin and Martin Palm all faced off against one another, scoring points in a round-robin tournament. Each driver faced the other three once, in a best-of-three showdown around a digital incarnation of the snowy twin-ring circuit. Interspersing this was footage from Thursday, where all four drivers attacked the real circuit outside in a Polaris PRO XP.
Baldwin brushed the snow banks and was slowest with a 1:50.296, followed by Palm who clocked at 1:48.131. Opmeer was second, with a superb 1:47.452, but the star of the show was Blakeley, who, despite having hardly any physical track driving experience, went fastest of all with a 1:47.428.
That put the pair almost level going into the final round of sim driving, and it was a direct final between the two. Opmeer came out on top in two races by the merest of margins, pipping Blakeley by just 0.073s in the first heat, and just over a tenth in the second to become champion!
Check out the full replay of the event below.
MIXING WITH ROYALTY
As the top two eROC finalists, Opmeer and Blakeley both get a very, very special prize. They will be competing in Saturday’s ROC Nations Cup, and will face against Team Germany in their first fight. That’s right – none other than Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher!
Both Opmeer and Blakeley will have to use all their knowledge of the track to get up to speed and face off against these two giants of motorsport. One thing is for certain though – it’s an experience neither of them will ever forget!
Opmeer summed it up best, stating “It’s not gonna be easy, we’ll need a few practice laps for sure!”
Keep your eyes on social and tune in to see how the duo get on as they mix it on the world stage for the first time. For full broadcast details, check out the Race of Champions website. Good luck to our drivers!
Cover image via Race of Champions.