Tonizza's F1 Pro Series title defence ends as Opmeer stays ahead

LONDON (Reuters) - Ferrari’s F1 Esports champion David Tonizza gave up his title defence in a blaze of glory with a lights-to-flag victory around a virtual Monza on Thursday night as Alfa Romeo’s Jarno Opmeer retained the overall lead.

With three races remaining, Dutch racer Opmeer leads the Red Bull pairing of Dane Frederik Rasmussen and German Marcel Kiefer by 19 and 32 points respectively.

Frenchman Nicolas Longuet, winner of the Silverstone race for Renault, is also still in mathematical contention but 65 points off the lead with 78 remaining to be won.

Tonizza, now sixth and 88 points behind Opmeer, took his second victory of the esports season with a home win from pole position with Opmeer second and two times champion Brendon Leigh third for Mercedesl, his first podium of the year.

Red Bull lead the teams championship with 255 points to Alfa Romeo’s 223.

The Grand Final takes place on Dec 16-17 with drivers representing the 10 real F1 teams competing remotely on the official F1 2020 Codemasters video game for a share of the $750,000 prize pot.

The final three races will be on the virtual Japanese, Mexican and Brazilian GP layouts.

The races are shown on F1’s social channels and selected broadcasters.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis