Cody Nikola Latkovski Takes Gold for Australia in the FIA Motorsport Games Digital Cup
At the inaugural FIA Motorsport Games held in Vallelunga, Italy, on November 2, the representative for Australia, Cody Nikola Latkovski, took home the gold medal in the Digital Cup event.
The FIA Motorsport Games is an international competition created by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) as the "Olympics of motorsport." It consisted of six events covering different racing disciplines, including the GT Cup, the Touring Car Cup, the Formula 4 Cup, the Drifting Cup, the Karting Slalom Cup, and the Digital Cup, which was powered by Gran Turismo Sport.
For the Semi-finals, competitors were split into three groups of ten, and after the repechage round, 12 competitors went on to the Grand Final.
In Semi-final Group A, victory went to the Nations Cup winner of "World Tour 2019 – Red Bull Hangar 7," Mikail Hizal of Germany, while Latkovski took the honors in Group B. Group C went to Costa Rica’s Bernal Valverde. Having also set the fastest lap in practice the previous day, Hizal looked to be the favorite to win this competition.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya served as the venue for the Grand Final as the drivers were challenged to a 19-lap one-make race in the Red Bull X2019.
From the very start, the competition was fierce as Hizal and Latkovski went at it wheel-to-wheel. Things took a turn for the worse for Hizal on Lap 15 when he went off the track, giving up the lead to Latkovski. While the most intense action took place on the track, the race was ultimately decided by pit strategies.
Latkovski had started the race with soft-compound tires, and selected them again on his first pit stop. He had gone for an ingenious three-stop strategy, leaving the other required compounds, medium and hard, for the final two laps. The result of this daring plan allowed Latkovski to get back on to the track ahead of rival Valverde during his final pit stop. And it was this incredible performance that scored Latkovski the gold medal for Australia.
The silver medal went to World Tour regular Bernal Valverde, representing Costa Rica, while Italian ace Stefano Conte took home the bronze.