Alexander Smolyar and Dmitry Arsentiev Win Phygital Ice Race!

SMP Racing team pilots Alexander Smolyar and Dmitry Arsentiev have won their first phygital racing tournament. They scored the best time in winter karting phygital racing, where pilots competed to achieve the fastest times on a dedicated ice track and drove a Lada Kalina in an Assetto Corsa virtual simulator.

Surprises came within the first minutes of the relay-format phygital racing final. Top qualifiers Team Ni Racing quickly lost pole position, with Sergey Krenev from Kamaz Master Junior taking the lead. He was confident completing his 20 laps despite the challenging track and whimsical weather. He kept away the opponents’ attacks and was the first to pass the virtual relay ‘baton’ to his partner Bogdan Karimov.

‘I did my homework after the previous heats, took off in the right way and took the lead from the last row. On this surface you have to go steady and speed up when the moment is right. If you go really slowly, you won’t be able to win,’ Sergey Krenev said.
‘Not for nothing is it said that motor racing is a technical sport. From the very beginning, the gas pedal froze, so I went the whole race at full gas and stopped the vehicle with my brake only. At the end the kart died, so I was pushing it a bit, and then fell too,’ Ni Racing’s Maxim Soldatov explaining his loss of the leadership he had gained the day before.

But the pilots of the second Kamaz Master team failed to keep their advantage. In the virtual part of the relay, the lead first went to Namus Racing’s Aydar Nuriev, who had competed more than once on the Kazan Ring track in various races and knew its peculiarities. He was followed by Alexander Smolyar, an SMP Racing pilot who overcame a few attacks to bring his Lada Kalina forward in Lap 4.

Early into the third segment, the ice track race had another leadership change with Boris Garifullin from Electro Karting taking the lead. However, it didn’t take Smolyar too long to overcome him on the inside and bring SMP Racing back to the first place.

Dmitry Arsentiev widened its lead in the fourth virtual segment to take a confident win making no mistakes in the final part of the race. Considering the changeable weather conditions and tricky slippery track, it was a far from straightforward race, but the champions had their awards waiting for them at finish – the phygital flame and almost a third of the prize money (300 thousand rubles).

The second place went to the Electro Karting team featuring Anvar Toutaev and the winner of autumn phygital race Boris Garifullin. The third to finish were Ural Junior Kart pilots Alexey Kolpakov and Ostap Kravchenko.

‘It’s not my first phygital format race but I saw it for myself yet again that this is a high-level competition. Everything was really cool! Can’t wait for the Games of the Future. The more competitions like this we have in Russia now, the better. We have to develop everything in this country. Our athletes need to compete. These competitions are a step in the right direction,’ said Alexander Smolyar.

‘Teamwork helped us. We did a perfect job in the training session and during the race. I do winter karting professionally so I have experience in driving on such a surface. The challenge for me was the simulator – I hadn’t done it before so I had to practice five hours a day. It was exciting for me to take part in the Phygital Games. It was important to do everything fast, without errors. The weather? It’s superb! The organisers have done their best to make sure the competitions take place so kudos to them!’ explained Dmitry Arsentiev.