Williams and Porsche lead the way in V10 R‑League | FOS Future Lab
A new racing league, courtesy of Gfinity and Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, got underway this week, but there were some familiar names leading the way.
The V10 R-League is new take on esports, featuring eight teams of three drivers competing in various disciplines each week. At each event the teams are drawn against each other in four matches, with each team racing against every other one once by the end of the season.
Each match consists of three different events. There’s the Head-to-Head, which features the three drivers from each team racing one-on-one against their rivals and the first team to two points takes the win. That’s followed by the Relay, which is again a one-on-one format but the drivers must hand over to their next team-mate in a pit stop, the win going to the first team to cross the finish line after all three stints.
Finally there’s a Race event for all six drivers. Points are awarded in classic F1 style: ten for the win, then six, four, three, two and one, and the team with the highest points score at the end of the race wins. Every position and every overtake counts.
The racing takes place in Assetto Corsa, using a car exclusive to the series. It’s a fictional open-wheel formula car, with a 900PS V10 engine and a weight of 700kg, running at up to 220mph depending on the circuit.
This week’s first round at Monza saw match wins for Red Bull, Porsche, Williams and, a name perhaps not often associated with esports, Suzuki.
Porsche, officially known as Porsche24 Redline through its collaboration with renowned sim-racing outfit Team Redline, won its match against BMW 3-0. Despite some big names in its squad, including Kevin Siggy Rebernak and Coque Lopez, BMW lost 2-1 in the head-to-head, and again 15-11 in the feature race, as Atze Kerkhof, Ben Cornett, and Michael Smidl lead a rout.
Williams was no less dominant in its match against fellow F1 outfit Racing Point. Kuba Brzezinski and Martin Stefanko put Williams in an unassailable 2-0 lead in the head-to-head - though Racing Point’s Shanaka Clay won the dead rubber - before the trio simply dismantled Racing Point in the relay. Despite starting in the last three positions in the race, Williams came home with a 1-2-4 finish for a 19-7 result and a 3-0 match win.
Red Bull was a pre-event favourite, but started its match against Ford’s Fordzilla team with a defeat in the head-to-head. A mistake from Joni Tormola in the final race when he looked set to win handed the event to Fordzilla. However a dominant performance in the relay – winning despite a time penalty – and a Red Bull 1-2 in the final race saw the F1 outfit claim the match win 2-1.
Two less familiar names met in the fourth match, with Yas Heat taking on Jean Alesi Suzuki. Heat is an outfit formed by the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, while Jean Alesi Suzuki is a partnership between Suzuki and the Jean Alesi esports Academy. The new boys put on a penalty-laden show, which saw Suzuki take a 2-0 lead after the Heat team was on the receiving end of the stewards’ wrath in both the head-to-head and the relay. Heat salvaged some pride with a 14-12 win in the feature race, but the result was a 2-1 overall victory for Suzuki.
That all put Williams on top of the league with three points, tied with Porsche24 Redline but separated by their feature race scores, 19-15 in William’s favour. Red Bull and Suzuki are next on two points, with Yas Heat and Fordzilla on one, and BMW and Racing Point yet to score. The teams head to Brands Hatch this coming week for round two.
Also coming this week is the finale of the 2020 Le Mans Esport Series. Unable to take place this year as it did last year – live, at the Le Mans event, over the same 24 hour period as the race – this year’s final will be a remote-run affair and take place over four nights from 15th-18th September. Each night is themed over a period of the famous race’s history, with the pre-‘70s event on Tuesday, ‘70s-‘80s on Wednesday, ‘90s-‘00s on Thursday, with the grand final in modern cars on Friday.
Welcome to FOS Future Lab where we report on the latest visions of future technology. We'll be boldly covering flying cars, hoverboards, jetpacks and spaceships with plenty of down to earth topics in between.