BMW and Aston Martin lead V10 R‑League | FOS Future Lab
As the first round of this season’s V10 R-League passes its halfway stage, the squads from BMW and Aston Martin are leading the way in their respective groups.
Now in its second year, the V10 R-League competition – which uses its own F1-inspired V10 racers – is running a slightly different format than before. The ten teams, consisting of all of last year’s entries plus the McLaren Shadow team and Romain Grosjean’s R8G Esports squad, race in two five-team leagues, with one team sitting out each round of races.
The meetings themselves have a new look too. Each round consists of a “home” match and an “away” match, with each team selecting a circuit from the available pool each week. Each match then consists of a relay race – where each team sends its drivers out on a flying lap, one after the other – and a sprint race with all six drivers on track at once. The team that wins each race gains a point, for a total of four points available each match.
In Group A, it’s Aston Martin that heads the field, with two match wins from three and eight points in total. Star driver Lucas Blakeley picked up four sprint race victories in a row, taking both in a 4-0 whitewash of the R8G squad and then repeating that in a 3-1 win over Yas Heat. However the team lost 3-1 to Red Bull last week, as Joni Tormala pipped Blakeley to the line in the first round at Spa-Francorchamps, before leading a Red Bull 1-2 from Graham Carroll at Mugello.
Defending champion Team Redline also sits in Group A, and has taken two wins from two – backing up a first weekend 3-1 win over Yas Heat with a comprehensive 4-0 demolition of Red Bull. Redline will face Aston Martin this week, and the winner of that match will likely qualify for the semi-finals.
It’s BMW that has the best form of anyone though, with three wins from three, and ten points on the board in Group B – only dropping points in two relay races against Williams and Fordzilla respectively. Kevin Siggy Rebernak has been the form driver of the BMW squad, racking up four wins in six sprint races, and finishing no worse than second – both times behind team-mate Michael Romanidis. That’s contributed 56 of the squad’s 99 driver points, which is the most of any team.
With BMW sitting out this week’s matches, McLaren Shadow has a chance to close in before the two meet in the final week of the league. As you’d expect from the World’s Fastest Gamer – and recently crowned British GT Esports champion – James Baldwin has been behind much of the team’s success, with three sprint race wins from four. Williams, last season’s runner-up, currently sits in second in Group B, though with defeats to both BMW and McLaren, it’s likely out of contention for top spot.
The league matches will continue for another two weeks before the playoffs. Second in each group will race third from the other group for a spot in the semi-finals, with the top team from each group qualifying automatically. The grand final will take place on 24th May.
F1 Esports Challenger Series came to a conclusion this week with the final race of ten in each of the three different qualification paths: Xbox, PlayStation, and PC. Six drivers will qualify from each platform to the F1 Pro Exhibition later this month, where the ten official F1 teams will select their wild card drivers for the 2021 season.
Italy’s Alessio Di Capua was the form driver of PC qualifying, taking four wins at Vietnam, Silverstone, Monza, and Suzuka, but the UK’s Josh Idowu – last year’s Xbox winner – pushed him close. Idowu took three victories, including the last two races at COTA and Yas Marina, to claim second in the table, just nine points behind. Nicolas Mateo claimed two race wins to finish third overall.
Kedon Lutt, of Estonia, led the way in the Xbox platform qualifying, scoring six podium finishes including three race wins, to secure his place in the Pro Exhibition. He outscored France’s Antoine de Zaluski – also a triple-race winner – by 14 points, with the UK’s Christopher Parry in third, a further seven points away.
Meanwhile the PlayStation qualifying title wasn’t decided until the final race – and in fact the last half a lap – with Germany’s Valentin Bruffer winning at Yas Marina to pip Thijmen Schutte by a single point, 141 to 140. Domenico Lovece of Italy could also have taken the title, but ended up ten points further back.
The 18 drivers will join those who raced in 2020 but haven’t been signed to a team this season in the Pro Exhibition at the end of May. Also joining them will be one female competitor who will qualify through this week’s “Women’s Wildcard” event. Every team must select at least one driver from the Pro Exhibition for their 2021 campaign.
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