Defending champion Team Redline and series newcomer McLaren both scored big wins in this week’s V10 R-League matches to close in on semi-final byes from their respective groups.
The Redline squad is undefeated in its three matches so far this season, picking up 10 points from a maximum possible 12 to lead Group A ahead of the final round of group matches. This week’s conquest was the other series debutant R8G, the esports outfit set up by ex-F1 driver Romain Grosjean.
R8G actually took a surprise lead in the match, courtesy of Erhan Jajovski’s comfortable win in the team relay at Silverstone. However two wins for Michal Smidl and one for Jeffrey Reitveld meant that Redline closed out its home circuit of Monza and took a 3-1 win.
That moves Redline to the top of Group A, two points ahead of the Aston Martin team, and the two will meet this coming week to decide which will top the group and secure a bye to the semi-finals.
The other match in Group A saw Yas Heat take on Red Bull, and this match ended in a surprising 2-2 draw. A pit-lane speeding penalty for Manuel Biancolilla saw Red Bull take the first point at Mugello, but Biancolilla led a Yas Heat 1-2 in the team race with Cedric Thome to level the tie. Red Bull took the lead again with another relay win at Silverstone, but a post-race penalty for Red Bull’s Nestor Garcia saw Yas Heat win the team race courtesy of Simon Weigang’s victory to tie at 2-2.
Red Bull take on R8G in the other Group A match this week, knowing that the team needs a 3-1 win to get past Yas Heat and into the playoffs.
The lead hasn’t changed in Group B, but the momentum certainly has, as McLaren Shadow demolished group leader BMW 4-0. James Baldwin again proved instrumental in the victory, winning both of the team races and taking the first stint and the joker lap (one extra lap for one of the three drivers in each team) in both relay races.
It was BMW’s first defeat of the season and in its final match of the league round, but the squad still holds the lead in the table with 10 points to McLaren’s nine. McLaren will face the JAESA Suzuki team in its final match knowing that even a draw will see it qualify straight to the semi-finals, while BMW is guaranteed a playoff place.
JAESA in fact picked up its first points of the season with a 2-2 draw with Fordzilla – though it was Fordzilla’s errors that gifted JAESA a win in the first teams race at Mugello. However Giovanni De Salvo – the 2020 Ferrari Hublot Esports Series champion – scored a vital second point for JAESA in the Silverstone relay, before Fordzilla levelled it up in the subsequent teams race.
Fordzilla will face 2020 finalist Williams in the final fixture in Group B, and with only a point separating the two for the final playoff place, it could go either way.
The third round of the eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series also took place during the week, with one very special guest: the NASCAR Next-Gen race car.
Only a couple of hours after revealing the seventh-generation NASCAR Cup car, which will race in the 2022 Cup Series, the pro drivers were racing them virtually at the Darlington Raceway. Erik Jones took the car’s inaugural win, driving the Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. All three of the next-gen cars, with the Ford Mustang and Toyota TRD Camry joining the Camaro, are now available in iRacing for all players too.
One of this summer’s biggest and busiest esports championships is now open for registration. The GT World Challenge Esports Series will see players and teams running 34 races in Assetto Corsa Competizione between May and November, on three continents, to determine Sprint and Endurance champions, along with a unified grand finale to crown an overall champion.
Individual players can register to qualify for the Sprint series in Europe with a one-off entry fee of €10 for each qualifying event or €50 for all ten, and there’s also equivalent series in America and Asia too. There’s 44 spots for each race, though for races 2–10 the top five drivers from the previous race will qualify automatically.
The Endurance series will run for esports teams, and will include an official virtual Total 24 Hours of Spa. There’s a €500 entry fee for each team, and a single qualification session at the start of the season to set the 44-car grid for the entire year.
If you wish to register for the Endurance series in Europe, you have until 16th May, while the Sprint series qualifiers start this week ahead of the first race on 21st May.
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