The recently concluded V10 R-League is the most competitive grid in esports and simulated racing. Devised and produced by Gfinity and Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management (ADMM), the V10 R-League is a unique racing series. It hosted an exciting first season with some nail-biting finishes, thanks to the cars and the impressive pool of talent at the teams’ disposal.
We round up five moments from the first season, which seemed to offer the most thrill from the first season of the V10 R-League!
The Green Hell battle
The Team Race was one of the most exciting esports contests one could have ever witnessed.
With the behemoths Williams and JAESA Suzuki locking horns in Round 3 at Nordschleife, it was a close contest. Williams won both the Head-to-Head and Relay contests, but the Suzuki team was always close behind.
The Team Race was close with just five seconds of difference separating the entire field going into the final lap. Brzezinski was leading, with a trio of Suzukis in hot pursuit keeping the pressure on. While the positions remained the same, the contest was tense. A single mistake from any of the drivers could have swung the tie in the favour of one of the teams.
Watching the V10 monsters fly around what is considered the toughest venue in motor racing was a treat indeed. The contest finally ended in a draw. However, it left viewers desiring for more.
Upsetting the big boys
The JAESA Suzuki team did not have the campaign they were hoping for in this season. The Italian team came close to beating Porsche24 Redline in the fourth round, and it was thrilling to watch. Porsche were the favourites to win the Vallelunga contests. The seventh-placed Suzuki team opted to field Giorgio Simonini, a new driver for this round.
Simonini’s pace was crucial to Suzuki winning the Relay Race, and they would have won the contest in the Team Race, were it not for Simonini crashing into Michal Smidl. It earned the Czech driver a penalty, costing Suzuki the race. The entire esports contest had everyone on the edge of their seats, and this is one race viewers will not be forgetting any time soon.
Porsche24 Redline’s campaign in Season 1 was nearly flawless. With Williams, BMW, and Red Bull in brilliant form, they had to fight hard even with a significant championship lead.
Porsche faced Racing Point in the penultimate round at Spa-Francorchamps. Even though Porsche Redline won both the Relay and the Head-to-Head races, their three drivers had to start from behind at the Team Race.
Michal Smidl stole the show with one of the best drives of his esports career. Rafael Lobato, Shanaka Clay and Michael Epps were all powerless to stop the Czech driver, as he blazed to P1.
Smidl crossed the finish line with a seven-second lead, while his teammate Atze Kerkhof rose to P4, clinching a clean sweep over Racing Point.
The resurgence of The Bull
Red Bull is a force to reckon with in esports. However, their performance has seen a lot of ups and downs in this season. Even though the losses against Fordzilla and JAESA Suzuki won’t be fondly looked back upon, Red Bull was in excellent form in the second half of the season.
Red Bull won every single Team Race, and their performance in the Laguna Seca round was arguably the best.
The contest ended in a tie at 1-1 against Williams. Williams led with Niko Wisnieski and Michael Romanidis off the line, but the pair bungled up, handing over the winning advantage to Red Bull. Nils Naujoks led with Graham Carroll across the line. The team never looked like relinquishing their advantage. Also, despite Joni Tormala’s penalty, Red Bull made a brilliant comeback and won 2-1.
Winning the championship
Porsche24 Redline and Williams went into the finals as the only two teams with a shot at the esports title. Pitted against each other, Williams had to win all three points for clinching the Championship title. The fact that Porsche had dropped only two points all season before Round 7, made it even harder for Williams. However, Williams winning both the Head-to-Head and Relay contests added to the pressure.
Williams needed a 1-2 win in the finals to be the champions. Nikodem Wisniewski and Kuba Brzezi?ski got off to the perfect start leading the pack. Michal Smidl soon caught up and overtook Wisniewski with just a few laps to go. The Pole pushed his hardest to catch up but went too far and collided with Ben Cornett first and then Martin Stefanko, his teammate.
The collision between Stefanko and Wisniewski ended the esports contest, but it was a fine ending to a season filled with drama and intense competition.
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