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Motorsport

06 Oct 2020

V10 R-League Round 5 Winners & Losers: Debutants and experienced drivers shine in the USA

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Winner: Michal Smidl

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Loser: Williams

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Winner: BMW

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Winner: Nils Naujoks

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The Next Round

The V10 R-League made its first visit to North America and the Laguna Seca Circuit yesterday.

The American track proved to be extremely difficult for the sim racing professionals to avoid mistakes. The tight and twisty circuit provided little opportunity to pass, leading to frustrations and ultimately errors.

Some drivers excelled, while others couldn't get to grips with the famous Californian circuit. Let's take a look at the winners and losers from Round 5!

Winner: Michal Smidl

Porsche24 Redline have been the standout performers in this first season of the V10 R-League. Out of their impressive roster of drivers, Michael Smidl has probably been one of the MVPs of the bunch.

Smidl had to win his head-to-head for Porsche to take an early lead. The German did that with aplomb, winning by over six seconds ahead of Yas Heat's Eamon Murphy.

Porsche Yas Heat Laguna Seca V10 R-League Round 5

MVP: Smidl was showing why he's so vital to Porsche yesterday

In the relay race, Smidl was first out and was absolutely untouchable. The previous record around Laguna Seca was a 1 minute 7 second lap, Smidl was lapping in less than 60 seconds!

Because of Smidl's lightning lap times, Atze Kerkhof and Jeffrey Reitveld could take it relatively easy in their stints to give Porsche a 2-0 lead.

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Porsche would make it three clean sweeps from five opportunities in the team race. Smidl would finish P3 thanks to the overtake of the day at the hairpin.

The German sold Murphy the dummy and savagely cut back to the inside to pass the Irishman. Overall, it was a perfect day for Smidl and Porsche.

Loser: Williams

After a huge victory against BMW last weekend at Vallelunga, Williams were brought back down to earth at Laguna Seca.

Williams Red Bull Laguna Seca V10 R-League Round 5

HAD EVERY CHANCE: Williams had a big opportunity to solidify P2, but they blew it

Williams started their high-profile clash against Red Bull on the front foot, with both Nikodem Wisniewski and Martin Stefanko winning their head-to-head bouts. It all went downhill from there though.

Stefanko got off to the perfect start in the relay race but a wide moment at The Corkscrew put Joni Tormala onto his back. Stefanko would then make another costly error, as he failed to stop his car for the driver change and earned his team a penalty.

Williams remained in the lead to the finish, but Red Bull kept within three seconds to win the contest and tie 1-1. The team race also started off perfectly for Williams, but they'd be unlucky here.

Tormala got his braking wrong into the hairpin and would take out both Michael Romanidis and Wisnieski. This would earn the Finn a penalty, but the damage was already done.

Red Bull had completed an excellent comeback to win the contest 2-1. Williams maintain P2 in the championship but are now three points behind Porsche and only one ahead of Red Bull and BMW.

Winner: BMW

After losing 2-1 to Williams in the previous round, BMW were looking to make up ground on the leading pack. They managed this in style, with a 3-0 clean sweep over Fordzilla to propel them into joint-third place.

Screenshot grs v10r ks laguna seca 1 10 120 13 2 11 min

POWERING FORWARD: BMW have a great chance of getting on the podium come the season's end

Fordzilla have hugely struggled this campaign, not picking up a point since the opening round of the season. This is a run which, sadly for them, continued yesterday.

Kevin Siggy and Laurin Heinrich both won their head-to-head contests with ease to give BMW a 1-0 lead. The relay race was close throughout, but BMW did just enough to keep Fordzilla at arm's length.

In the team race, Cem Bolukbasi of BMW led the contest ahead of Fordzilla's Pablo Lopez. Lopez had to overtake to tie the contest and pushed too hard to allow both Heinrich and Siggy past.

A perfect 1-2-3 formation finish for the German team to round off a perfect weekend for the outfit.

Winner: Nils Naujoks

There were several debutants in this round of the V10 R-League championship and Red Bull's Nils Naujoks was the standout performer. The German took no time to assert himself and make a difference to his team.

Williams Red Bull Laguna Seca V10 R-League Round 5

HIT THE GROUN RUNNING: Naujoks was extremely impressive from the off

Naujoks didn't get off to the perfect start, losing out to Wisnieski in his head to head, but the Red Bull did start second and it's hard to pass at Laguna Seca.

Naujoks had to stay within three seconds of the Williams to win the relay contest for his team. He managed it despite wide moment at the final corner to tie the contest.

Naujoks was extremely fast throughout, something that was emphasised in the team race. After Graham Carroll and himself made it a Red Bull 1-2, the debutant confidently strode away to win the contest.

Red Bull would be very wise to keep Naujoks on for next week's round!

The Next Round

The V10 R-League returns to Europe next week to take on the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Round 6 will be held in Belgium on 12th October at 7 pm BST.

The entire Season 1 of V10 R-League will be shown on BT Sport in the UK.

Those in the US can watch on ESPN3, while in the Middle East it will be available on STARZPLAY Arabia.