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Motorsport

20 Oct 2020

V10 R-League: 5 Moments that defined the inaugural season

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1 - Newbie upsets the big boys

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2 - Red Bull Resurgence

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3 - Champion's Drive

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4 - Close Contest in the Green Hell

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5 - Championship clincher

After yesterday's Yas Marina contests, the V10 R-League's first season is now complete.

The most competitive grid in sim racing made for a close championship throughout the campaign.

Thanks to the equal cars and impressive pools of talent at the teams' disposal, any outfit could have come out on top.

Here are the five moments which thrilled us the most from Season 1 of the V10 R-League!

1 - Newbie upsets the big boys

It's fair to say that JAESA Suzuki didn't have the campaign they were hoping for in Season 1. The Italian team had their moments though, not least when they almost beat Porsche24 Redline in Round 4.

Porsche24 Redline JAESA Suzuki Round 4 Season 1 V10 R-League Vallelunga
UNDERDOGS: Suzuki didn't look like the outside shot in Italy

Suzuki sat seventh in the championship going into the Vallelunga contests, while Porsche were the favourites for the title. Suzuki opted to field a new driver, Giorgio Simonini, for this round and it really paid off.

Simonini's pace was vital to Suzuki winning the Relay Race and it almost won them the contest in the Team Race. Simonini ended up in a crash with Michal Smidl, earning the Czech driver a penalty.

If Danilo Santoro overtook Ben Cornett for the lead, Suzuki would've won 2-1, but it wasn't to be in the end. This contest had us on the edge of our seats throughout though and it's one we won't forget in a hurry!

2 - Red Bull Resurgence

Red Bull are huge in esports and even though they managed to get onto the podium with third overall this season, they will be disappointed.

Dropped points against Fordzilla and JAESA Suzuki won't be fondly looked back upon, but Red Bull were in excellent form in the second half of the season.

Red Bull Williams Laguna Seca V10 R-League Round 5 Season 1
HOTLY CONTESTED: Williams and Red Bull went toe-to-toe in Round 5

Red Bull won every single Team Race they were involved in and their performance in the Laguna Seca round was arguably their best. The contest was tied at 1-1 against Williams, something had to give.

Williams led with Michael Romanidis and Niko Wisnieski off the line, but the pair came to blows and handed the advantage to Red Bull.

Nils Naujoks led from Graham Carroll across the line and never looked like relinquishing their advantage. Joni Tormala's penalty didn't make a difference, as Red Bull completed a brilliant comeback to win 2-1.

3 - Champion's Drive

It's easy to wax lyrical about Porsche24 Redline, their campaign in Season 1 was nearly flawless. With the form of Williams, BMW, and Red Bull though, they couldn't let up, even with a significant championship lead.

porsche24 redline laguna seca v10r league

In the penultimate round at Spa-Francorchamps, Porsche faced Racing Point. Redline won both the Head-to-Head and Relay races, but their three drivers started at the back for the Team Race.

Michal Smidl though produced one of the drives of his career. Rafael Lobato, Michael Epps and finally Shanaka Clay were all powerless to stop the Czech driver, as he ascended to P1.

Smidl then pulled out a seven-second lead by the finish, as his teammates Atze Kerkhof rose to P4 to clinch the clean sweep over Racing Point.

4 - Close Contest in the Green Hell

The Team Race was where we've seen the most drama unfold throughout this season. Round 3 at the Nordschleife was no exception, as Williams and JAESA Suzuki locked horns.

Suzuki brands hatch round 2 v10 r-league season 1
GLADIATOR: Suzuki always put up a good fight

Williams had won both the Head-to-Head and Relay contests, but Suzuki were always in with a shout of coming out on top.

The Team Race was nothing short of incredible, as less than five seconds separated the entire field going into the final lap. Brzezinski led, but a trio of Suzukis behind him were piling the pressure on.

While there was no change in positions, the tightness of the field made for a tense contest. Just one mistake from any of the six could swing the tie in the favour of one of the teams.

Watching these V10 monsters fly around the toughest venue in motor racing was a sight to behold. In the end, the contest was drawn. If only we could've experienced more laps of this enticing encounter.

5 - Championship clincher

Going into the final round of the season, only Williams and Porsche24 Redline had a shot at the title. Incredibly, the two teams were pitted against each other, with Williams having to win all three points to win the title.

Williams Porsche24 Redline Yas Marina V10 R-League Round 7 Season 1
TURNING TABLES: Williams almost pulled off the impossible

To make it even harder for Williams, Porsche had only dropped two points all season before Round 7. However, Williams had incredibly won both the Head-to-Head and Relay contests to put the pressure on.

In the final Team race, Williams had to win 1-2 to be champions. They got off to the perfect start, with both Nikodem Wisniewski and Kuba Brzeziński leading.

Michal Smidl was threatening to spoil the party though and overtook Wisniewski with a few laps to go. The Pole was pushing his hardest to catch up but went too far when he collided with both Ben Cornett and then his teammate Martin Stefanko.

The incident between Stefanko and Wisniewski effectively ended the contest, but it was a fine send-off for a first season that really had it all!