Season 2 of the V10 R-League is here!
One of the teams looking to be more competitive this season is Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team. Having competed under another name in Season 1 they are no strangers to the series, so can they use their experience to improve?
Solid but unspectacular is a good way to describe the team's Season 1 campaign. While they finished above JAESA Suzuki, Yas Heat, and Fordzilla, they will have been disappointed to be so far off BMW in fourth.
Aston Martin didn't pick up many wins in Season 1 but was able to regularly pick up a point, even when they lost. To their credit, they were consistent but will have to aim for bigger victories in Season 2 if they're to rise up the standings.
Aston Martin finished P5 in the end with eight points. This was a solid start to their V10 R-League career and will be pushing for more in Season 2.
Aston Martin hasn't made any changes to their driver line-up from Season 1. Lucas Blakeley, Shanaka Clay, and Daniele Haddad all return to the series and will be eager to put their experience to good use.
Clay was lightning quick in the head-to-heads and relay races, while Haddad and Blakeley are solid and reliable competitors.
It's unusual for a team to field an unchanged line-up for Season 2, Aston Martin is in fact the only team bar Williams to do so.
Blakeley has been dubbed the team's de facto leader on-track and spoke to us about why consistency in the drivers could be key to Aston Martin's success:
"We now have that season under our belt, this will be our second rodeo. Last season, we came along and threw ourselves into it. Assetto Corsa isn't our native platform, but that doesn't mean we can't put in good performances.
"I think we did a good job last year on the whole. It's a different dynamic coming into the V10 R-League for the second time as we all know each other really well now."
Aston Martin will be looking to take the experience and bonding from Season 1 and turn it into big points for Season 2!
Season 2 expectations
Aston Martin is certainly looking to move up the standings this season, but it won't be easy. There was a big points gap to BMW in fourth and both McLaren Shadow and R8G Esports look like formidable competitors on their debut in Season 2.
That being said, the importance of team cohesion cannot be overstated when it comes to a high-pressure and fast-paced discipline like esports and the V10 R-League. That's something that Aston Martin will have right off the bat.
Aston Martin will look to hit the ground running at the start of the season as new teams and drivers are finding their feet. With 6 teams progressing into the playoffs the minimum goal has to be escaping the group. How far they can go after that will depend on the improvements each driver has made since the end of Season 1.