It’s finally started, the V10 R-League Finals are here!
Live from the Yas Marina Circuit, four teams will battle it out for two spots in tomorrow’s final.
Redline, R8G, Mercedes, and YAS Heat were all in action today, as the quartet put on a show to remember.
Here are all the highlights which have set up tomorrow’s finale!
Redline remains red hot
Our first destination was Spa and R8G’s Jiri Toman started on pole for the Relay Race. Enzo Bonito though, wasn’t having any of it. The Italian flew past into La Source and held the lead up the Kemmel Straight. A pair of mistakes from Toman meant he fell over two seconds back.
Things got even worse during the pitstops for R8G, as Marcell Csincsik re-emerged eight seconds back from Kevin Siggy. Redline drew first blood in the Semi-Finals, cruising to victory in the opening race.
In the Team Race, Redline continued their excellent form by getting into a 1-2-3 on the first lap. A spin for Erhan Jajovski compounded R8G’s misery, as he fell too far back to impact the race. Try as Toman and Csincsik might though, they couldn’t overtake Jeffrey Reitveld for P3. Bonito took the chequered flag, as Redline took a commanding 2-0.
For the second half of the first semi-final, we headed to Yas Marina, where Bonito again led comfortably from the start. After the first stops, Csincsik was all over the back of Kevin Siggy, but the R8G man couldn’t overtake.
Jajovski got ahead during the final stop, but a mistake into the hairpin invited Reitveld to make an attack. The Dutchman dove too deep though, and gave Jajovski breathing room. R8G clawed back a point and it was all down to the last Team Race.
Redline occupied the front row for the Team Race but contact in the first corner allowed Jajovski through to P2. Bonito led and with Siggy in P3. It was advantage Redline.
R8G’s slim hopes got even thinner at the end of Lap 2 of 6, as Jajovski spun in the final corners and dropped to P4. Bonito led home another Redline 1-2-3, as they were the first team to book themselves a spot in the Grand Final.
R8G have had a great season and will come out swinging in the third-place play-off tomorrow.
Mercedes comeback kings
Later in the day, we saw Mercedes against YAS Heat, where the first stop was Silverstone.
The first Relay Race ended up being voided due to a hardware issue for Mercedes, so the first race of note was the Team Race.
Superstar James Baldwin led away from pole for YAS Heat, despite the efforts of Bono Huis. Contact between the pair saw the Mercedes drop back and Heat momentarily lead 1-2-3. Huis would go around the outside of Isaac Gillissen at Luffield and up to P3 soon after.
Contact between Opmeer and Gillssen allowed both he and Cedric Thome past, as Huis was hot on the tail of Pejic. Huis made it past Pejic through Brooklands on Lap 5, but Baldwin was 3.5 seconds further up the road.
Baldwin’s lead wouldn’t be reduced, as Heat turned up the pressure on Mercedes. The Emirati team led 1-0 going to their home circuit.
Opmeer started on pole for the Yas Marina Relay Race and held the lead into Turn 1. Baldwin tried a diving move down the inside of the hairpin but couldn’t hold first place. The legendary pair were side-by-side through the rest of the lap, but Opmeer maintained P1.
Opmeer pitted at the end of Lap 1, as Baldwin stayed out and played Heat’s joker. It was purely about nailing lap times until the final lap, when it was Huis v Pejic for the win. Pejic re-joined behind but was close enough to challenge into the hairpin. The two went side-by-side down both back-straights, but Huis just held on by the skin of his teeth. Mercedes tied the contest 1-1.
The Team Race was electric from the start, as contact between Baldwin and Huis saw the Silver Arrow of Opmeer lead the race. Baldwin challenged into the hairpin, but Opmeer held firm. Thome was up into P3 on the following lap.
Baldwin was trying everything to get the lead and contact between he and Opmeer didn’t change the order, but it was so close! Baldwin again tried for the lead on the final lap and he and Opmeer collided and spun out in the chicane.
Gillissen took over the lead, but Thome challenged him through the new section of track. Gillissen somehow held his nerve to take the victory and see Heat lead 2-1.
We returned to Silverstone to complete the battle and Opmeer led from P1, but Baldwin challenged all the way into Brooklands. The Brit couldn’t overtake, Opmeer did just enough to stay in the lead. Opmeer pitted at the end of Lap 1, and Baldwin stayed out to play the joker.
The drivers were in sync again for the final lap and it was Huis ahead of Pejic. Pejic charged on but Huis powered through to win the Relay Race. Thanks to Mercedes’ better Team Race scores, they advanced to the final.
V10 R-League Grand Final
Season 3 of the V10 R-League comes down to Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports Team vs Team Redline.
You can watch LIVE on BT Sport 1 at 4pm BST TOMORROW, Saturday 23 July, as well as on the V10 R-League YouTube channel.
R8G Esports and YAS Heat will contest for 3rd place at 11:30am BST. That match is also live on BT Sport 1 and the V10 R-League YouTube channel.