The official rFactor 2 championship catalogue increased today with the debut of the Formula Pro Series, a single-seater sibling to the much-beloved GT Pro Series.
Much like its ‘tin top’ counterpart, the competition features a promotion/relegation system with its feeder series, Formula Challenge.
With a healthy prize pool of over $25,000 on the line, it is no surprise that the calibre of competition is impressive. The thirteen teams are stacked with race winners galore and rightly so since the championship is fought on purely a Teams’ standings scenario. All looked hungry to tackle the six-round calendar starting in Belgium.
Qualifying is run over a 20-minute period where each driver has four laps (effectively two flying laps) to set their best time. Certainly, the imposing nature of Spa-Francorchamps would mean that drivers could take a bit of leeway in deciding when to take their runs.
Sim racing’s juggernaut, Team Redline, showed up strong as both drivers bookended the top five; Kevin Siggy with P5 and Jeffrey Rietveld with the first-ever pole position of the series.
In between them came Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports Team’s Bono Huis, Wolves GR Esports’ Liam de Waal and BS+ Competition’s Muhammed Patel.
The Red Bull Racing Esports duo of Dennis Jordan and Alex Siebel were both disappointingly outside of the top ten. That said, times were close as expected with the top twenty being covered by a single second.
The first lap was everything the organisers and viewers wanted containing some strong punches and thrilling drama. Siggy made the best early move, up the inside of Eau Rouge on Patel, although the resulting exit benefitted the Englishman along with R8G Esports’ Erhan Jajovski who slipped past them both. Into Les Combes, the slipstream was too much for Rietveld to defend and Huis was into the lead.
The Red Bulls were the cars on the charge in the opening 15 minutes with Jordan moving up to seventh and Siebel moving up to eighth. Dennis in particular was looking rapid and could have asked questions of Siggy before the Slovenian scampered past Patel on the stroke of 45 minutes to go. Before long though the question of when to pit loomed over the teams and their drivers.
In the 60-minute race, each driver must take one mandatory pitstop. The first major player to dive in would be Siebel, stuck at the back of the Siggy train, with just over 39 minutes left on the clock. The attempted undercut would end in disaster however as a tangle with BS+ driver Alen Terzic would rule the German out of any strong points contention. Jordan would follow his teammate’s lead in pitting one lap later.
Jajovski’s pace was slowing and the North Macedonian dropped behind both Siggy and Patel once again before dropping into pit road. The Brit, and de Waal, would respond to the undercut threat immediately yet none could have foreseen just how powerful it would be for Jordan who jumped every single one of them.
No such excitement with the leading pair who both took their new boots on the same lap. The last of the major contenders to bite was Siggy who filtered back out in sixth behind a two-stopping Simoncic.
The fresh tyres would boost Siggy’s prospects hugely as de Waal was easy prey. Another factor falling in his favour would be Jordan’s unexpected second stop – Redline locking out the bottom podium steps. But, it would be a Mercedes driver on the top step as Huis claimed the first-ever victory available in the Formula Pro Series.
Formula Pro Series 2021, Round 1, Spa-Francorchamps, Race Results
- Bono Huis – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports – 35 LAPS
- Jeffrey Rietveld – Team Redline
- Kevin Siggy – Team Redline
- Liam de Waal – Wolves GR Esports
- Muhammed Patel – BS+ Competition
- Erhan Jajovski – R8G Esports
- Kuba Brzezinski – Williams Esports
- Marcell Csincsik – Varga Sim Racing
- Manuel Biancolilla – Musto GO E-Sports
- Jiri Toman – Varga Sim Racing
Lessons learned for many drivers in the opening round of the Formula Pro Series but no need to teach anyone about Bono Huis’ relentless talent and pace. Though Mercedes had won the race, it would be Team Redline heading up the championship standings thanks to the efforts of Rietveld and Siggy. Varga Sim Racing would also enjoy their opening gambit with Marcell Csincsik and Jiri Toman both top-10 finishers.
Round 2 will take place in the home of British motorsport, Silverstone Circuit on 2nd August. To catch that and every Formula Pro Series race, be sure to subscribe to Traxion.GG’s YouTube and follow our Facebook page for live coverage!