One of the more left-field additions to the 2021 sim racing calendar, the REMUS GT3 Championship offers us a new fix of RaceRoom Racing Experience action as hope diminishes for an Esports World Touring Car Cup cameo. The unique spin here is the battle between two teams; Shmee150 and Malmedie.
The €25,000 prize pool is to be awarded to the squad with the highest total number of points, with the largest contributor receiving the lion’s share of the spoils. Car choice is open but the livery option is not with Shmee150 (Tim Burton) machines adorned in blue and Malmedie (Matthias Malmedie) cars running green.
Of the six rounds running between October and December, two have already been run with each event boasting a ten-minute qualifying session followed by two races. We love to do our due diligence here at Traxion.GG so let’s get you caught up on the season so far.
Round 1 – Spa-Franchorchamps
On his way to becoming a three-time ADAC GT Masters Esports champion, Moritz Löhner would take the first pole position of the season at Spa-Francorchamps ahead of Marko Pejic to make an all-German, all-Malmedie front row. It was to be an all-British, all-Shmee150 second row however as Jack Keithley and Isaac Price showed their pace.
The start of a new series always crackles with anticipation and nerves but Price had been in this position plenty of times before and showed great courage to go side-by-side with a slow-starting Pejic through Eau Rouge. Despite scary contact midway through the rise, Price would slice in behind Löhner.
The dynamics of this first race (each one twenty minutes in length) were bizarre and hard to grasp from the drivers’ perspectives. On the one hand, everyone is out for themselves; eager to secure more money by the season’s end. On the other hand, by battling other cars under the same banner as yourself, you could inadvertently damage your chances of earning any money at all.
You could see this internal conflict emerge early on in the savage battle for third as two Malmedie teammates tried not to trip over each other whilst the Shmee150 machine of Keithley roared up behind and ultimately punished Hasse’s hesitancy.
Löhner vs. Price was a sensational battle to watch though the blue and black Bentley became more and more isolated in a sea of green with the race wearing on. There was enough pressure to allow Löhner an easier shot at victory with Pejic following up behind the highest placed Shmee150.
The second race of each event makes the bold move of setting up its starting grid as a complete reversal of the Race 1 finishing order. This meant that the struggling Bence Bánki and Andre Santos went from plum last to battling out for the lead of the race. The German would hold on early doors well aware that plenty of Shmee150’s back-ups lay inside the top ten.
Such an extreme reverse grid gave viewers plenty to watch with the rise of the first race winner through the order. Löhner certainly defied many odds to come home ninth in the end whilst Price also did well to nab 13th. Santos meanwhile was aided greatly by the pace of Max Pfeifer who would successfully overtake Bánki to claim second for himself and Malmedie.
Round 2 – Nürburgring
Moritz Löhner would be a no-shown for Round 2 at the Nürburgring due to an untimely disconnect, though his regular outfit, Dörr Esports, could be very proud with its stable locking out the top three. Florian Hasse took pole position on this occasion for Malmedie whilst Bence Bánki and Michael Rächl slotted in behind for Shmee150. So close was qualifying that the top seven sat within a tenth of each other.
The entire first race was quite the experience as the timing tower failed to appear for three-quarters of the twenty minutes. Although this usually wouldn’t be a problem, the jarring switch from an English broadcast in Spa to a German broadcast for this event left me scrambling for my old notebooks full of key phrases.
Nevertheless, the action could still be enjoyed and clear to see was how comfortably Hasse led. From the first lap to the chequered flag, despite the close presence of Bánki, it all seemed so easy for Florian although it isn’t hard to imagine the annoyance of knowing that all his hard work would result in him being thrown to the back of the grid minutes later.
Rächl has held a presence on RaceRoom for some time and the young prodigy is certainly making good on the promise from him during championships such as the eWTCR. A first podium of the season for him was well earned, holding off an experienced customer in Jack Keithley. It was also enjoyable to see ADAC GT4 Masters champion Emre Cihan in action. The Turkish pilot is giving us plenty to be hopeful about with his competitive pace in and amongst many of the GT3 stars.
Maximilian Paul gets his first mention on Traxion.GG but sadly, as may well become a theme with these reverse grid races, his time in the spotlight was fleeting. Marko Pejic had suffered a miserable first race and found himself on the front row as well. Rather infamous for his poor starts, it wasn’t surprising to see him fly off into an early lead. Lucas Müller would also capitalise on this situation and the two broke well clear in the first couple of minutes.
Though the mid-pack scrapping was mesmerising at times with what seemed like six-wide scenarios in certain moments, the most important overtake came halfway through the race with Müller catching and passing the Porsche of Pejic. The Corvette never looked back and Malmedie would become the first of the two squads to score a 1-2 finish. The wait for a podium lockout would go on as Andre Santos staked his claim once more as king of the comeback with a third to add to his win in Belgium.
Heading into Round 3
So now that we’re all caught up on the action, where does this leave the championship as we look forward to Round 3 on 9th November? Shmee150 leads Malmedie on 1063 points to 1005 with Jack Keithley and Bence Bánki both on 143 points apiece for the blue team. Florian Hasse meanwhile is well clear of his teammates and is actually the overall Drivers’ leader on 159 points.
Of course, with the REMUS GT3 Championship, that will all mean nothing if Malmedie doesn’t lead by the season’s end.