The Esports Racing League by VCO continues, and this time it was Team Redline who tamed the unique challenge of the touring cars.
The VCO Esports Racing League Summer Cup has undoubtedly been the most competitive split to date. After only two winners were forged in the four events of Spring Cup, by the time we reached August 10th for Summer’s conclusion two more had been crowned.
This iteration of the Masters would be held on the North School Sebring layout on rFactor 2, a game which Team Redline had grown very fond of having won on the platform both in both seasons of 2022.
They would be the only team of the three aforementioned to make it to the semi-final stage of the Masters. GTWR had not accrued enough points to qualify for the event whilst Apex fell in the quarter-finals to Triton Racing.
Unicorns of Love, reigning Masters champions, would be dethroned by Redline at the same stage. Sweet revenge for one of sim racing’s historic outfits.
SEMI-FINALS: TRITON RACING VS. R8G ESPORTS
Triton was really quite the story heading into their matchup against R8G, given their smaller squad of two drivers. In theory, this gave R8G the clear advantage but unfortunately, the entire duel ran its course within corners.
As pole sitter Jakub Charkot and Marcell Csincsik exchanged paint into Cunningham Corner off the line, chaos ensued behind. Crucial to any tangible chance of success for his team, Dominik Blajer made contact with Erhan Jajovski taking themselves along with Jiri Toman well wide.
Blajer grabbed the short end of the stick, falling to last place. Eventually, his teammate would soon join him, though. Charkot’s defence was fierce but Csincsik clearly had better pace off the start. Unmistaken alongside the Polish driver at Turn 6, the Hungarian was helpless to start his Triton rival turning across his front and spinning into the barriers.
Despite Jajovski picking up a penalty point for his part in the first mess, there was no way that R8G were going to lose from here. Locking in first, second and third, they progress to the Finals.
SEMI-FINALS: TEAM REDLINE VS. BS+ COMPETITION
Redline converted their command of qualifying into a solid start with all three cars remaining in position through Cunningham Curve. Jeffrey Rietveld, however, would be bullied down to last by Rabbit Bend thanks to a robust dive through Tower Turn.
Sadly, this early success would come to nothing as Kevin Siggy and Enzo Bonito were on another level pace-wise. They expanded the gap lap upon lap and arrived home comfortably with first and second to secure their spot in a second consecutive Masters Finals.
FINALS – RACE 1
And so the Summer Cup had come full circle; Team Redline and R8G Esports faced off in a Best-of-Three format as they did in the first round of the season.
Rietveld, the man out of place against BS+, generated a monster launch from third on the grid passing both Bonito and pole-sitter Csincsik to lead through Collier. The race from here on was a slow burner, seeing a few mistakes in various places but nothing punishable.
That was until Jajovski locked up into the Turn 9 hairpin. Siggy, biding his time, pounced eagerly. The North Macedonian was desperate to get fourth place back, but his race turned sourer after an audacious move around the outside of Cunningham went horribly wrong.
Csincsik would eventually find himself back in the lead, although it was evidently a tactical ploy by Rietveld. Redline could afford to finish second, third and fourth yet still win the race with the lowest points score. Not only that, but they would have the top three starting positions for the second duel.
A hollow victory on the road for R8G as Redline could taste the trophy.
Finals – RACE 2
When it rains, it pours. Toman, relatively anonymous from the Semi-Final stage onward, was dunked with a jump start penalty before a corner had been traversed. With R8G down to two pilots now, they simply had to work their way through the Redline blockade.
They did not even get a sniff. In the crowning event of the Summer Cup, Team Redline had bossed every single opponent they faced and R8G was going to be no different. Despite their showdown at Donington Park going all the way to Race 3, the Masters at Sebring would be wrapped up in two. Bonito crossed the line under no pressure from Siggy, whilst Rietveld finished third – the ‘under the radar’ star of the day.