VCO Esport’s Spring Cup kicked off with rFactor 2 and BTCC Toyota, a unique driving experience with front-wheel drive that delivers fast-paced action.
After a one-month hiatus, the Esports Racing League brings the idea of a knockout group to the world of sim racing.
If a reminder is required, each round takes place on a different game and has four stages of competition. The Heats witness twenty-five separate teams entering a three-race gauntlet. Each team consists of three drivers and only one competitor is selected per race.
As a tribute to golf, the goal is to get the lowest score in these three races with a win that gives you a lone point. Enter the top fourteen and you will be divided into two groups of seven who will face a race each with all twenty-one drivers available.
Once again, teams are asked to score as few points as possible with their top two drivers placed to score the crucial numbers. This is repeated with the first six of the two groups reaching the semifinal.
The finals are very similar to half a V10 R-League match. Two teams competing for the best of three.
With that in mind, let’s go back to the first Summer Cup event, using rFactor 2’s Donington Park GP layout.
In the semi-finals, the likes of Arnage Competition, M1RA Esports and Spring Cup Masters Unicorns of Love were out of the game.
The Redline team, however, has come to this point; the most successful ERL team of 2022 behind the Unicorns.
It was certainly a good day for the trio of Kevin Siggy, Jeffrey Rietveld and Enzo Bonito who have already ensured Redline to become the top scorer in both the heats and the quarter-finals.
Qualifying was also a pleasure; Bonito on pole position while his two teammates took fourth and fifth place on the grid. Williams Esports was distributed throughout the group even though Jack Keithley was ready to start in the front row. Marcell Csincsik also looked great for R8G Esports in third place.
The drama was immediate as Keithley didn’t move when the red lights turned green. Csincsik moved up to second place and Rietveld was the fastest to react to the dormant Williams by climbing to third place. There was more to McLean’s when Joonas Raivio of BS + Competition sent Jiri Toman’s R8G for a spin.
As Erhan Jajovski was fourth, he seemed pretty sure who the final would be unless Apex Racing Team’s Jamie Fluke had something to say about it. Despite a valiant effort, the results held a showdown between Redline and R8G.
Finals – Race 1
Bonito was not good enough to take another pole position as the final qualifying session ended. Jajovski would have taken the field away but well armed with the knowledge that the entire Redline trio surrounded him from the start.
However, the Macedonian north’s escape was solid and aided by an elbow out of Csincsik who worked his way through Rietveld before hitting the Old Hairpin.
The heat of the rivalry was palpable as Jajovski’s first defense was demonstrated; the paint was changed with Bonito before the end of the first lap.
Both R8G gunners eventually switched positions heading into the second lap with Csincsik getting a little too hard on Rietveld but demonstrated excellent sportsmanship to let him pass. Race control would still have given him a penalty point, giving Redline an extra boost. Toman moved up to fourth place and pole position on the reverse grid of Race 2.
Knowing of Csincsik’s penalty point, Bonito eased his aggression and Jajovski was able to take the win more comfortably. Redline took the overall win five points to six.
Finals – Race 2
Starting last in Race 1, Toman put together a perfect start to lead the group at Redgate. Unfortunately, it was all in vain with a block in giving Siggy the McLean lead. Bonito and Jajovski also made it, but they would have disagreed that The Esses left the Italian in the gravel trap; a destiny all his own, so the stewards believed.
At the end of the first lap this left Toman and Csincsik in second and third place with the all-important fourth place held by Rietveld.
Two and a half minutes from the end, Csincsik was trying to bring the Dutchman back into Jajovski’s clutches. It was all a little too fabricated and resulted in multiple collisions in and out of McLean’s. The final decision was that everyone involved was to blame; a decisive call that (with Jajovski now fourth) forced into Race 3.
Finals – Race 3
The Superpole session that preceded the final match of the evening overturned Bonito once again by beating Rietveld by a tenth and a half. This meant that Csincsik and Jajovski’s early R8Gs would have everything to do in the eight minutes allowed.
Csincsik started well and finished second in the early stages, but unfortunately for the team, Siggy matched this delta gain by pushing Jajovski to fifth place. Going against the grain, this particular encounter was much more mundane with everyone well-behaved. But sadly for Erhan Jajovski he would have gone too far in chasing Siggy and got a drivethrough penalty for cutting the track too many times.
All of this put an end to R8G’s hopes as Toman was far from the pace. After winning the World Cup and two rounds of the Spring Cup in 2022, Team Redline is once again kicking off the Summer Cup in style.