After weeks of intense head-to-head competition, the V10 R-League Grand Final is finally here!
Both the third-place play-off and Grand Final of Season 3 came live from Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi.
With the lion's share of a £100,000 prize pot to be won, tension was high!
Redline comfortably won both the Spa Relay and Team races to lead R8G 2-0 going to Yas Marina. Erhan Jajovski produced some heroics in the Relay Race to take the tie to the final Team Race. It was a comfortable win for Redline though, as they led 1-2-3 over the line in the Team Race to win the contest 3-1.
A wheel fault for Mercedes voided the first attempt of the Relay Race. Jack Baldwin’s incredible pace gave YAS Heat a 1-0 lead in the Team Race before Mercedes tied the contest 1-1 in the Yas Marina Relay.
A ding-dong contest in the Team Race concluded with Heat taking the lead 2-1 overall before Mercedes again tied it up in the Silverstone Relay. The Silver Arrows’ better Team Race results meant that they ran out winners overall on countback.
£25,000 was on the line for whoever triumphed out of R8G and YAS Heat.
At Silverstone for the Relay Race, James Baldwin led from pole, but Jiri Toman was all over the Heat man. The Brit came out on top before Toman spun off the circuit at Brooklands. That effectively ended the contest and Heat led 1-0.
Heat had the advantage in the Team Race too, with Baldwin confidently leading away from pole. There was contact at the back between Jajovski and Marko Pejic which eventually ended with Jajovski flying out of the contest at Copse. Isaac Gillssen’s P4 was enough to secure a 2-0 lead for Heat.
Toman was quick out of the blocks for the Abu Dhabi Relay Race. Baldwin challenged into the chicane and got past down the second back straight. When the drivers were back in sync again, Jajovski spun on pit-lane exit handing a 3-0 win and third place to YAS Heat, their best-ever V10 R-League season.
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the Grand Final of V10 R-League Season 3. Two star-studded teams in Mercedes and Redline were all ready to face off for £40,000. Redline has been here before, having won the first season of the V10 R-League. Mercedes are rookies but used to so much success in other motorsport and esports series.
Enzo Bonito got off to a great start, but Opmeer retook the lead going into Farm. Bonito then made a breath-taking move around the outside of Copse to lead both cars into the pits. After the stops, Cedric Thome flew past and got his elbows out through Stowe to re-take the lead for Mercedes. Bono Huis kept the Silver Arrows’ advantage to the flag, but only just ahead of Jeffrey Rietveld.
In the Team Race, Siggy led from pole, as Opmeer and Bonito had another intense battle, with another incredible move around the outside of Copse. Despite pressure from Huis, including some contact in Stowe, Siggy kept his cool to level the contest heading to Yas Marina.
For the Relay Race, Bonito led Opmeer, but the Flying Dutchman kept with the Italian. The pair made contact in the Horseshoe, and both spun, before Opmeer ended up in the lead. Redline had the better pit stop but Thome had a run into the horseshoe again. Contact was made once again, but this time only the Mercedes spun, all but handing a point to Redline.
However, a post-race penalty for the Silverstone Team Race for Redline meant that it was now Mercedes that led 2-1 going into the final contest.
Huis started from pole, but incredible starts from both Bonito and Rietveld saw Redline in the ascendency. Siggy being in last place though, wasn’t going to do Redline any favours and Huis was all over Rietveld on Lap 2 of 6.
The status quo was maintained until the penultimate lap, Huis again trying for P2 unto the hairpin and then the chicane. Huis gave it everything, but his dive down the inside was too deep and Rietveld snuck back past. On the final lap, Opmeer went up into P3, but it still wasn’t enough to get P2.
A 2-2 draw overall, but it was Mercedes that won on Team Race point countback!
Congratulations to them and well done to all of the ten teams and dozens of drivers who have competed in this year’s V10 R-League championship.