The V10 R-League is an unforgiving environment, where every small mistake or lack of preparation is punished.
As the league moves towards the midway point of the group stage Group A has two dominant teams, and Red Bull is not one of them.
Can the Bulls force their way into the title picture, or will Aston Martin's fine form continue?
The green machines
Aston Martin has come into Season 2 of the V10 R-League a different beast than before. Having swapped the pink for racing green, the trio of Lucas Blakeley, Shanaka Clay, and Daniele Haddad have been in imperious form through the first two weeks of racing.
They dispatched new boys R8G Esports, and then forced their way through a strong YAS Heat team. Blakeley has been like a rocket ship this season, pulling out team wins and anchoring the side in relay races, but every driver has done a superb job so far and they are looking like serious title contenders.
The schedule gods were not kind to Red Bull Racing. They sat out Week 1, and then got their campaign started against the reigning champions Redline.
In what was expected to be an even affair, Redline crushed Red Bull 4-0. Redline driver Jeffrey Rietveld told us in an exclusive interview: “We didn’t expect Red Bull to be off the pace the way they were [...] I think maybe starting the season against the defending champions was the reason for their slow start; it put a lot of pressure on them.”
So can Red Bull come out swinging this week? Almost certainly. Graham Carroll and Joni Tormala are two of the most experienced sim racers around, and new teammate Nestor Garcia showed flashes of pace too. The question is if Red Bull is up to speed yet or not. Knocking the rust off against the champs was always going to be tough one, but they will need to take points off Aston Martin if they want to progress to the playoffs.
Aston Martin are the most in-form unit in V10 R-League this season, but they aren't unbeatable. YAS Heat was a few corners away from a 2-2 draw with them last week, so Red Bull can take heart from that.
Any other team could crumble after such a disappointing opening round, but Red Bull has huge experience both as an esports team and within their drivers. They've shown plenty of mental toughness before and we expect them to come out fighting in this crucial match.
Prediction: Aston Martin 2-2 Red Bull Racing
How to watch
Fans in the UK & Ireland will be able to watch this match for FREE on BTSport.com at 4pm BST on Wednesday, 28 April.
Those in the USA can catch all the action at 6pm EST on ESPN3 on Wednesday, 28 April. Thanks to their expanded coverage this season, fans in the Netherlands, Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Oceania can watch the next day on ESPN.
Check local listings for exact times!
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