The second season of the V10 R-League is just around the corner. After a thrilling debut campaign last year, Season 2 is set to be even better.
There’s a change in format from Season 1 and the addition of two new teams into the sport. One of the teams making their debut is McLaren Shadow, one of the most prestigious and oldest major racing teams of them all.
We’ve got the inside line on how the British outfit is approaching their first season in the R-League!
New format, new challenge
McLaren will be led by one of the fastest esports drivers of them all, James Baldwin. Baldwin is an experienced campaigner in both esports and motorsports and is looking forward to the unique challenge that the V10 R-League presents.
“I’m very excited to get started, it’s a really exciting series and different to other series, which I find interesting.
“The format is different compared to other series by quite a lot. A lot of esports series try to follow real-life, whereas this is completely different which I like. It’s using the creativity and the unique platform that esports have to make the format more exciting.”
“There’s more sprint racing and it’s completely down to pace because you get a short qualifying and there’s very short racing, there’s no endurance aspect. From a viewer point of view, that’s exciting.”
This won’t be the first time that Baldwin has competed in the V10 R-League though, as he made a cameo appearance for Yas Heat in the final round of Season 1.
“I competed at the end of last season to get a taster of it. I’ve only competed in one race so far, but I’m sure I’ll get to find a lot out over the next few weeks.
“It’s hard to say where we are [in terms of performance] but we know from the pace I had in the last race of Season 1, we should be in a decent place.”
Despite his competitors having almost a full season under their belts, Baldwin won his head-to-head contest and Yas Heat won the tie. An ominous sign for his opponents.
V10 R-League’s amazing car
The car that the drivers are competing in is something totally unique to the V10 R-League. The GRS V10R ‘20 is a 700 kg V10-powered monster and is one of the best things about the series. Baldwin agrees and opened up on why the car is a unique challenge and why he’s fond of it.
“The cars themselves are obviously very quick but they sound amazing!
“It’s tricky to drive, it doesn’t have traction control or ABS or anything like that. You have to stay in quite low gears because there’s no turbo, so you have to keep the revs up.
“It’s quite difficult to drive on the limit, but equally, it’s quite good because you [the driver] can stand out more.”
Hit the ground running
Season 2 will be Baldwin’s first full season in the V10 R-League and it will also be McLaren’s first season too. There are no thoughts of McLaren making up the numbers though, as they have championship ambitions from the off.
“McLaren Shadow have been competing in esports for three years now but it’s their first time entering a series like this. I’m very happy to be at the forefront of that and hopefully leading the team to good results.
“Though it’s our first season, I think we’ve got the drivers and everything we need.”
And when it comes to practice and training for the season, McLaren and Baldwin aren’t leaving any stone unturned.
“We’ve been training a lot; you need to have the hours behind you to build the muscle memory and get used to it. So far it’s been going well.”