The two favourites for the Group A title both had ground to make up after Round 1. Aston Martin's debut clean sweep meant that Team Redline started Round 2 a point behind the group leaders. Red Bull Racing Esports sat out Round 1, but made their Season 2 debut against Redline.
Unsurprisingly, the two all-star teams produced an incredible contest and one we're privileged to bring you here!
Team Redline: Michal Smidl, Jeffrey Reitveld, Enzo Bonito
Red Bull Racing Esports: Graham Carroll, Joni Tormala & Nestor Garcia
Monza in Italy was chosen as the first venue for this titanic scrap. Redline's Enzo Bonito started the four laps of the relay race on pole, with Joni Tormala behind. Bonito got a perfect getaway and held his lead throughout the first lap.
Bonito dived into pits at the end of the first lap, as Tormala played Red Bull's joker and stayed out. Jeffrey Reitveld also played his team's joker and when Graham Carroll emerged from the pits, he was over five seconds behind.
The first pit-stop had cost Red Bull dearly and Michal Smidl had an easy job on his only lap to win the point for Redline.
Redline show their class
Red Bull had a lot of work to do in the five laps of the team race, as Redline had locked out all of the first three positions on the grid. Smidl led Bonito, but Reitveld lost his third position to Carroll.
Reitveld stuck with Carroll, but Carroll was unable to catch Bonito ahead of him. Tormala was giving his all to try and overtake Reitveld, but a wide moment on Lap 4 put pay to any chance of that.
The order stayed the same throughout the remainder of the race, as Redline took a commanding victory to make it 2-0 in the tie.
The second half of this contest was chosen to be hosted at the amazing Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. Would the high-speed circuit in the Ardennes forest provide better fortunes for Red Bull? Let's find out!
The relay race began with Red Bull's Nestor Garcia starting on pole, but a poor start put Bonito right on his gearbox. Bonito had incredible straight-line speed but wasn't able to pull completely ahead into Les Combes. The pair made contact, with Bonito spinning around and Garcia going over the run-off.
Garcia sportingly decided to wait for Bonito and allowed the Italian to retake the lead. Garcia had incredible pace though, and challenged Bonito into the final chicane. Bonito bailed into the pits, Garcia continued on to play Red Bull's joker.
Carroll took over the Red Bull for Lap 3, as Reitveld tore around Spa, but would it be enough? Carroll re-joined the track one seconds behind Reitveld, it was all down to the final lap!
It was Tormala v Smidl for the last lap, but Red Bull had a poor pit stop again and re-joined over four seconds behind his rival. Smidl had it in the bag and that meant another point for Redline, as they now lead 3-0.
Could Redline complete the clean sweep?
Redline again occupied P1-3 off the start for the team race at Spa. The Redline trio all got a perfect getaway and maintained their positions on the first run up to Les Combes. Things went from bad to worse for Red Bull too, as Garcia spun off at Les Combes.
Tormala and Garcia had been dropped by the leading quartet, only Carroll could spoil Redline's party. Even he couldn't break Redline's stranglehold on this race and the tie, though. Redline achieved a perfect score for the team race to complete a clean sweep over Red Bull.
If last week's dropped point against YAS Heat was a sign of weakness, this was a tour de force from the defending champions. Redline rocket to the top of Group A on seven points, while Red Bull continue to sit at the bottom of the standings with R8G Esports on zero.
Rachel Stringer asked Redline's Enzo Bonito about their championship prospects this season:
"We are super happy. The teamwork for this [the V10 R-League] isn't easy. We got off to a perfect start and obviously, there are things to improve, but we're super happy."
Redline sit out Round 3, so their next opponent is R8G Esports in Round 4. Red Bull will be hoping to get off the mark in Round 3 when they face Aston Martin.
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