In just a few weeks' time, the lights will go out for Season 2 of the V10 R-League.
Last year's champions understandably go into Season 2 as the biggest favourites for the championship. Redline were imperious in Season 1, finishing only four points off a perfect score.
Redline's regular trio of Atze Kerkof, Michal Smidl, and Ben Cornett was formidable and you'd expect a repeat of that this year. The only blemishes on their record were one dropped point against Red Bull and JAESA Suzuki, and a draw in the final round against Williams.
Team Principle Diederik Kinds laid down the gauntlet to the other teams in an interview earlier this month:
“Bring it on! We love to battle, that’s what we live for... Please, bring on the heat!”
Redline's closest challengers in Season 1 were Williams.
The Grove outfit was the only team to take the title challenge into the final round at the Yas Marina Circuit.
In the end, Williams was three points short of Redline at the conclusion of Season 1. What cost Williams the championship was a 2-1 loss to Red Bull at Laguna Seca and a few dropped points against YAS HEAT and JAESA Suzuki.
Williams' regular line-up of Martin Stefanko, Kuba Brzezinski, and Nikodem Wisniewski was very impressive in Season 1, and we expect all of them to return for Season 2.
Being more experienced and ironing out small mistakes could make the difference that Williams needs to be top of the pile at the season's conclusion.
Red Bull was one of the favourites in Season 1 but fell short due to their poor form at the start of the campaign. Third in the standings was a good effort, but Red Bull are definitely looking for more.
Losing a point to Fordzilla in the opening round as well as losses to Redline and Racing Point put pay to Red Bull's championship charge. Victories against Williams and BMW showed how much pace they had, though.
Joni Tormala explained in a recent interview with Racinggames that he and his Red Bull team "didn't know what to expect" at the start of Season 1.
That won't be the case for Season 2 though, especially with the addition of Nestor Garcia into the team's driver line-up.
It's a bold claim to say that a new team to the V10 R-League is one of the favourites for the championship, but that's exactly what the McLaren Shadow team is aiming for!
We only know one of the team's three drivers so far, but if he's anything to go by, McLaren Shadow will be a force to be reckoned with.
James Baldwin made a successful cameo appearance for YAS HEAT last season and is spearheading the McLaren Shadow team for Season 2.
Plus, McLaren are one of the most experienced and prestigious names in motorsport winning is in their DNA. They'll have to play catch-up in terms of practice, but they know how to perfect their approach.
It's a cliché to say that any of the teams can win the title in Season 2, but it's true. The beauty of equal cars and incredibly talented sim racing drivers up and down the grid means that any team can win on any given day.
It's one of many reasons why the V10 R-League is a series you can't miss!