A long and tough season is starting to reach its cresendo as the Semi-Finals of the V10 R-League have arrived.
McLaren Shadow come into the match as undefeated winners of Group B and will be brimming with confidence having collected a V10 R-League best 13 points.
However, they are facing a talented and pacey lineup in Aston Martin, who just brushed Williams aside.
Who will make it through to the Grand Final?
Bar a few rookie errors in their first match, McLaren Shadow have looked entirely unstoppable in the V10 R-League.
James Baldwin needs no introduction as he is one of the fastest sim racers on the planet, but the V10 R-League is a team-first series, and the McLaren Shadow trio have been rock solid throughout.
Isaac Gillissen and Elvin Smith have both made magnificient overtakes and shown rapid pace in their stints during relay races.
They also haven't seemed to have a weakness around any circuit. Mighty at Mugello and poised around Silverstone, it's hard to see a weakness in this unit.
Racing as one
Aston Martin have made a huge leap forward from last season. Finishing some way off the pace in 5th last year, they find themselves in the Semi-Finals having gone toe-to-toe with Redline in Group A and then breezing past Williams in the Quarter-Finals.
Like McLaren, Aston Martin have their own power house in Lucas Blakeley, but he isn't the only driving force in the team. Both Shanaka Clay and Daniele Haddad have put together mighty performances in their own right.
Having the same lineup from Season 1 into Season 2, the bond between the three is as strong as any in the V10 R-League, and their degree of trust and understanding seems to be pushing them to a new level.
It's easy to see this match as Baldwin vs Blakeley, but it's so much more than that.
As we saw in the BMW-YAS Heat Quarter-Final, every point and every tenth of a second from all three drivers counts. With the primary tie-breaker being team race points, finishing 5th rather than 6th can be just as important as 1st or 2nd.
This may come down to which team can pull a surprise. Maybe a Yas Marina selection will catch out an unprepared team, perhaps switching up relay order could find some clear air for drivers.
It will also be about the fine margins. Not getting a qualifying lap deleted, getting the perfect driver swaps in the relay race. Those tenths of a second can be absolutely crucial.
In the end it feels almost inevitable that McLaren Shadow will advance, they have been less error-prone this year. But it only takes one slip to open the door and there will be a Green Machine waiting to pounce...
Prediction: McLaren Shadow 3-1 Aston Martin
How to watch
Fans in the UK & Ireland can tune in to BT Sport 3 at 5pm BST to catch all the action.
Those in the USA will be able to watch on ESPN3 at 6pm EST. Thanks to their expanded coverage, ESPN subscribers in the Netherlands, Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Oceania will be able to watch the following day.
Check local listings for exact times!
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