The V10 R-League is starting to reach the business end of the season. The group stages are winding up, with teams in desperate need of points as they try to book playoff spots.
With the semi-finalists heading to Abu Dhabi for the grand final and the lions share of the £100,000 prize pool there is plenty at stake.
So how did Week 4 unfold?
Rampant Red Bull
We begin with a surprise basement battle in Group B, as Red Bull take on Fordzilla.
The relay race started the contest, and it was taking place at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit. Emre Cihan got away perfectly from pole, with Liam Parnell following closely. Parnell pitted at the end of lap one, as Cihan stayed out for the joker lap.
Joni Tormala took Red Bull’s joker lap and Peyo Peev emerged from the pits marginally ahead of the Finn. The final driver changes proved crucial, as Yuri Kasdorp jumped Gianmarco Fiduci into the lead. Kasdorp held on to give Red Bull a 1-0 lead.
In the Team Race, Cihan jumped into the lead at the start, and with Peev in P4, Fordzilla was in the ascendancy. Despite Tormala’s best efforts, Cihan and Fordzilla won the race, with Peev benefitting from a finish-line crash on the final lap.
At Silverstone, Cihan led again with Parnell a close second in the relay race. As usual, Parnell pit, with Cihan continuing on for the joker lap. This time, Tormala’s joker meant that Red Bull jumped Fordzilla, but Peev wasn’t giving it up. Kasdorp brought the win and the point home for Red Bull, though.
The Team Race began with Tormala leading from Cihan and Parnell in P4, so Red Bull was in prime position. The places stayed the same to the chequered flag, as Red Bull ran out 3-1 winners overall.
Aston Martin v Mercedes
We started at Spa for this clash, with Jarno Opmeer leading Manuel Biancolilla in the relay race. Opmeer pit, with Biancolilla playing Aston Martin’s joker at the first opportunity. Mercedes would play their joker at the end, with Simon Weigang leading the race. Weigang converted his advantage to a win and Aston Martin claimed first blood.
In the Team Race, a thrilling battle for the lead ended with Biancolilla in the ascendency. Aston Martin was 1-3-4 and looking likely for a 2-0 lead heading into the second half of the tie. Despite Huis’ best efforts, Biancolilla took the chequered flag and Aston another victory.
Yas Marina hosted part two of this thrilling tie, with Biancolilla leading Opmeer in the Relay Race. Opmeer pitted at the end of lap, as Biancolilla took the joker lap. It came down to the final lap again, as Bono Huis jumped the Astons. Huis would convert this to Mercedes’ first point of the contest.
Contact on the opening lap of the Team Race gave Manuel Biancolilla the lead. Aston was again in the ascendency thanks to Weigang’s P3. Weigang would make more contact with Huis and send him and Opmeer into P3, and 4, respectively. This contest ended in a tie, so Aston Martin won the contest 2-1 overall.
BMW v R8G
Jiri Toman led ahead of Alen Terzic at Monza for the Relay Race. BMW used their joker at the first opportunity, as R8G changed their drivers. They’d be in sync again on the final lap, with R8G in the lead despite poor pitstops. Erhan Jajovski took the flag and the points for R8G.
In the relay race, Marcel Csincsik led Jajovski to give R8G a commanding position. This is one they wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the race, as they led 2-0 going into the second half of the contest.
Despite changing to Yas Marina, R8G was still on top, with Toman leading the relay race. Terzic would take the joker at the first opportunity, but poor pace and pit-stops would cost BMW dearly. R8G took the point and made it 3-0 to the outfit.
R8G was again in an advantageous position for the Team Race, occupying the top two spots after Lap 1. They’d never relinquish this and would actually finish with their drivers completing the podium. A 4-0 clean sweep for R8G helps their play-off hopes immensely.
JAESA Suzuki v YAS Heat
The final contest of Round 4 took place at Monza, with YAS Heat’s James Baldwin leading JAESA Suzuki’s Domenico Lovece off the line in the Relay Race. Isaac Gillissen and Marko Pejic extended Heat’s lead as they drew first blood in this contest.
Baldwin and Gillissen both got off to the perfect start in the Team Race. Lovece couldn’t challenge the leading pair and it was a perfect first half of the tie for Yas Heat.
Silverstone brought a change of scenery, but it was the same sight at the front, with Baldwin storming off into a lead in the Relay Race. JAESA Suzuki would stick close to Heat throughout, but it was Pejic would saw the chequered flag first to make it 3-0.
There was controversy in the Team Race, as Gillissen and Iemmulo collided for P2 at Luffield. The pair spun out and into the gravel, as Baldwin lead up front. Pejic’s P3 secured Heat’s fourth and final point, as the Emirati outfit completed an incredible clean sweep against Suzuki.
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