The mini-series only got underway a couple of weeks ago, with racing taking place every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday using different car and track combinations each time. With stacked grids of around 40 real-world motorsport stars each time, the racing has been both exciting and extremely close – in qualifying for the Road America round using F3 cars, the top 30 cars were covered by less than one second.
The last event at Suzuka was held using LMP2 machinery, with the championship battle between Verstappen and 2019 GT Masters champion (and Nurburgring 24H winner) Kelvin van der Linde.
Van der Linde took pole for the first race but lost the lead to Verstappen on the first lap, only to lose it again due to slight contact with his rival at Turn 2, with a subsequent error at Spoon dropping him to sixth in the final standings. The title contenders were on the front row again for race two, but this time van der Linde made no errors as he won from pole, with Verstappen dropping behind Lando Norris by the end to finish third – though that was enough for him to win the title.
Verstappen and van der Linde dominated the series, winning 11 of the 12 races between them (Verstappen six, van der Linde five), with Lando taking the other one. However, outside of the victories Verstappen was the slightly more consistent driver of the two, enough to win him the title in a series which promotes adaptability – the drivers would only find out about the car and track combination a couple of hours before each event.
Initially set up as a short series to make up for the lack of real racing, Team Redline has already said that there’s going to be a second season underway shortly. Bring it on!