Red Bull clinches LMES Pro Team title in chaotic Spa finale
Red Bull Esports sealed the Le Mans Esports Series Pro Team qualification series title, winning the final race of the season in changeable conditions at Spa.
Red Bull led the points standings by just 10 points ahead of Lazarus Racing coming into the final event of the five-round qualification series for the LMES Super Final.
A win for Lazarus’ Daniel Nyman in the opening sprint race using GTE-spec Porsche 911s, left the two teams level on points heading into the final reverse-grid endurance race of the season.
Nyman started that sprint race down in fifth place, while championship rival Red Bull (Aurelien Mallet) was on the front row alongside Solar Vision Racing’s Michael Thomas Coyne. Mallet spun on the opening lap and fell down to 10th place, while Nyman moved up to fourth place.
Spins in quick succession on the exit of Eau Rouge for Total Performance Racing’s Jacob Bowkett and Geves Renaud (Ryze Motorsport) promoted Nyman into second place behind SVR’s Coyne.
On the penultimate lap, Ryman battled his way around the outside of Coyne on the exit of Les Combes and into the race lead. He converted this into Lazarus’ first race win since the opener at Silverstone, with Coyne second ahead of Mallet who recovered to complete the podium.
26-year-old Robin Betka took over the Red Bull for the reverse-championship order 25-lap endurance race, while Nyman stayed in the Lazarus entry. Betka started in 14th place and battled through the pack with Nyman in close company on a damp track.
However, Lazarus’ title hopes took a critical blow in the opening laps when Nyman was handed a five-second penalty for causing a collision with Spanish Ford racer Miguel Molina.
Betka was able to undercut early race leader Light Speed Esports’ Mariano Rubalcava Ocana and take the race win and the qualification series title.
Red Bull’s fifth win of the season was enough to secure the $10,000 for the championship title and they’ll battle for $100,000 in the LMES Super Final at the 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours alongside the rest of the teams in the top six in the standings.
Nyman rose to fifth from 15th on the grid but Lazarus was forced to settle for second place in the standings ahead of Total Performance and Fast Racers Forza.
Solar Vision’s best event of the season paid off handsomely as they leapt from seventh to fifth place in the championship.
Ryze took the final qualifying spot in sixth place after Renaud finished second in the endurance race, with Virtual drivers by TX3 narrowly missing out on a place in the Super Final in seventh. Ford completed the top eight.
Gamers can still qualify for the LMES Super Final by taking part in the latest Pro Rivals event on Forza.
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