Verstappen crowned Redline’s Esports series pro champion

Max Verstappen was crowned champion of Team Redline’s Real Racers Never Quit series while Audi factory driver Kelvin van der Linde dominated the final round of the championship.

Verstappen crowned Redline’s Esports series pro champion

The final round of Redline’s series saw 35 professional racing drivers race LMP2 machinery around Suzuka on iRacing.

Verstappen had won six of the first 10 races and was only denied a shot at a seventh win after his PC crashed and left him unable to start from pole position at the last round Interlagos. His nearest championship rival van der Linde won both races at Suzuka from pole position, his second double-win in the series, having previously swept the race wins in the Supercars races at Watkins Glen last week.

Verstappen started on the front row alongside van der Linde in both races, and Verstappen passed the 2019 ADAC GT Masters champion on the opening lap of the first race. However, Verstappen was sent wide at the start of the next lap after minor contact and he dropped to seventh.

It went from bad to worse for Verstappen as he attempted to pass ex-Formula E driver Tom Dillmann, he made a mistake and dropped himself further down to ninth place. He recovered well to pass 2019 Macau Grand Prix winner Richard Verschoor, current Formula E points leader Antonio Felix da Costa and Dillmann to finish in sixth place.

Van der Linde won the race ahead of multiple-Argentine touring car champion Augustin Canapino and ex-DTM racer Daniel Juncadella. BMW factory driver Nicky Catsburg was van der Linde’s closest competition early in the race, but a mistake dropped him to fourth place. 

Verstappen was able to comfortably seal the title in the final race with a third-place behind race winner van der Linde and fellow F1 driver Lando Norris.

“Race one, I could have possibly won the race, but it is what it is,” Verstappen said after the race. “It was all about collecting the points, which I needed after my PC crash after Interlagos, otherwise it would have been won already. These cars are fun, it was my first day of driving them.”

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Sixty points separated Verstappen and van der Linde after 12 races across Formula 3, GTE, Supercars and LMP2 machinery over the past two weeks. Norris rounded out the top three in the points standings ahead of Juncadella.

Details of a second season of the championship are expected to be announced in the near future.  

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Author Josh Suttill
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