This is it. The final Round of the 2017 SMS-R Championship Series. The biggest competition in Project CARS esports.
After a thrilling race in Round 8 at Sonoma, the fight for the championship lead between Team Redline and SDL had closed right up, putting their battle on a knife edge. With both teams having already confirmed their places at the Gamescom World Final, they were looking to maximise their prize money, before the end of season bonus event in Cologne.
There was also a very close fight between the other Pro teams to determine which 3 outfits will join TRL and SDL in the ESL Arena at Gamescom. eSports+Cars and VP Gaming looked comfortable in 3rd and 4th before the final round, but there was a huge battle on between TX3 and BAM for the final place at Gamescom. With Euronics lagging a little behind, they looked out of the running, but read on below to see what went down in the final round, and find out which teams are going to Gamescom.
SDL took pole in Pro Class qualifying with Rotax, but Team Redline took both 2nd and 3rd before the next SDL driver, StorM in 4th place. This put TRL in a solid position to defend their series lead before the race start. Tidgney took pole in the GT3 Challenger Class once again.
StorM took the LMP2 lead for SDL at the start with Mangator 2nd and Rotax 3rd, but Magic Michael dropped to 5th in the first few corners behind DriverR1 of eSports+Cars, which put Team Redline’s series lead in jeopardy in the early stages of the race.
At the start of lap 2, Rotax took 2nd away from Mangator to put SDL in 1 and 2, and Redline were suddenly under a lot of pressure, albeit with a long way to go in the race. Mangator was not going to let Rotax get away though and was pushing hard to get 2nd place back, whilst also keeping an eye on his mirrors with pressure coming from DriverR1 behind. Meanwhile, the other TRL driver, Magic Michael, was dropping off DriverR1’s pace in P5. It wasn’t looking good for Team Redline to take the championship win.
Both TX3 drivers retired from the action, which put their place at Gamescom in jeopardy against BAM, whose drivers were running 6th and 8th in the first minutes of the race. Back in the Challenger Class, Yoohan had taken the lead and was pulling away in his McLaren 12C GT3 as he looked to cement the Challenger Championship victory. Isaac also made a fantastic move to take P6 in LMP2 for VP gaming as he got around BAM’s Tomikillos on the outside into the turn 1 hairpin.
SDL executed a near perfect one-two race in the final round to steal the LMP2 Pro Class championship win away from Team Redline at the very last opportunity. That means they’ve now won 1 major championship in every year of Project CARS sports. SDL take home a €6000 prize, with Team Redline taking €4000 for 2nd. eSports+Cars rounded off the series podium with €2500 in prizes. VP Gaming took 4th in the championship and €1000. BAM also managed a great achievement to overhaul TX3's points in the very last round, giving themselves the final place in the World Final at Gamescom and €600. TX3 take home €500, and Euronics round out the Pro Class with €400.
In the Challenger series, it was yet another race victory for Yoohan as he romped away to win the GT3 championship, after some fantastic battles all season long with Vernux, Popsu, Tidgney, Tejpek and the rest of a fantastically competitive field of racers.
The battles are not over yet. The top 5 Pro Class teams will travel to Gamescom for the Project CARS World Final with another €5000 euros on line in the ESL Arena in front of a live audience.
Standings and results will be updated after ESL has posted the latest points information at the ESL play website.
Next: The Gamescom World Final
On August 23 at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany the top 5 SMS-R teams will battle one-more time in the ESL Arena, to add more prize money to their total. The action will be streamed at twitch.tv/esl_racing but come on down to Gamescom to see the drivers, casters and SMS staff in person and soak up the atmosphere live at the biggest Project CARS race of the year.
Don't forget to visit the ESL website at the link below to register to race in the next Go4 Cups on any platform. The major tournaments may be over for now, but you can keep you skills fresh by racing with the best at ESL, and get ready for the next Project CARS esports competitions.