Autódromo José Carlos Pace… Interlagos…
When drivers hear this name they know that not only is the season coming to a close, but that they are about to drive out of the garage onto one of the most prestigious circuits on not only the GPVWC Superleague calendar but the Formula One calendar as well.
Named after Brazilian F1 driver, Carlos Pace. The 4.309 kilometres (2.677 miles) boasts some of the best action the fans will get to see throughout the season. Much like the Circuit of the Americas before, we are greeted by a mix of sweeping corners and tight, technical and tyre destroying sections mainly inside the second sector.
Whilst the Suzuka circuit boasts being the home of title winning races for the greatest drivers. Interlagos boasts being the home of, in most people’s eyes, the single greatest Formula One driver of all time.
Welcome to the Eyes Forward for the penultimate round of the 2018 Grand Prix Virtual World Championship Superleague season. One in which, once again, could mean the title is wrapped up a round early by Alex Siebel.
A Quick Round Up:
Last time out at the Cirtuit of the Americas we witnessed exhilaration and heartbreak alongside an Edge Esports first.
Qualifying 1st and 2nd on the grid locking out the front row for the first time in the team’s history after two outstanding laps put Brljak on the pole with Teien alongside.
An amazing qualifying was then followed by an amazing show of pace in the early phase of the race with Brljak slowly pulling away from Teien of whom was acting rear gunner for the Croatian fending off title leader Alex Siebel.
Throughout the rest of the race is was Brljak’s day. No drop in pace and a fresh engine allowing him to max his potential and keep the gap to Siebel and take the victory by a dominant 13.6 seconds.
For Teien however. The luck just was not there for the Norwegian. Coming into the race with a dying power unit his pace was already off what Siebel and Brljak could do on race pace but to add insult to injury only ten laps from the chequered flag his engine gave out into Turn 16 and ended the team’s hopes of scoring a double podium and closing the gap in the constructors to ACR Zakspeed of whom finished P2 and P7 after a shocking race for Kappet.
The title fight – The Drivers Title:
After Brljak’s, dominant, victory at the US Grand Prix it means that the gap between himself and Siebel drops by another 5 points coming into the penultimate round. What this means is that the title implications change although they are extremely less in favor of the Edge driver.
If Siebel finishes ahead of Brljak it is game over in the title fight. So for Brljak to remain inside the title fight:
Brljak Wins – Siebel P5 or lower.
Brljak 2nd – Siebel P8 or lower.
Brljak 3rd – Siebel P12 or lower.
Brljak 4th – Siebel P15 or lower.
Brljak has his work cut out for him if he wants to win this year’s title but he is more than capable of finishing ahead of Siebel. For this round luck will need to be fully on his side if he wants to have a shot going into the final round at Abu Dhabi.
The title fight – The Constructors Title:
In the constructors standings things just got harder. After Teien’s retirement with ten laps to go it meant that ACR Zakspeed claimed four points over the Edge Esports squad coming into Brazil. To remain in the Constructors Title fight, Teien and Brljak will need to amass a total of three points over the ACR Zakspeed squad on Thursday to be within the 45 points limit coming into Abu Dhabi. So not only is the pressure on in the Drivers Championship but it is very much on in the Constructors Championship.
As we look ahead to Thursday and the 71 laps and 305.939 Kilometres (190.076 Miles) that confront the grid of 14 teams and 28 cars, we can be certain that the 2018 GPVWC Superleague Brazilian Grand Prix will be one for the history books. 18 years and 16 different winners alongside a certainty of a new winner at this racetrack gives us some incredible racing to look forward to. Will you be there to watch history?
Join us on Thursday the 25th of October on the GPVWC YouTube channel LIVE at 20:30 CEST for what will be another unmissable event!
With the GPVWC Superleague United States Grand Prix being only hours away. We take a look at what lies ahead for the dynamic duo of Jarl Teien and Petar Brljak this time around.
The Circuit of the Americas is one of the newer additions to the Superleague calendar, having only made its debut in the 2014 season and seeing three seperate winners over the four races the track has held in GPVWC’s top tier series (Alex Cooper 2014 + 2015 , Florian Geier 2016, Rudy van Buren 2017).
The 5.513 km (3.426 mi) anti-clockwise circuit lays inside the heart of Texas and features a mix of tight, traction vital corners alongside sets of flowing sweepers that put the aerodynamic and mechanical grip through its paces. With the circuit being one to push engines to breaking point, you can expect to see teams bringing fresher engines to this round of the championship to avoid the risk of an engine failure midway through the event.
Coming into tonight’s round of the 2018 campaign we saw a shake up of the Drivers Championship after Petar Brljak took the victory alongside Alex Siebel recieving a 20 second post-race time penalty after finishing second place of which dropped him down to sixth after the results became official. So what does this mean for us here at Edge Esports? Below is the current championship and the implications as we head into the final three rounds of the year.
Alex Siebel (GER) – ACR Zakspeed – 242 Points
Petar Brljak (CRO) – Edge Esports – 200 Points (-42)
Risto Kappet (EST) – ACR Zakspeed – 195 Points (-47)
Jarl Teien (NOR) – Edge Esports – 177 Points (-65)
As much as the title fight will go onto the final two rounds of the championship. Brljak, of whom has jumped both Teien and Kappet to now be sat second in the championship, has his work cut out if he wants to have any realistic shot of winning this year’s title with Siebel being very much in the drivers seat.
In the Constructors Championship it very much is all to play for.
ACR Zakspeed – 437 Points
Edge Esports – 393 Points (-44)
With the gap only being 44 points and the maximum points haul being 135 points the title fight, so long as each team consistently finishes at the top, will go to Abu Dhabi. This we will cover in a later Eyes Forward.
Championship Implications – The Drivers
With there being only three rounds left of the 2018 season, the maximum points haul is now lowered to 75. This would mean that the requirements for Siebel to take the title at this round are as follows:
Siebel Wins – Brljak 3rd or lower.
Siebel 2nd – Brljak 5th or lower.
Siebel 3rd – Brljak 8th or lower.
Siebel 4th – Brljak 11th or lower.
Siebel 5th – Brljak 13th or lower.
Siebel 6th – Brljak 14th or lower.
Siebel 7th – Brljak 15th or lower
Siebel 8th or lower – Title goes to Brazil.
With 56 laps of racing ahead of us there is an extremely large cloud of tension in the air as the teams and drivers make their final preparations.
Join us tonight for what could be the deciding race in the championship LIVE on the GPVWC Youtube channel from 8:30pm CEST.
“Even with a car that is off pace, we can still achieve incredible results”
Hockenheimring, July 5th
For the first time in the team’s history as either Edge Esports or Wauters Automotive, a 1-2 was secured in a Superleague Grand Prix. The Hockenheimring proved to be a day of everything falling into place with Jarl Teien picking up his second win of the season.
With, arguably, one of the weakest cars on the grid our boys did exceptionally well in Qualifying. Jarl secured a front row slot alongside pole sitter Alex Siebel whilst Petar Brljak slotted in on the third row. Sadly for the Croatian his luck at starts remained abysmal as he was caught in a first corner melee along with Geoffrey Fournier and Dennis Jordan.
Whilst his team mate was putting together the pieces of an outstanding recovery drive, Jarl was focusing on keeping the gap down to Siebel ahead. Disaster struck for the German however when he suffered a disconnect promoting the #30 into first place. From here, the Norwegian would continue to control the race masterfully with an aggressive tyre strategy which saw him shock the field with a four-stopper.
All the way from 15th, Petar fought his way back up the order both on track and in the pit lane. By the final phase of the race he was 4th with a fresh set of Ultrasoft rubber. He dismissed the hugely impressive Rait Kilk before taking his time but ultimately winning out against Borja Millan to steal 2nd. No better result has been achieved by the team in its Superleague history. The gap to the top of the Constructors’ championship was slashed by over thirty points.
JARL TEIEN – #30
Started – 2nd
Finished – 1st
Fastest Lap – 1:13.416
Pitstops – One: Lap 13 [Ultra/Ultra], Two: Lap 25 [Ultra/Super], Three: Lap 42 [Super/Ultra], Four: Four: Lap 54 [Ultra/Ultra]
“Going into this race I expected to fight for a top five position at max. My sights were set higher after Qualifying those as I nailed my lap being only a tenth off Alex. Starting that high up on the grid helps with strategy options and I think I had a pretty aggressive strategy compared to other people.
“I feel like the four-stop was slower than a three-stop but I made it work anyway. Petar had bad luck on the opening lap but still managed 2nd. I believe had he avoided that he would have won by around 15 seconds over me.
PETAR BRLJAK – #33
Started – 5th
Finished – 2nd
Fastest Lap – 1:12.965
Pitstops – One: Lap 13 (Ultra/Super), Two: Lap 32 (Super/Super), Three: Lap 51 (Super/Ultra)
“Qualifying went quite nicely as myself and Jarl both managed to do good laps. Unfortunately I was just a passenger in the T1 incident and dropped loads of positions. Luckily the car was still alright to drive and my pace looked really good compared to those around me.
“We had to convert to a three-stop as that meant I could both avoid and jump people through the pitstop phases. I was picking people off a bit easier than expected thanks to being strong into T2. Towards the end I saw I had a chance of 2nd and decided to gamble on the Ultrasofts for the last stint which worked out very well in the end.
“Congrats to Jarl for the win and it’s great to see we’ve fully capitalised on this opportunity for our first 1-2 finish! The last things missing are a few upgrades to close that gap to the best cars. Hungary is one of my favourite tracks so I’m looking forward to that one!”
ANDREAS WAUTERS, Edge Esports and Quasar Manager
“Today we scored our first 1-2 finish ever in the WTF1 Superleague. It’s a super happy moment and it shows that even with a car that is off pace, we can still achieve incredible results. It’s still a bit of a surprise to me that the result was this good since the preparation for Germany was difficult.
“I feel that we were a bit lucky to the other top teams struggling. With the upcoming summer break we hope that we can bring some more upgrades to the boys. Hopefully they will close up the gap with ACR and a title hunt will be back on!”
Edge Esports is pleased to announce a brand new merchandising partnership with popular, custom esports apparel supplier, Manatee. The agreement allows supporters at home to purchase their very own Edge Esports jersey whilst the organisation itself is supplied for LAN events.
Manatee.gg will be proudly displayed on both our Formula SimRacing and WTF1 Superleague vehicles. Any future car capable of receiving a custom livery will also feature the logo. Andreas Wauters, Edge Esports Manager, stated “I’m thrilled to work together with a merchandising company of Belgian origin. They offer great service and designs at an affordable price!”
The first set of jerseys were seen in action at the Esports World Touring Car Cup launch event back in May at the Ring°Arena. Now you can order your own with the option to fully customise your name and gamertag! We’re delighted to open up orders with a 10% discount and free worldwide shipping. Type the code “EDGE” into the discount bar during checkout and await the sportswear which will help connect you to the sharp end of simracing!
JAMES KIRK, Edge Esports Marketing Director
“Manatee are the perfect company to help bring Edge Esports products to our followers. In early talks there was an instant kinship with both our brands finding their beginnings in Belgium. This developed into a great understanding and there was never any question of how positive it would be to work together.
“The outstanding quality of both kit design and shirt comfort hugely impressed us. The trial jerseys proved to be a roaring success across the board! From there it was only a matter of time before the partnership was confirmed.
“Future developments and projects are something I think we are all eagerly awaiting. The next steps will be sure to include our fan base! We want to discover what apparel is desired within the realm of eRacing.”
CHRISTIAAN TULLENERS, CEO Manatee.gg
“Up to this point we had not partnered with an eRacing team. This is, for us, a good opportunity with a respected team to bring our name to this niche esport. I feel both organisations want to do what every company with a bit ambition wants; become the best in your field. From what I have experienced in working with Edge Esports so far, they will no doubt reach their goals.
“The jerseys came out great! When creating this concept we were thinking about team recognition somewhere outside of the actual game. The goal is that people recognise the car because they saw a driver with the same design or vice versa. I think we pretty much achieved that job.”
“Our strength is our supreme tyre management”
Circuit Paul Ricard, May 24th
It was yet another case of close but not close enough for Edge Esports as Petar Brljak missed out on winning the French Grand Prix by under a second. Jarl Teien meanwhile had an exciting drive from another back-of-the-grid penalty.
With the #30 confirmed to be starting plum last, Petar went out into Qualifying hoping to put himself inside the top five. He succeeded with flying colours securing his best starting slot on the grid in 2018. For both cars it was a safe and solid start; the Croatian holding onto 3rd for his first stint as Jarl began his march up the order on an alternative Supersoft-born strategy.
After outlasting the majority of Ultrasoft runners, the crucial battle for Petar in his second stint was against Ricardo Costa on much more used Supersofts. Though the dual lasted a couple of laps, the #33 eventually won out on Lap 20 and was allowed to try and hunt down race leader Alex Siebel. On the same lap, Jarl made his first stop of two onto another set of Supersofts.
Although the Norwegian’s race was exciting, most positions were gained through the lack of a third pitstop. This strategy was achievable only through excellent tyre preservation. Eventually, on Ultrasofts for his last stint, he gained his final position overtaking Risto Kappet and would finish the race in 7th. Petar, however, didn’t have such luck. Just lacking the pace to catch and pass Siebel in the final few laps, he ended the day 2nd.
JARL TEIEN – #30
Started – 28th
Finished – 7th
Fastest Lap – 1:29.559
Pitstops – One: Lap 20 [Super/Super], Two: Lap 41 [Super/Ultra]
“Tough race today but 7th was the highest I could manage with the tyres I had. Twenty laps on Supersofts is far longer than I managed in practice but it was essential to extend the first stint. A two-stop strategy wasn’t the original plan actually; we changed to a two-stop so we avoided the huge gaggle of cars behind us which worked out nicely.
“Having to work my way through the field from last, two races in a row, to finish 7th is a positive thing in my eyes. We know that we can change up our strategy to avoid a lot of the traffic but it’s far from optimal. We need to start top three – at least top five – to be able to take the fight to ACR.
“Fingers crossed for the next few races because we’re about to turn the heat up.”
PETAR BRLJAK – #33
Started – 3rd
Finished – 2nd
Fastest Lap – 1:29.366
Pitstops – One: Lap 12 (Ultra/Super), Two: Lap 28 (Super/Ultra), Three: Lap 43 (Ultra/Ultra)
“Qualifying was pretty good this time and it makes the race a lot easier from the beginning. We had to optimise our setup for Ultrasofts because we lack a lot of rear end grip compared to others.
“The first stint most likely lost us the race. There was a bit of clumsiness from both myself and Fournier when we were fighting for position. This led to us being overtaken by Costa and losing a lot of time to the leader. Going for Ultras in the last stint seemed the right call at the time. Unfortunately I couldn’t quite manage the front tyres as well as I’d have liked which meant I couldn’t really push at any point.
“As for Austria we expect a difficult race because of how far behind we’ll be with car development. Then again, it’s a very short lap and maybe we can pull off some heroics in Qualifying. The plan is to always run at the front; even though that might be tricky to achieve in this case.”
ANDREAS WAUTERS, Edge Esports and Quasar Manager
“I’m really proud of Petar for this round. He showed that he could set a blistering lap in Qualifying, which has been a weakness of ours in the past, then also carry this speed through in the race. Jarl had an equally astonishing event from the back of the grid to end up in the top ten.
“One aspect that continues to be our strength is our supreme tyre management and we can really see that in race pace. A win eluded us today and Austria won’t be our strongest venue due to the configuration of our car. Let’s see what we can do in the next races!”
“We showed that we have the pace to win races”
Circuit de Monaco, April 26th
Edge Esports took their first WTF1 Superleague win of the year as Jarl Teien executed a strategic masterclass to jump and fend off Alex Siebel. Petar Brljak sadly notched up his first retirement of the season.
Following the confusion of the Spanish Grand Prix rulings it was understood that Petar would be starting near the back. He, arguably, produced one of the best efforts across the field though; qualifying inside the top ten on Soft compound tyres. Jarl was expected to fight for pole but disappointingly could only manage P6. The penalties would play into the Norwegian’s hands however as he would start the race on the second row whilst Petar was relegated to P22.
As is always the case at Monaco, crashes happen. Petar was one of the unlucky ones this year. Caught up with other high profile drivers such as Risto Kappet and Florian Geier, the Croatian attempted to solider on with a buckled car. Unfortunately it just wasn’t going to be his day. The valiant effort came to an end after being collected in the pileup at the Nouvelle Chicane started by Marc Veit.
Where Petar fell, Jarl climbed. The race win was fought over primarily through pit strategy with the #30 staying out longer than anyone else on the Ultrasoft tyres. His first pitstop saw the Norwegian jump Dennis Jordan who had attempted an undercut on Siebel but got caught up in the midfield. On fresher tyres and with the German caught behind Soft tyre runners, Jarl closed quickly.
Where Dennis failed, race engineer Mo Patel (assisted by Petar) won Edge the race. It was our turn to attempt the undercut and it worked to perfection. By the time Siebel came in for his final stop, the net lead had been extended out to just shy of 10 seconds. Though things looked close in the final eight laps, Jarl was able to hold on and secure his first win in Superleague!
In doing so, ‘Teien’ is now the name that tops the Drivers’ Championship standings.
JARL TEIEN – #30
Started – 3rd
Finished – 1st
Fastest Lap – 1:10.106
Pitstops – One: Lap 18 [Ultra/Medium], Two: Lap 42 [Medium/Medium]
“It’s great to finally stand on the top step of the podium and what a track to do it at! Every stint was crucial in many ways. The first stint was all about waiting for the gap to 4th place to open up. Dennis pitted before that window opened and he ended up paying the price. I managed to extend the life of my Ultras and jumped him.
“Second stint was all about catching Alex. He was on 5 lap older tyres and stuck behind a Soft-runner which helped me a lot. I realised I had a pace advantage along with better tyre economy so I had loads of options to try to pass. In the end I wanted to do it in the pits rather than on the track.
PETAR BRLJAK – #33
Started – 22nd
Finished – Ret
Fastest Lap – 1:11.609
Pitstops – None
“I had a pretty good Qualifying session on the Soft tyres but that didn’t mean much with the back-of-the-grid penalty. It was actually a very good start for me. I thought I was past the bumping and rubbing when suddenly I flew into the air. Back on the ground the car became locked with two others for about half a minute.
“I tried to push on with a broken car but two drivers crashed right in front of me. There was nowhere to go and my race was over on the spot. It feels like I need to buy luck right now. I guess we go again for the next one.”
ANDREAS WAUTERS, Edge Esports and Quasar Manager
“It’s really nice to add another win to our history after Gergo Baldi scored the first one in Wauters Automotive colours last year. Today we showed that we have the pace to win races if we get everything right. In Jarl’s case we absolutely did.
“Our race engineer, Mo Patel, gave us that extra edge by providing the correct feedback to Jarl at the right time. Unfortunately for Petar he didn’t have the luck he so desperately deserves on his side. He was also very competitive.
“The win brings us closer to the top in our hunt for the Constructors’ title. It will certainly be our target to keep pushing towards that top spot.”
MO PATEL, Edge Superleague Race Engineer
“Jarl is a very intelligent driver and so he can utilise information during the race. From the start, we knew we needed to avoid the guys on the alternate strategies. Once Jordan pitted early we knew we had to extend the stint as long as possible. Jarl was able to protect his tyres to extend and I monitored the gap to pit him into clear air.
“Petar was fantastic in helping us. It’s great that even after suffering such poor luck at the start of the race he was available to provide driving and strategy advice. The team spirit and unity is very high!
“I don’t think anyone needs to explain or say how great of a driver Petar is. I’ve learned that the hard way in the past! He’s struggled a bit in Qualifying and hopefully this round will give him confidence for the upcoming races. All he needs is that slight bit of luck and to not get involved in other people’s mistakes. The results will surely come from that.”