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!
Edge Esports is delighted to reveal an exciting, new partnership with professional simulator and simracing accessories developer, SIMTAG.
All professional drivers will be given access to the company’s infrastructure including exclusive usage of prototype rigs. This works two ways as the drivers can give critical feedback to the development team whilst also receiving high quality race training. The deal also sees new media opportunities open up for both parties.
SIMTAG will become a prominent feature on both our Formula SimRacing and WTF1 Superleague vehicles from their respective next rounds. Any future car capable of receiving a custom livery will also see a large influence from the Belgian-based, Hungarian team. A number of Edge personnel including 2018 two-time WTF1 Superleague race winner Jarl ‘AroX’ Teien will travel to SIMTAG HQ for their first official session next week.
JAMES KIRK, Edge Esports Marketing Director
“This announcement has been a long time coming so it is a huge boost for the team to finally unveil our partnership to the eRacing world. We didn’t just want to work together with any simulator developer, rather one that understood what we were about. That means a mutually beneficial relationship for both parties driving towards continual progress.
“The career of Norbert Michelisz (SIMTAG co-founder) was a wonderful ice breaker. The company’s HQ location in the heart of Spa-Francorchamps stole our hearts. The drivers are excited for more simulator time. Everything fell into place wonderfully.
“We also hope to develop innovative, consumable media together to showcase just how powerful our combined efforts can be. The possibilities are very exciting indeed.”
JÁNOS ZSINOR, SIMTAG Sales and Events Manager
“We would like to be the connection between virtual and real racing so for us it was very important to find a partner who had a similar focus on targets as we do. After research and conversations with Edge we decided that we had to step forward together. Both brands could be strong alone but we could be stronger as one.
“Our belief is that we’ll be the weapon that gives Edge the advantage against other teams both online and offline. We are not of the internet generation though we are well aware of what they want to see. To grow on social media we need these young faces of esports to find success. High quality videos on a regular basis will demonstrate our cooperation to both sets of audiences.”
“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!”
Ring°Arena, 10th-12th May
Edge Esports flew out to the legendary Nürburgring at the beginning of May to take part in the next major LAN event for simracing, the Esports World Touring Car Cup Live. At this Launch Event for the series, there were three major elements:
- Hotlap Pre-Qualifying for the eWTCR Launch Event itself
- The Nürburgring Esports Team Endurance Championship
- The eWTCR Launch Event hosted over four divisions
Team Boss Andreas Wauters was in attendance and brought with him three of our experienced, top level, touring car drivers along with a new recruit. Kevin ‘Siggy’ Rebernak (multiple podiums across the eWTCC and the MeRC), Florian Hasse (one podium in the MeRC) and Lars Brugman (GPVWC 2016 Supercup champion) banded together to face the four-hour Nordschleife race. They would then be joined by eWTCC runner-up Gergo Baldi to tackle the eWTCR.
Nürburgring Esports Team Endurance Championship (nTEC) Results
Started – 3rd
Finished – 4th
Fastest Lap – 8:05.233
Pitstops – One: 1 hour 22 minutes [Rebernak/L. Brugman], Two: 2 hour 45 minutes [L. Brugman/Hasse]
Edge entered the nTEC race with high hopes. Though our focus was mainly placed on the Esports World Touring Car Cup portion of the LAN, a strong team was fielded to compete against some of the biggest names across simracing.
Kevin ‘Siggy’ Rebernak took Qualifying and the opening stint to be followed by new recruit Lars Brugman and then Florian Hasse. With such strong opposition, sights were set on the podium. Early signs indicated that we would be in that fight as Kev put our Audi R8 in P3. Unfortunately a difficult start to the race saw us on the back foot and down to P5.
Throughout the rest of Kev’s stint and the entirety of Lars’ we were able to pull ourselves back up to 4th. Once Florian stepped into the car our pace came alive. In the final ten minutes we were right on the back of 3rd position but a spirited defence by Lewis McGlade was able to secure the podium for ACR Zakspeed.
With our target just hundredths away at the line it was a difficult one for the drivers to take. No one could doubt the amount of effort that had been put in however. 4th at our first major LAN race was hugely impressive considering the level of competition on display.
Esports World Touring Car Cup (eWTCR) Launch Event Results
Gergo Baldi – Pre-qualifying: 1st, Zandvoort: 4th, Hungaroring: 1st, Nordschleife: 10th
Kevin ‘Siggy’ Rebernak – Pre-qualifying: 3rd, Zandvoort: 2nd, Hungaroring: 7th, Nordschleife: 2nd
Florian Hasse – Pre-qualifying: 18th, Zandvoort: 12th, Hungaroring: 6th, Nordschleife: 13th
Lars Brugman – Pre-qualifying: 21st, Zandvoort: 13th, Hungaroring: 19th, Nordschleife: 12th
All four of Edge’s contingent managed to pre-qualify for Division 1 in the eWTCR Launch Event. eWTCC veterans Baldi and Rebernak were up at the sharp end with Hasse and Brugman managing to sneak into an ultra tight field.
For Lars it was a story of gaining experience following a year out of simracing entirely. After a solid stint in the nTEC the day before, he was able to outperform expectations by others. Finishing inside the top twenty at all tracks, we suspect that there is much more to come from the Dutchman.
It was very encouraging to see Florian bounce back from his nTEC heartbreak, something which took a lot out of him. Another driver who outperformed expectations, the German’s highlight of the evening came at the Hungaroring. He qualified P3 and came home in 6th just ahead of stablemate Kevin.
The Austro-Slovenian ultimately came away from the weekend as the most successful Edge driver on track. It was a display you’d expect from ‘Siggy’ who took two 2nd places but struggled at the Hungaroring which damaged his prospects. Nevertheless, taking 3rd on the day is no mean feet and should give him plenty of confidence when Season 1 arrives.
Which brings us to Gergo Baldi, the man who could very well have won the whole thing. It was a champion’s display from the get-go as he raised eyebrows in pre-qualifying; banking €750 to boot by topping the leaderboard. A masterful piece of driving at Zandvoort saw him take advantage of a Tim Heinemann-Jack Kiethley melee. His win at the Hungaroring mirrored his Race 2 performance at the same track in the eWTCC. Fate can be a cruel mistress however and hardware issues meant that he was just tenths away from setting a qualifying lap at the Nordschleife.
It was a testament to Gergo who labelled the following race as one of his “best ever”. Rising from the ashes, he managed to salvage 10th position by the flag. It wasn’t enough but he surely enters Season 1 of the eWTCR as one of the favourites.
ANDREAS WAUTERS, Edge Esports Manager
“Overall the eWTCR Launch event was an amazing experience for us. Our four drivers showed they were amongst the class of the field by qualifying in Division 1. Their race showings were really strong. Of course we are slightly disappointed since both Gergo and Kevin were strong enough to go for the championship. That was both of their goals as well.
“It was difficult to see Gergo’s charge shattered by technical issues. Overall we were still the most successful team in terms of Division 1. A combined points total of 269 is nothing to complain about. Kevin goes home with a nice 3rd place trophy and we will come back stronger for next year!“