Verstappen’s Redline Esports points lead slashed by van der Linde

Esports | March 28th, 2020

Audi factory driver Kelvin van der Linde won both races in the latest round of Team Redline’s Esports series for professional drivers, slashing Formula 1 star Max Verstappen’s points lead.

Redline’s virtual series brings together over 40 real-life racing stars alongside a couple of streamers and guest sim racers.

The third round tasked the drivers with racing Supercars around Watkins Glen. Van der Linde dominated the opening race from pole position ahead of 2016 Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen, who made his debut in the series.

Erstwhile F1 tester Daniel Juncadella completed the podium ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris and Verstappen, who had won three of the first four races.

Van der Linde faced much stiffer competition in race two, fighting head-to-head with Red Bull Esports driver Frederik Rasmussen all race-long.

Rasmussen wasn’t able to qualify for the first race, but he charged from 40th on the grid to finish in 13th place.

The Danish racer, who helped Red Bull to the 2019 F1 Esports Teams’ championship, took pole position but made a mistake at the first turn and let van der Linde into the lead.

The duo came to blows on the penultimate lap, as Rasmussen tried his luck around the outside of van der Linde, he was pushed wide and onto the grass. He recovered back to second place but was unable to prevent van der Linde from taking his third win of the season.

Argentine racer Agustin Canapino took the final place on the podium, narrowly beating Norris and van Gisbergen. Verstappen suffered a nightmare start to race two, he spun and ended up outside the top 10.

He recovered to finish in 10th place but spent half the race frustrated behind two-time DTM champion Rene Rast, who provided a robust defence of his position.

Formula E championship leader Antonio Felix da Costa took seventh place ahead of Sheldon van der Linde and 2019 Super Formula champion Nick Cassidy.

Two-time Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya endured another difficult round as did fellow ex-F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne. Both drivers had incidents in both races.

Verstappen’s points lead after six races has been cut from 120 to 68. Van der Linde vaults from fourth to second in the standings, with Juncadella remaining in third place.