Season 14 of Apex Online Racing's renowned F1 leagues kicked off this week on the new F1 2017, and the most competitive drivers on the PC platform took center stage to create an enthralling contest.
It was an all rookie podium for the opening round of the season with an imperious performance from @Bereznay Dani to seize victory from pole ahead of the two Finns @Timp and @töpäää, with the latter rising through all the way from 9th earn himself the Champagne. This phenomenal success for the new drivers in the ranks was unfortunately balanced out by a rather more torrid time for the returning AOR drivers, as issues for the high qualifying @Raven and @RaikoGordon24 left them both pointless in a particularly disappointing start to the season. There was also disappointment for last season's runner up @Ycoms, who fell down to 5th place from 2nd on the grid as consequence to performance effecting front wing damage. Here is what the eSports semi finalist had to say about his endeavors down under:
Elsewhere, there was disappointment for @Kez on his first AOR F1 race since season 8, as he suffered an early retirement alongside other familiar faces @maxafc46 and @DemoN. Another driver that was making a return to AOR F1 was @NonRunner, who claimed a solid seventh position after sitting out season 13. Some early chaos also helped @FisiFan91 climb up from P15 in quali to claim the final point on offer, as both #PinkBattleJet cars limped home with front wing damage.
The race also saw some fairly memorable moments of race craft, and you can now vote on your favourite overtake of the Australian Grand Prix HERE. Despite a rather chaotic race leaving the field rather spread out, qualifying certainly showed the speed and competitiveness of the line up for the season ahead, with all of the top 15 within a second of an impressive pole time by @Bereznay Dani, which was almost matched by @Ycoms and @Timp. The full results and standings after round one can be viewed HERE.
Congratulations also to the winners in the NINE other tiers on PC this season, who in ascending order of tier were @sigro @Caffa @SMEAJ @dragonbone81 @M@vyxXx @Fbyson @Thezz @TheLazyLama @Jozzers!
The next destination on the calendar is Shanghai, the home of the Chinese Grand Prix. This track offers a vastly different challenge to the rather unique Albert Park, which could lead to a potential shake up in the early order. There is also a notoriously high likelihood of rain intervening at some point in the weekend, which looks set to be an exciting extra ingredient whenever it shall occur this season following the closeness of the time trial event in Malaysia. Perhaps the best indication of the pace of the field ahead of this race is to reflect on the highly memorable eSports race that took place here, and on that day it was @Ycoms who was streaks ahead of every other AOR driver, and we can hear from him again now with his hopes ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix:
"Well, I was kind off succesful there in the Esports League Championship, so will obviously try to do something similar! A podium would definitely be very satisfying and no front wing problems for team #PinkBattleJet as well!"
With that we are now firmly looking forward to round 2 of the season in high anticipation! In the meantime you can re watch the action in Australia as it happened HERE, courtesy of @King-kodiak and @Hamish Sopwith, and make sure to tune in at 8PM on Sunday to catch the action from China live on his King Kodiak's Twitch Channel! You can also gain some extra insight from The AOR Talkshow, with the season preview available HERE.
Good luck to all drivers competing in China!