After almost two months of racing, both of our drivers have had their ups and downs. The TCR eSports series has gone to many great circuits, but it all started with Road Atlanta. For each event, there is a short 2-lap qualifying session followed by two 20-minute races. For the second race, the top 10 finishers from the first race are inverted for the race start. Also, a quick reminder that out of the three TCR options, Olivier and Quentin both chose to race in the Honda Civic Type R for this season. A table summarizing both drivers' results thus far can be found below.
Team leader Olivier Bellanger has enjoyed a mostly fruitful season thus far. A quick recollection of Road Atlanta reveals that he came out with a bang. He was consistently in the top three throughout the event, and battled at the very front of the pack in both races. Even though his 2nd place finish in race #1 meant that he started 9th for race #2, he still climbed all the way up to 3rd place for a double-podium. Daytona, another iconic American circuit, hosted the second event. Olivier struggled somewhat in qualifying, but he didn't let it deter him from battling through the field to finish in a brilliant 4th place for race #1. Then, he managed traffic and drafting perfectly to earn his first win of the season in race #2! This strong form carried over to the next event at Okayama, where he got back into his qualifying groove which allowed him to battle and ultimately take a successive win in race #1! Then, starting 10th for race #2 couldn't stop him from getting to the front and finishing in an excellent 2nd place!
The team had to skip the following round at Watkins Glen due to scheduling conflicts, but Olivier was ready to rock in Silverstone. After a solid qualifying performance, he was battling at the front in race #1 until a couple mistakes cost him big. Fortunately, he was able to recover and still finish in a very solid 7th place. Accordingly, Olivier started race #2 in 4th place, but quickly dispatched everyone in front to take the lead. Then, it was a matter of putting in consistent, quick laps to deny any challenges. As you may have guessed, this was no issue and therefore Olivier earned his third win of the season! The team had to miss out on the next couple of events at Knockhill and Hockenheim, before returning to compete at Charlotte. The track was difficult and frustrating for most, to say the least. However, Olivier managed to qualify well up the field in 4th place for race #1. Unfortunately, after some tough battles, he settled for a 9th place finish which would secure him a favorable 2nd place starting spot for race #2. He took the lead into turn 1 on lap 1, and quickly built a comfortable lead. Alas, it was not meant to be, as a few laps later he made a small error which led to big consequences. This meant he wasn't able to finish the race, but he did stick around to cheer on his teammate Quentin. A true team player and class act, indeed. These results mean Olivier currently sits in 5th place of the drivers' standings.
On the other side of the garage, Quentin De Boever has had a season of strife and learning. Ever the gentleman, he did want to add that Olivier has been the biggest asset to help him improve both his pace and race craft. The pair have spent many hours practicing together throughout the season, with Olivier working hard and coaching Quentin. Ultimately, Quentin started the season very near the center of the pack, finishing 15th and 16th for race #1 and #2 at Road Atlanta, respectively. The next round at Daytona was a wild ride for Quentin as he not only out-qualified Olivier, but started 3rd on the grid for race #1 in 40+ car field. He lost a few places at the start, but still found himself fighting for a top five finish before some last lap shenanigans saw him bring the car home in 8th place. Quentin was nonetheless content with this since his goal for the season was to rack up some top-10 finishes. In race #2, he had a strong start before some unforced errors led to a 10-second stop-and-go penalty, effectively ruining his chances of a good result. He trudged on to finish race #2 in 26th place, racking up just a couple championship points.
For the next round at Okayama, Quentin was hoping for some solid, issue-free running. Fortunately, this proved to be the case as he just missed out on another a top-10 finish with a 12th place in race #1. This must've sparked something inside him as he made a brilliant start in race #2, and continued to climb through the field for the opening laps. After working his way up to 6th place, however, he started to feel the pressure from some quick drivers behind. In the end, his fierce defense meant only a couple drivers got past him, so he brought the car home in 8th place! The next round in which the team participated, at Silverstone, brought yet more solid results. Quentin qualified just outside the top-10, but made his way past a few drivers to finish race #1 in 9th place. Then, a big mistake on lap 1 of race #2 saw him drop right down the order. Luckily, Quentin spent the remaining 18 minutes working his way back up to finish in 10th place! Earning two top-10 finishes in one event was another huge milestone for the league-rookie driver! Finally, the event at Charlotte shocked everyone, including Quentin! He qualified in a solid 10th place, but made his way through the field in race #1 by running consistent laps as others in front made mistake after mistake on the tight circuit. This led to a season-best finish of 4th place, just outside of the podium! Quentin had luck on his side again for race #2, as he quickly made his way up to 2nd place before inheriting the lead from Olivier when he was forced to retire. Another stout defense saw Quentin one-up his previous result by finishing in an exciting 3rd place! This means that Quentin is currently 12th in the drivers' standings
That rounds up the season thus far, and the team are excited to see what both drivers can do with the remainder of it! We have been lucky enough to see growth accompanied by some fantastic results, but it wouldn't be possible without both Martin Sports Car Club graciously hosting this league championship and our sponsors! Babylips Co, the southeast division of Hooked On Driving, InGear Design, Von Grose Motorsports Management, and Select Power Florida have all continued to support us and make this possible. So please, check them out! More information can be found on the Partners page of our website. Of course, we also extend a huge thanks to all of our supporters, friends, and family. Be sure to follow us on facebook, instagram, youtube, and linkedin for more news and updates!