Renault Sport Team Vitality will field a new roster for the 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series, with the inclusion of former real-life driver Jarno Opmeer.
Opmeer, who previously was part of the Renault Drivers’ Academy and racing in the Formula Renault 2.0 and Eurocup series, will join Renault and Team Vitality as one of the eligible drivers to compete in this year’s F1 Esports Pro Series. Opmeer as well as being a racing driver, races in the Apex Online Racing League, the main competition the F1 Esports series drivers race in.
Alongside the Dutch driver in Renault’s line-up is Germany’s Cedric Thomé, a Pro Draft qualifier in last year’s series but was not selected by any of the nine teams. He was also one of the finalists in the 2017 F1 Esports Series, finishing seventeenth overall in the final standings.
— Team Vitality (@TeamVitality) April 20, 2019
Renault finished ninth overall in the Esports series inaugural team’s championship, collecting 23 points between three drivers, four points short from eighth place Haas F1 Esports. They fielded 2017 Series third-place driver Sven Zurner, as well as Kimmy Larsson and James Doherty.
Doherty will remain at the team and is handed the role as the team’s couch for the upcoming season. With the addition of Thomé and Opmeer, Renault will have to select one driver from this year’s Pro Draft to complete their roster as stated in the regulations.
The 2019 edition of the F1 Esports Series will see the competition’s prize money increase dramatically with $500,000 at stake. The procedure for the series will see four live shows take place at the GFinity Arena in London and three qualification events anyone can take part in on Codemasters’ Studios F1 2018 game via Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC in a bid to earn a space for the Pro Draft in July.
Brendon Leigh, the 2017 and 2018 F1 Esports champion, will make his debut in single-seaters by competing in the BRSCC’s National Formula Ford 1600 Series this weekend at Snetterton.