As the All-Star Series enters its third season, the esports competition has been going long enough that we’ve seen drivers improve relative to their competition over that time.
Of course, some drivers started out at the front of the field and have stayed there ever since.
Those include Jernej Simoncic who won the first-ever All-Star round and was in Sim Masters championship contention in the second season, ultimately finishing as the runner up.
Even in the Legends Trophy where the racers have less sim experience, Juan Pablo Montoya took pole position for the first Legends Trophy race and has remained a constant front runner.
However, a number of drivers improved significantly throughout the second season, and are certainly ones to keep an eye out on now the points tallies have been reset for the third season.
A couple of drivers in the Pro Cup stand out as improving over the course of the second season, the first of which is Williams’ Agustin Canapino.
As a real-world driver who also has a lot of sim racing experience, there seemingly wouldn’t be much room for improvement compared to his fellow pro drivers.
In the first round, he qualified fourth, but spun at Turn 4 on the first lap, meaning he finished the race in 17th.
In later rounds he ran a clean race, finishing in second then third before claiming his first All-Star win in the fourth round.
Even his starting positions improved over that time, qualifying fourth in the first two rounds, third in the following race, and then pole position for what would go on to be his debut win.
A driver who had a much more dramatic improvement throughout the five-race championship was BTCC racer Tom Ingram.
He was 11th in the first round’s normal grid race which he bettered with a seventh-place finish in the second round and then at Zandvoort he qualified and finished the first race there in second.
In the reverse grid race, he climbed 29 positions around a circuit most struggled to overtake at to see the chequered flag in sixth place.
He became a master at scything his way through the field in the reverse grid races, starting 14th to cross the finish line in second at Indianapolis.
In the final race of the season, his first race result of 10th was complemented by a fifth-place finish in the reverse grid race having started it in 23rd.
Tellingly he scored more points than any other driver in the Zandvoort round and only champion Nicki Thiim scored more points than Ingram at Silverstone.
For F1 Esports driver Lucas Blakeley the All-Star Series was a learning experience to develop his pace on rFactor 2, whilst racing in a field full of rFactor 2’s finest drivers.
He started off with a reasonable collective points haul from the first round as he finished 15th in the normal grid race and 13th in the reverse grid race.
The second round was a low point for Blakeley as he scored a total of 12 points across both races.
In the final two rounds his qualifying results and, by extension, his race results improved considerably.
He started the fourth round’s main race in fourth and finished in sixth, before holding fifth place in the final round from start to finish.
Blakeley never finished on the podium, but one driver who did later in the second season was Yuri Kasdorp.
He was 10th and sixth in the first round in what was a strong start to the season, but his results got even better from there.
In the third round, he qualified in second and finished in third, taking his first podium finish of the season.
During the final round though he again started the race in second, but was able to pass pole-sitter Gergo Baldi to take the race win.
Even in the reverse grid race, he was able to climb his way up to 14th having started in 30th.
He finished the season fourth in the Sim Masters championship but was the highest points scoring driver as he scored 69 points, whereas champion Bono Huis scored 50 points in the final round.
The man who inspired this entire article and improved so quickly and significantly that he ended his class as the quickest driver by far, was Fernando Alonso.
Many of the drivers who are at the sharp end of the Legends Trophy, including Jenson Button, Jan Magnussen, and most blatantly Petter Solberg, all improved steadily over the course of a few rounds.
Alonso’s single lap speed in his debut was impressive, qualifying fourth and just over a quarter of a second away from pole.
It was a collision filled debut at Zandvoort as he didn’t finish either of the races.
Afterward came the two rounds at Indy where he won the first race and even came out on top in the reverse grid race despite starting it in 21st.
He then took another two back to back victories, this time at Silverstone as he started the first race from pole and was sixth tenths faster than Button.
In the reverse grid race, he started from last, yet gained 15 positions to be in fourth within the first lap.
What followed were another three overtakes and a dominant victory, claiming four race wins in a row.
Season 3 of the All-Star Series starts today with the first of the Triple Crown themed rounds.
You can watch all the action from Monaco live on The Race’s YouTube channel.