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Written by Jon Rosario

Hello and welcome to Season 2 of OTL’s The Drive! This season, our weekly recap show is back with more coverage, more drivers, and with it, more action. Thanks to our community, get ready for what will be a nail-biting season following the official OTL XBOX ACC GT3 Championship! Without further ado, here’s a little taste of what you can expect from this season of XBOX’s premier competition:

From the team that brought you the OTL Summer of Fun, the OTL vs. ONID duel series, and the OTL ACC Endurance Special, comes an all-new edition of a community favourite. Introducing: the official OTL XBOX ACC GT3 Championship – Season 3! The brainchild of OTL’s most innovative admin duo – Cajun and Hydranockz, comes their most cutting edge league yet, guaranteeing the greatest season of racing ever seen in XBOX competition.

After an all-new, grueling, dual-stage evaluation, twenty of OTL’s finest drivers have been selected to take part in the eight week championship. The calendar, encapsulating Europe, North America, and Africa creates a unique challenge for each round, constituting a mad dash to the championship crown that neither leaves room for errors, nor meekness. Having a calendar as hard to read as this one is, car choice becomes absolutely crucial, as once the season starts, racers will be stuck with their pre-season choices. 

Round 2 for example, slated for Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca, could see the three Ferrari drivers, KhaosTheory, LocalShortKid, and Matthews for Prime Minister, as well as the the three Porsche drivers, Matze, JSA, and Bantasaurusrex, with an advantage. Whereas tracks such as the Hungaroring, or Imola (Rounds 3 & 6 respectively) could see the two Bentley drivers, UKSimRacer and Weedflamingracer finding pace over the curbs. Sam, the remaining Aston driver, and Calum, the lone Nissan GTR, sees themselves in a great position too, their FR competitors each offering a more well rounded approach to things, a characteristic that can be exploited at every location. With a race lineup as diverse as the cars on track, get ready for a season-long interplay between driver skill and car advantage on a scale never seen before.

The drivers, all hyped for the new season, had much to say when talking to our crew. Hear from the drivers themselves in our first interview of the season as they prepare for the inaugural round of the OTL XBOX ACC GT3 Championship!

The Drive: Hey guys, how’s everything? Welcome to OTL: The Drive – Season 2!

TD: The official OTL XBOX ACC GT3 Championship is the premier ACC championship we have on console. To get here, you had to perform well in a number of tests, fun races, and other OTL competitions; including, the all new multi-stage eval. What did you think of the process to get here? Was it easy, difficult?

Calum: Hi mate. Just wanted to say thanks first of all as I can only imagine the amount of time and effort that goes into this. Pretty cool idea too! I really enjoyed the process to be honest. It makes total sense, from the organisers point of view, ensuring that the leagues are competitive and that they will be filled with people who are keen, attending weekly.

Sam: For me, the process was relatively straightforward, but that is probably helped by the fact we had a strict process last season. Some of the faster guys aren’t always the most resilient, so this type of evaluation allows the cleaner and more reliable drivers to race as much as possible while keeping a full grid.

LocalshortKid: Staying consistent in tests was the most important thing. You definitely had to drive more cautiously and give up positions you’d normally fight for. For me, it was all just about staying clean and not rubbing anyone the wrong way.

Matze: Hey Mate, I´m doing good, how about you? I think the all-new eval system was a great way of filtering drivers for a more-than-just-fast grid. We have some of the fastest guys I know in here, especially from OTL. The eval was interesting. I knew I had the pace, but it’s always a ‘wait-and-see’ if you race with unknown people.

Khaos: The eval process to be able to race in this championship is really good. It makes sure everyone involved races clean, which is never easy as there are so many fast people involved. 

WeedFlaminRacer: I don’t know haha… I guess I would say, difficult, because there were alot of signups.. but the races went really well for me.

Bantasaurusrex: The eval was fun. Although I got damage, I managed a win over WeedFlaminRacer by not taking tires, despite being about 0.2mm off a puncture at the end.

JSA: The test was relatively chill. It mainly focused on making sure any newcomers were safe to race with.

MatthewsforPrimeMinister: Personally, the process to get here was a great challenge, but quite a fair way of doing an evaluation. It was perfect: not too easy, but not too hard.

TD: Being chosen for this league signifies you as one of our best drivers. How does that make you feel?

Cal: It feels good! I’ve always had an itch to try league racing but just didn’t take the step. Last season was my first league racing experience, so I was a bit sceptical as to how it would all play out. I’m glad I took the leap into league racing and now I don’t think I’ll go back! Being among the best is a flattering curse though haha, as the opposition is also outstanding.

Sam: It’s a good feeling. While I’m not at the top, it’s brilliant to have an opportunity to fight with other drivers, even if they are faster than me.

SK: I’m flattered; it’s the first time anyone’s complimented my driving .

MZE: I´m really happy to be in this league, as I’m curious to see where I can get to in the championship, and how much I can push myself to get up to speed with our in-house aliens.

KH: I really enjoy it mate. Being able to race these fast lads is always a good thing.

UkSimRacer: It’s a nice feeling to know I’m among the top drivers.

BeigeDrexit: I’m proud to have been part of OTL since the first Assetto Corsa leagues, and this is a very special year for me because I’ve been chosen on the OTL ACC team! It was unexpected for me because my main objective has never been to be one of the fastest guys, but to have fun and clean races. Being part of the ACC team is awesome but I also see it as a responsibility, so I see this league as a good chance to improve myself whilst having fun. 

BSR: Feels great! I’m really looking forward to it given how competitive last season was.

JSA: It’s nice to be able to race with the guys at OTL. The events are always very well organised and heavily contested. 

MPM: Being accepted makes me feel a lot more confident about my driving abilities. It gives me a lot of motivation to practice and get better.

TD: How do you see the competition being this season? What do you think you can accomplish in this championship bid? 

Cal: If the evaluation races are anything to go by, I think the races will be very competitive – even with the varying levels of skill up and down the grid. I’m hoping to match or better the results I earned in Season 2, but given that there are some incredibly fast new names this time around, it will be very difficult.

Sam: The competition was great last season, and with even more drivers I am looking forward to seeing more of the same this season. My goal is to be in the top-10. My consistency isn’t brilliant, but if I manage to keep it out of the walls, I should be ok.

SK: It’s shaping up to be really close, there’s some mentally quick guys here. The midfield fight should be a lot of fun, hopefully we can get at least one of our cars on the podium this season.

MZ: Competition will be enormous in this league. As I said before, we have some of our resident ALIENS in this one. I hope to be within the top-6 which would be a pretty decent accomplishment as far as I can tell.

KH: The competition will be really good, there are so many fast guys in this championship. You always want to win, but with the calibre of people here I would like to say a top-5 would be good.

WFR: I don’t know, it’s my first season with OTL and I already saw a few fast guys… a top-5 would be nice.

BD: It’s not easy to make predictions now, as there’s several fast guys and it’s always a pleasure for me to race with them. All I know is that I’ll do my best in every race and I’ll try to avoid the mistakes that have affected a couple of races’ results last season.

BSR: Competition is pretty tough, though I’m hoping that at least given that JSa’s in the 18 Porsche (thanks to our bet), that I should be able to be quicker than him (otherwise I’d just be a terrible driver). Still loads of fast names though.

JSA: I think the competition will be very close this season, I think the title will be mainly fought between Khaos, Beige, and hopefully, me. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see others – particularly Callum, joining in on the fight for the lead as well. 

MPM: I feel like I will be somewhere in the lower midfield this season. Though at certain tracks, I believe I can definitely crack the top-10. 

TD: What do you think will be the keys to winning races this season?

Sam: Consistency. It’s one thing being fast occasionally – I can set a really fast lap that puts me up at the front end of the field – but the winner will be whoever can do those fast laps, every lap, and manages their strategy the best. For the leaders, damage could be catastrophic, however contact shouldn’t be too common and I’m confident that the lads will show sportsmanship if they are at fault. Part of consistency is avoiding the incidents, but it is racing, and they can happen.

SK: Adaptability. Certain tracks will have a specific list of cars that are good there. It’ll be important to be able to adjust the setups on the various cars to be consistently fast throughout the season. 

MZE: I think the keys for success will be one, consistency, and two, getting up to speed with the faster guys.

KH: To win races, you will have to be really consistent and keep out of any trouble, being as fast as you can be every week.

WFR: Driving fast, clean, and with as few mistakes as possible.

UK: The key to winning is to make no mistakes and try to be competitive every lap 

BD: Winning a race is always a unique emotion, but my main goal is to be satisfied with the way I drove during the race, preferably making a decent result in the process. Accidents and inconsistencies will always play a major role in every race, and since hot laps have never been my forte, to win, I’ll have to find my own pace and focus on my own race, something I’ve found is often rewarded. Also crucial will be consistency, something that isn’t easy nor immediate, requiring patience and experience.

BSR: Experience. I’ve got a lot more experience now, so I’m able to execute races much better than before, which will be important. That means less spins, penalties, damage and better pitstops. This edge will be important in getting good positions, especially when trying to get podiums if the main frontrunners (Beige, Beef, etc) have issues.

JSA: The key for winning the championship this season will be consistency and pace. We expect to have more than two drivers up front, and any mistakes or lack of pace will be punished hard as there are more who can take advantage. 

MPM: It’s hard for me to comment on the keys to winning this season, as I am still learning a lot. But I do believe consistency is one of the biggest factors. I believe contact will definitely play some sort of role in this series. No matter how clean a racer you are, I think contact will always happen in these cars. However, overall, the people I’ve raced so far in the OTL have been very great at avoiding contact

TD: This league sees some established OTL talent with some fresh faces. Not having raced with everyone before, who do you think will be one to watch out for?

Cal: Last season saw me and Beef battle almost every race, we were very close on pace. I was hoping he would make a return this season to continue that, but I think it’s too early to tell until the first couple of races get going and until everyone is settled.

Sam: Well I certainly know WeedFlamingRacer is one to watch, as he nearly put me a lap down at the 2:30 hr at the Nurburgring and had some strong pace in the evaluations. Mr.JSA is also very fast and won last season. Along with Beef, BeigeDREXIT, Khaos and Calum who showed some serious pace last season, what can I say, there are a lot of very fast drivers in the lineup.

SK: There’s some crazy guys in here. Weed (WeedFlamingRacer) has won every testing race we’ve run, and I would love to see Callum make a charge in that GT-R.Hopefully my True Petrolhead Racing Team with Sam, (rednorange777), will be able to make our mark too.

MZE: I really don’t know who will be one to watch out for. Except our resident ALIENS.

KH: I wouldn’t like to name any one person. There are so many fast lads racing it is too hard to call.

WFR: I think GotskGK, UKsimracer, Syme, Calum and KhaosTheory will have a good chance.

BSR: Given there’s no way JSA wins the championship given his car (got £25 riding on it), I’d say Beef or Beige, especially given how close Beef and JSA were last time round.

JSA: I think Beige, Khaos, Callum and Gotsk will be ones to look out for (unfortunately beef doesn’t appear to be racing as this would add an extra championship contender).

MPM:  I do not know too much about most of the driver’s skills, but KhaosTheory and UkSimRacer are definitely ones that stick out to me. Both seem really talented

With pride, a championship, and a look at the OTL Endurance Squad on the line, this season of the OTL XBOX ACC GT3 Championship is more than a league: a chance to prove oneself. With talent this good, and so much on the line, you can be sure every week will provide a race worth watching. Visit otlracing.com today to join our community, and tune into coverage of Round One from Donnington courtesy of Hydranockz live on his twitch at https://www.twitch.tv/hydranockz, Sunday at 6:45 PM BST!