After an award-winning season of action, Simracing Team Challenge is ready and set for their 2011 Blue Cup on GTR-Evolution, where sim-teams from across the net will battle for the right to be crowned STC champion. With round one slated to start on Thursday at the wonderful Interlagos circuit, we at RaceDepartment thought it a good idea to preview the season, taking a team-by-team look at the championship. Enjoy! GameRacer Flatout Club: Champion of last year's STC Black Cup, Flatout is the first team we preview for the 2011 Blue Cup. They won three rounds last season, meaning they won 30% of all races. Quite a staggering number when one considers some teams couldn’t record a single victory (or even touch the podium, for that matter) which all the more highlights the brilliant team that Flatout is. With race winners Mike Simian and Mikko Korkiakoski still on roster, this team looks primed and ready for another championship. And how can they not be the favorite going in? Flatout seem to know only one way to approach simracing, and quite frankly, that’s flatout. The team always puts in max effort in their race prep and are always up the field pushing for wins. I don't expect that to change in STC Blue Cup. Roaring Pipes Maniacs: After a heartbreaking loss to Flatout in STC Black Cup 2010, RPM looks to rebound this year in Blue Cup and take another shot at the title. Unfortunately, with a key departure of Jesper Taulborg (ATCC Season 3 Champion) RPM now has a hole in their driver lineup that someone will have to step in and fill. With three drivers who won races in Black Cup 2010 on their roster (the most of any team) and arguably the best driver in the series in Rami Kaukola, they have enough talent to still do big things this season. Gubbklubben: While we're on the subject of team names, when Gubbklubben comes to mind, I think of a certain abbreviated text phrase. Wtf... you know, 'where they from?' Because that's the question I always ask myself each time I see the name. But despite my cultural limitations, I don't let their name throw me, and neither should you, these guys can motor. Finishing 3rd in last year's Black Cup, Gubbklubben is ready for another great run. If they can qualify better than they did last season, this team may even win the title. But, just for the record… Gubba what? Flying Dutchman Racing: Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you name a simracing team! But the good things about this team don’t stop there. Flying Dutchman Racing house one of the deeper lineups in STC, highlighted by often underrated driver Hugo Hekkenberg. For Blue Cup, expect this team to once again show the form that bagged them 4th in Black Cup. With their sister team FCR there to help them with setting up the car and testing, it’s hard to imagine FDR doing too badly this year. Corse Online Racing: Corse Online brings more international flavor to STC. They are a small team based out of Italy. Their lineup features STC race winners such as Marco Giuliato. In short, this team can be great some weeks, others not so much… The question with them is whether or not they can consistently be great and get enough podium finishes to improve upon their 5th place of last season. The Black Rebels: A bit of a mixed bag is what I'd call TBR. At first, you see the super-deep driver lineup headlined by RD superstar driver Gregory Degreef and think "Hey, this team is gonna own!" But that wasn't the case with TBR in Black Cup 2010. They finished a respectable 6th; however, with some of the big-name drivers they have, it leaves a little to be desired... The question with them is whether or not they’ll be able to get enough of that tremendously large driver pool of theirs to make a run at STC glory. Torrent Motorsports: Black Cup 2010 turned out to be a rough campaign for TMo in their return to STC, as the team struggled to field cars on the grid at times and showed mild pace when they did. The team looked on form early in the season, but as soon as they lost star pilot Rickard Hellsten, the team went belly up. With Rickard still seemingly out for the count, and with what looks to be a depleted lineup this season of Blue Cup, TMo may be in for another rough outing in their second STC season. The signing of Ethan Bass to the group is what many consider a play by Torrent to reestablish their team in STC, but only time will tell if it pays off. Motor AG: In their debut season in Black Cup 2010, Motor AG shocked the STC world by winning round 2 at Lemans. With drivers like Michael Braeutigam and David Zafiu leading the way, Motor AG looks to motor up with the big boys this year. The only thing that leaves critics to wonder about this club is their driver depth. Last season, it seemed that when Braeutigam wasn’t in the car, the team faltered at times. But this team only needs one or two pieces if it wants to make a run inside the top three by season’s end. Flatout Club: Despite the awe inspiring pace and consistency of their senior team, Flatout's junior team is something of an enigma. Obviously they have access to the same tech as the main club, but strangely enough the junior squad could finish no better than 10th in Black Cup 2010. I, for one, wouldn’t be shocked to see this junior varsity team pull it together and get into some scraps with the seniors this time around. Blue Flag Racing: I've always been fond of how BFR run their operation--a fun, loose atmosphere. They finished 12th last year in Black Cup, however. And with some of the lesser teams like Ane racing making an exit out of the series, Blue Flag could have a rough go of it getting up the grid. The cameras want to see them surge through field though, as the team is sporting a very stylish livery this season. What the turning point is for them is whether or not their drivers can avoid the crashes that plagued them in 2010, and finish enough races to score points and finish in the top half of the table. Flying Canadian Racing: Yeah, their team name doesn't quite carry the same ring to it as Flying 'Dutchman' Racing, but don't let that throw you. This is a team hungry for success. After signing Jesper Taulborg from RpM, and with two other American Touring Car Championship champions on their roster in Vincent Kan and Keith Barrick, there seems little doubt that FCR will be a force to be reckoned with for Blue Cup. What also helps this club is that they are sister team to the Dutchmen of FDR, which will only help with testing. Though it is their first season with STC, expect a title run from Flying Canadian Racing. 05M: To be honest, I don't know much about this STC newcomer in 05M. I know so little, in fact, that I’m not exactly sure what the 0 and the 5 and the M stand for (and to think they made me an RD reporter...) But from what I gather this is a very deep team, and one that could make some noise in their first season with STC. Some say they could be another Motor AG, making a splash early. I guess we’ll find out soon enough… Water Blue Racing: WBR is a spirited group of drivers that started their trek through the simracing world in the F1 leagues hosted by RD. This is their first season in STC and the team is looking to make an impact right away. With the ambitious nature of team leader Georgios Davakos to fuel them forward, expect WBR to make their presence known sooner rather than later. Perhaps their team needs a little more seasoning before making a run inside the top five, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this crew finished inside the top half of the table. Alright, folks, hope you enjoyed a little insight to the Simracing Team Challenge 2011 Blue Cup. RaceDepartment wishes all the competing teams the best of luck in their plight for simracing glory. Feel free to jump in and post your predictions for the 2011 Blue Cup in the comments box below! And remember, don't forget to visit the Simracing Team Challenge siteand STC forums for updates on the series!