Another busy week gone, another one ahead!
Virtual racing fans rejoice in the glory period that our passion and hobby is enjoying in these most bizarre of Covid-19 times. Real racing remains but a distant hope, and the stars of the simulators continue to reign supreme.
Love it or hate it, the spectacle of many different virtual racing events is set to continue for the foreseeable future, and with pretty much every series on the planet now getting in on the action – some more successfully than others it has to be said – we are certainly living in a world where choice is plentiful for the discerning viewer.
Well, we just have to start with our very own series now, don’t we? Last week was a big one for RaceDepartment as we kicked off the very first round of the brand new SRO E-Sport GT Series AM Championship – an esport racing series designed specifically to put the spotlight on the sim racing community. We had our first race, broadcast by no lesser names than Vicki Butler-Henderson, Martin Haven and Paul Jeffrey (the least exciting of the trio!), and 45 GT3 cars on the British Grand Prix hosting Silverstone Circuit.
The race was a pretty solid showing for our community stars, with the pace very much on a level, if not even slightly faster than many of the professionals in the PRO and SILVER categories that raced the same venue earlier in the month.
(image credit: James Magill)
Adopting a fan first approach for the series, courtesy of our outstanding broadcast sponsors, RaceDepartment have already given away a beautiful GT Omega ART racing simulator and seat, a Benq 35″ curved gaming monitor, a GT Omega Pro Office Chair, four GT Omega Backpacks, four GT Omega Mouse Mats and four GT Omega Classic Wheel Stands – with loads more cool items still to be given had during the course of the rest of the season! What better reason to tune in to the RaceDepartment Twitch channel from 18:00 UTC on Saturday 23rd May?
Keeping with the GT3 theme, the PRO and SILVER categories also raced this week just gone, with the Nurburgring offering up some mixed weather conditions and great racing for the drivers to content with. Former Formula One star Vitantonio Liuzzi would have another nightmare time in the virtual world, the guest driver not enjoying the conditions in Germany as he departed proceeding early before an eventual classification in 33rd position.
Other starts of F1 past would venture into esport racing last week, with former double Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso making his virtual debut during The Race All Star Battle. Alonso took to the rF2 BT44 with his customary flair, flinging the historic Grand Prix car around the new Zandvoort Grand Prix circuit in spectacular fashion. Sadly sideways didn’t prove too fast for Alonso, but the Spaniard appeared to enjoy himself and should be seen out on the virtual tracks again in the very near future.
Also in rFactor 2, the Formula E Race at Home series again served up an enjoyable encounter, with the real world field again showing a pretty strong adaptation to the simulation as they put on a drama filled, crash heavy race in the 2020 Gen2 Formula E machines (just like real life then…).
The week ahead promises to be plenty busy for those of us watching at home, as many big name events are due to take place. Seeing as Corona has put the blocker on pretty much everything, the IndyCar fans will have to turn to The Race Legends Series, as they head to the famous oval in what should be a spectacular event. Headline driver for this one has to be the returning Mario Andretti, who at 80 years of age will be looking to make his online debut against a field of motorsports greatest names.
Other star attractions include former Formula One World Champions Emerson Fittipaldi, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, making do with a virtual ride as he continues in his quest for the motorsport Triple Crown.
Heading back home to RaceDepartment, Saturday will see the second round of the SRO E-Sport GT Series AM Championship, as the field of sim racing community drivers take to the daunting turns of Spa-Francorchamps for their second race of the season. Broadcast live on the RaceDepartment Twitch channel, don’t forget to tune in to be in with a chance of some epic prizes….
Summary of Events:
- Formula E Race at Home Challenge – Saturday 23rd May – 14:30 UTC
- The Race All Stars Series – Saturday 23rd May – 16:00 UTC
- SRO E-Sport GT Series AM Championship – Saturday 23rd May – 18:00 UTC
- Not The… GP – Saturday 23rd May – 19:00 UTC
- Virtual F2 and F3 – Sunday 24th May – 15:00 UTC
- BP Supercars All Star E Series – Wednesday 27th May – 09:00 UTC
I’m sure plenty more is happening in the week ahead too – feel free to let us know about any good entertainment in the comments section, and I’ll be sure to add them to the list for future roundup articles.
Stay safe, stay inside, stay sim racing!