Hello once again my dear friends of virtual motorsports – it’s Friday, it’s Esport Minute time!
Well, who said virtual racing is dull? Not me that’s for sure – and this last week has been rather full of the entertaining, the amusing and the down right unbelieveable. Let’s take a look what’s been happening, and get excited about what’s to come.
Right, we should address the elephant in the room first I suppose? Over in the world of Formula E, and the Formula E Race at Home Challenge, Daniel Abt spent a little bit of time getting confused about how he should be spending his Saturday afternoon – employing a sim driver to take his place in the series (hopefully keeping the required 2 meters social distancing at all times) – resulting in the German getting the boot from his real world Formula E team. I’m not going to go over it all in detail again here, you can catch up on our thoughts and the community reaction by reading this post for all the various ins and outs of the incident and its repercussions.
Moving on to GT racing, the SRO E-Sport GT Series AM Championship held our second race weekend in a row at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday 23rd May. Following some ACC bug related issues that delayed race start, when the field finally got underway the renowned Spa-Francorchamps rain made the racing surface a treacherous place to been… which quickly caught out pretty much the entire field on the opening lap:
Over at The Race, Indianapolis would be the venue, and the stunning rFactor 2 Dallara IndyCar the vehicle of choice as a range of motorsport heros took to the legendary tarmac in two hard fought races on Memorial Day weekend. Surprisingly, race victories wouldn’t fall to one of the established American stars or former Indy 500 winners on the grid last weekend, as double Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso mopped up in both races, finally gets that Indy 500 win on his CV – even if it is a shorted and virtual version..
The event would also be notable as it marked a return to racing for the ever young Mario Andretti, the 80-year-old American having an eventful race as he battled to 25th and 19th places respectively.
For George Russell, last week was another fabulous time to be a sim racer, as the Williams man wracked up his second successive race victory in the Formula One Virtual Grand Prix, taking on a host of star names and coming out ahead around the streets of Monte Carlo in F1 2019. Having only been seen on the TV screens when being lapped last season, Russell is enjoying taking the opportunity to cross the finish line first this year, even if it is only in virtual competition.
Over in the WTCR, RaceRoom Racing Experience has been having something of a field day with many of the real World Touring Car drivers in action at the Sepang International Circuit. 2019 championship contender Esteban Guerrieri would secure the first win for a real world driver in the short pre-season series, as sim racer Gergo Baldi wrapped up the Esports WTCR title with a composed performance on board his Hyundai WTCR machine.
Right at the very end of the week, the brand new Lamborghini Real Race series kicked off with a lavish event at Lamborghini Squadra Corsa HQ in Sant’Agata. David Coulthard would host the pre-show introduction for the new series, with Ben Constanduros and Paul Jeffrey joined in the commentary booth by five times Le Mans 24 Hours winner, Emanuele Pirro for the opening 45 minute ‘show race’ of real drivers, sim racing influencers and associate media guests.
This coming weekend sees the conclusion of the inaugural SRO America GT Rivals series at the beautiful Kyalami circuit in Assetto Corsa Competizione. Having produced one of the more entertaining series in the current mass influx of esport events around the world, the SRO America drivers will have one last opportunity to put on a show for their fans, as the eight round season draws to a close.
Formula E will be back in action once again on Saturday – without Daniel Abt – as the virtual series for electric formula cars again takes to the circuit for the real world and sim racing stars to do battle once more. With many a controversy surrounding the series last week, plenty of eyes will be on the series to ensure everyone behaves themselves…
In the world of tin top touring car racing, the DTM Esport Challenge returns for a fifth encounter, this time mixing the real and virtual drivers around the incredible Nurburgring Nordschleife for two 15 minute racing events. Consisting of a mix of current DTM drivers, former DTM drivers, DTM Trophy drivers, Influencers and VIPs, coupled together with one of the most challenging circuits in the entire world – expect plenty of drama.
For RaceDepartment, we have another big weekend as our SRO E-Sport GT Series AM Championship heads to the beautiful Nurburgring for the third round of our new series. With rain, game bugs, massive accidents and plenty of intense racing last time out, we are sure the German round of the series will provide an equally entertaining spectacle when we go on air at 18:00 UTC. As always, we will be giving away some awesome gear again this weekend, with one lucky Twitch viewer set to take home two fast laps at the Belgian Spa-Francorchamps circuit courtesy of our broadcast sponsor, Curbstone.
Summary of Events:
- Formula E Race at Home Challenge – Saturday 30th May – 14:30 UTC
- SRO E-Sport GT Series AM Championship – Saturday 30th May – 18:00 UTC
- Cupra SimRacing Series – Saturday 30th May – 18:00 UTC
- SRO E-Sport GT Series SILVER & PRO Championship – Sunday 31st May – 11:45 UTC
- DTM Esport Challenge – Sunday 31st May – 12:00 UTC
- SRO America GT Rivals – Sunday 31st May – Time unknown
- Supercars All Star E Series – Wednesday 3rd June – 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!