SRO has released a little bit more detail about its upcoming esports series plans for GT World Challenge Europe. As reported a while back, the series – which is due to be run on Assetto Corsa Competizione – is slated to include points for teams in the overall championship based on their success in an esports element.
We’re now finding out a little bit more detail, starting off with the event format. There’ll be a virtual race at every real race this season with a gaming zone built with equal equipment provided, entitled the “Fanatec Esports Arena”. Teams that have a Pro or Silver car must nominate a driver to compete on the team’s behalf in order to win points that affect the championship.
Each of the five races will be one hour in duration and see points awarded 3-2-1 for 1st to 3rd positions to the top-three overall and Silver finishers.
If the series is oversubscribed, then priority goes to full-season entrants and remaining spaces allocated via qualifying. If necessary, entry will be opened to race-by-race entries into the Pro-Am or Am Cup categories who can compete for the money but not championship points.
There are five races in the schedule:
- 16th-18th April 2021(Monza)
- 28th-30th May 2021 (Paul Ricard)
- 28th July – 1st August 2021 (Spa Francorchamps)
- 3rd-5th September 2021 (Nürburgring)
- 8th-10th October 2021 (Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya)
What about the prize money though? Well, that €125,000 pool is pretty hefty and it’ll be split equally across each event, with €25,000 available each time the drivers compete.
Although there have been plans to involve sim racers in British GT’s esports championships, there are no details about a similar programme for GT World Challenge Europe yet, although its Twitter account has teased it.
Of course, making this kind of virtual racing initiative mandatory and having it affect “real life” championships is not without criticism. Several fans have denounced the decision as a step too far in promoting the digital world and combining the two necessarily.
But what do you think? Is it a pioneering move or a world gone mad? As always let us know your thoughts and feeling on our social channels.