As the world makes its way into the year 2021, all kinds of sim racing esports events are starting their calendars. Among these is BMW, whose BMW SIM GT Cup is set to hold its opening round on Sunday, January 17. The circuit which will provide the action is the much-lauded Daytona International Speedway in Florida, USA. Other confirmed destinations on the 2021 calendar include Suzuka, Silverstone and the Nürburgring.
BMW’s new SIM GT Cup is the successor to the BMW SIM 120 Cup which ran throughout 2020. As with its predecessor, the SIM GT Cup will provide qualification spots for the BMW SIM Live 2021 event later this year. Each cup winner receives a ticket for the final event. On top of this, a prize pool of $4,200 per race will be up for grabs for the top three finishers in each race. There will be two seasons of action in 2021, each comprised of five rounds, but the prize pool and qualification spots only apply to the first four races of each season.
Cars and drivers
In terms of the driving itself, the races will take place on iRacing and be one hundred and twenty minutes long and a driver change will occur once per race, meaning that participants enter and race as teams of two. For the machinery, BMW has selected the BMW M8 GTE for the first season of 2021, and the BMW M4 GT3 for the second. The M8 GTE made its first appearance in 2017, and is capable of producing a touch less than six hundred horsepower from its V8 twin-turbocharged engine. The M4 GT3 is a more unknown quantity, with the car set to make its real-world debut some time in 2021.
Ready for a new chapter? Then tune in from 2.30 p.m. CET on Sunday and don't miss the season opener of the BMW SIM GT Cup. 🏆— BMW Esports (@BMWEsports) January 13, 2021
Featuring: 👉 the virtual BMW M8 GTE, the world's best sim racers and the legendary @DAYTONA International Speedway. #BMWSIM https://t.co/4Ew85O2G9x
The talent on display will undoubtedly be of the highest caliber. 2020’s finale at the BMW SIM Live event saw Joshua K Rogers taking the victory for Coanda Simsport in a dramatic race, with Team Redline driver Max Benecke and Graham Carroll for Red Bull Racing Esports Team rounding out the top three. Other well-known teams such as KOVA Esports and Williams Esports also took part in the 2020 season.
Rogers, the regining champion, has confirmed his participation in the 2021 adaptation of the series. His victory in 2020 garnered him not only considerable prestige, but also a handy cash prize to the tune of $12,000. In an interview with BMW, the Australian spoke of the 'world class' quality of the field and affirmed his fondness for the M8 GTE. Rogers will no doubt be hoping for and even expecting a strong start to the series in Daytona.
If you want to witness the action live, head on over to the BMW Motorsport YouTube channel at 2.30 PM CET on Sunday, January 17 for the first round of the BMW SIM GT Cup.
What do you think of the new-look BMW SIM GT Cup? Tell us on Twitter at @overtake_gg!