Sponsored Battling With The Pros At Racing Unleashed's All-Star Event

Racing Unleashed All Stars.jpg
Images: Racing Unleashed
Our own René Buttler was invited by Racing Unleashed to battle pro sim racers at their racing lounge in Zurich using their state-of-the-art formula racing motion simulators. Here's how his trip to Switzerland went.

Racing Unleashed operate numerous sim racing lounges predominantly in Switzerland, but also in Munich and Madrid. There, you can drive in motion rigs and even compete in organised championships like their Racer League and Challenger League on Assetto Corsa.

As part of the Racing Unleashed set of events this year, the fastest participants will be invited to take part in a trackday at the Ascari Race Resort in Ronda, Spain. The All-Star event that René was taking part in would invite the best three point scorers across the three races to compete.


The Participants​

As part of this All Stars event, René would race alongside some of the most prominent professional sim racers in the world. Jimmy Broadbent was also set to take part but could not make it to Zurich due to apparent illness.

  • Sebastian Job (Red Bull Sim Racing): 2-time (and reigning) Porsche Esports Supercup champion, F1 Esports podium finisher, Red Bull F1 simulator driver.
  • Collin Spork (Race Clutch): 2021 Formula SimRacing World Champion, 2024 Sim Formula Europe finalist.
  • Dennis Schöniger (Williams Esports): 2023 SRO Esports Intercontinental GT Challenge Pro class champion.
  • Dáire McCormack (Williams Esports): ESL R1 race winner, 2023 SRO Esports Intercontinental GT Challenge Pro class champion.
  • Gregor Schill (BS+COMPETITION): Runner-up in 2023 SRO Esports Sim Pro Series and 2022 SRO Esports Intercontinental GT Challenge Pro class.
  • Marko Pejic (Veloce Esports): Race winner in ESL R1, ADAC GT Masters Esports and DTM Esports, 2024 Sim Formula Europe finalist.
  • Luke Whitehead (Veloce Esports): 2022 SRO Esports GT World Challenge America Pro class champion, 2-time LFM Pro Series champion, 24 hours of Nürburgring solo P3 finisher.

Three races took place, two in the VRC Formula Alpha 2023 around the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone, and the final contest would be in the Formula RSS 3 on the Ascari Race Resort.

Race 1​

To set the grid for the first race, the drivers ran a simple 10-minute qualification. It would be Job who put his Red Bull-liveried car on pole. The Williams duo of McCormack and Schöniger were second and third, followed by Pejic and Schill, all of whom were within a tenth of pole. Struggling for pace and over a second back were Whitehead, Spork - and René, who was within half a tenth of both of them.

At the start, McCormack pulled alongside Job in the lead up to T1, the Red Bull driver tried to hold it around the outside but was sent spinning after Schöniger tapped him. Job then came back towards the track out of control and took Schill along with him.

Amidst the chaos, Pejic had gotten himself up to P2, whilst René was in P5 but had an overly-persistent Spork on his tail. P5 became P4 when Whitehead got all out of shape, and the battle between Buttler, Spork and Whitehead allowed Job to get his way back in contention.

Rene Racing Unleashed.jpg

René in one of the onsite RU motion rigs waiting for the start of Race 1.

The gap to the front three was considerable, with it being a straight fight for the win between McCormack, Pejic and Schöniger. But as the gaps between the top three stagnated at around a second, René got passed by Job and Whitehead. Spork dropped it on a sausage kerb allowing Schill through, and eventually he got past Buttler as well.

With a few laps left to go, Spork was back behind René and things got a bit argy bargy. That left Buttler in last place and that was all the action that happened throughout. McCormack took victory relatively untroubled ahead of Pejic and Schöniger, earning the Irishman 15 points. Spork ended up getting a penalty for his contact with Buttler.

Race 1 Results​

  1. Dáire McCormack - 18 laps
  2. Marko Pejic - +1.935
  3. Dennis Schöniger - +3.748
  4. Sebastian Job - +5.593
  5. Luke Whitehead - +22.110
  6. Gregor Schill - +31.873 (+5 seconds)
  7. René Buttler - +34.105
  8. Collin Spork - +36.761 (+5 seconds)

Race 2​

For the next race around Silverstone, the grid would be reversed, which put Spork on pole ahead of Buttler and Schill. At the start, Spork got the early lead whilst Schill attempted to pass Buttler but ran wide at T3, allowing Job to get up to P2 momentarily before immediately being repassed by Schill.

The Williams drivers wasted no time cutting through the field and were running third and fourth. Job made a move for the lead towards the end of the second lap and pulled it off, but immediately ran into trouble a few corners and dropped to third. One lap later, he passed both Schöniger and Spork in the same move.

Racing Unleashed Silverstone.jpg

All of the cars raced their own custom liveries from each driver's respective pro teams.

McCormack got into third and that was how it stayed throughout, with the noteworthy exception of Pejic recovering back to fifth after struggling towards the back for the majority of the race. Job took the victory ahead of Schöniger, while Spork got a decent finish with P4.

As far as the event standings went, one win apiece for McCormack and Job but a third for the Williams racer meant he was on 25 points compared to Job's 23. Schöniger's third and second place finishes meant he was just behind on 22 points, meanwhile Pejic was a fair bit behind on 18. The Veloce driver needed a strong result to make it to the Ascari track day.

Race 2 Results:​

  1. Sebastian Job - 15 laps
  2. Dennis Schöniger - +3.374
  3. Dáire McCormack - +5.359
  4. Collin Spork - +7.771
  5. Marko Pejic - +8.305
  6. Luke Whitehead - +10.135
  7. Gregor Schill - +15.570 (+5 seconds)
  8. René Buttler - +36.842

Race 3​

For the final event of the day, drivers had to compete for 30 minutes instead of 20 like before. It would also be the only race not to feature VRC Formula Alpha 2023, and they would tackle the 5.5-mile Ascari Race Resort.

Unlike Race 2, the grid would not be an invert of the previous results, and instead a full reflection of the previous race's results. Job started on pole but Schöniger got the jump on him into the tricky first turn. Meanwhile, Buttler managed to get himself up into fifth, but Pejic attempted several moves on him on the first lap.

As Pejic tried an outside pass on Buttler, the OverTake project lead lost the rear and ended up facing the wrong way. Up the road, Whitehead had a minor excursion which allowed both Pejic and Schill to make up a place.

OverTake Formula RSS 3.jpg

The OverTake entry spent most of its time near the back, but looking good whilst doing so!

Now up to fourth, Pejic's hopes of making the Ascari track day seemed rather slim, with the three in front on track being multiple seconds ahead - and also being ahead in the standings. A few laps later, Pejic's charge was halted as he dropped behind both Whitehead and Schill, effectively sealing Job's, McCormack's and Schöniger's trips to the Ascari Race Resort.

Schöniger had a strong lead but lost that advantage at one point, Job and McCormack were right behind him. But then McCormack had a major excursion, losing heaps of time to the two ahead. A few laps later, Job followed suit, leaving Schöniger relatively untroubled up at the front of the field.

Following another error from Job, McCormack got up to P2. After things seemed to settle down, a further mistake by Job at the first corner meant he relinquished third to Whitehead with only a handful of laps to go. That was how it remained, with Schöniger and McCormack delivering a 1-2 for Williams Esports.

Race 3 Results:​

  1. Dennis Schöniger - 17 laps
  2. Dáire McCormack - +26.526
  3. Luke Whitehead - +27.232
  4. Sebastian Job - +34.881
  5. Marko Pejic - +37.726
  6. Gregor Schill - +47.380
  7. René Buttler - +1:36.262
  8. Collin Spork - +1 lap

In the end, the Williams duo of Schöniger and McCormack tied on 37 points apiece with Job on 31. That meant that their following week consisted of travelling to the Ascari Race Resort in Ronda and running laps in various cars at the Spanish circuit. Also in attendance was Spring Event winner and 2022 Racing Unleashed Racer League champion Alejandro Sánchez.


Interview: The Goals of Racing Unleashed​

Whilst at the event, René spoke to Racing Unleashed's Fabio Vettiger about the aims of the brand in the future as well as the Road to Ascari project.

OverTake: There have been several sim racing lounges (RaceRoom Cafes, Nürburgring esports, etc.). What is it that Racing Unleashed does differently or aims to do differently?

Fabio Vettiger:
"Racing Unleashed aims to differentiate itself from other sim racing lounges by pursuing several ambitious goals. Firstly, we are dedicated to creating a truly global sport by establishing simracing lounges in major cities around the world, particularly in city centers, allowing for global LAN competitions. This ensures accessibility and visibility on an international scale.

Secondly, we aim to enable and nurture professional careers in simracing, offering a platform for aspiring racers to develop and showcase their talents. We are committed to making motorsport accessible to everyone, breaking down traditional barriers such as high costs and limited access to physical racetracks. Our lounges provide an inclusive environment where anyone can participate.

It’s also a great place to host company events and provide active entertainment possibilities for our clients. Last but not least, we strive to build the best simulators on the market, crafted in Maranello, to deliver the most authentic and high-quality racing experience possible."


OverTake: What is your vision for the future of sim racing lounges and events? Are such gatherings part of your core identity?

Vettiger:
"We are establishing a global network that will bring Racing Unleashed lounges to every major city worldwide. This will allow partners to be part of our family and help shape the future of motorsport. In addition to our existing offerings, we plan to equip our lounges with GT simulators. This will diversify our offerings and provide new, exciting opportunities for our customers to participate in newly created esports leagues.

Gatherings such as at the All-Star event are indeed a core part of our identity. We host monthly esports races and organise motorsport watch-parties that fill our lounges with fans, enthusiasts and sim racers creating a vibrant and engaging community atmosphere. These events are central to our mission of bringing people together and creating a vibrant community where every member is valued and supported."


OverTake: With the Road to Ascari project, you clearly demonstrate the path from sim racing to real racing. Does it stop with track days, or do you have further plans to expand this stepping stone under Racing Unleashed?

Vettiger:
"The Road to Ascari project is just the beginning; it certainly does not stop with track days. For Spring Event 3 on May 25th we are handing out driving experiences at the Red Bull Ring.

And yes, having Ascari as our sister company allows us to seamlessly integrate real track experiences into our offerings, providing our drivers with opportunities to transition from virtual to physical racing.

We are also collaborating with exceptional partners like SSR Performance. For instance, they recently allowed a competition winner to test one of their incredible road cars on the race track, highlighting our commitment to offering tangible rewards and real-world racing experiences.

While our primary focus remains on creating a global sport (sim racing), we are dedicated to supporting talented individuals wherever we can. We aim to provide opportunities and pathways for those who show promise, giving them a chance to advance in both the virtual and real racing worlds."



Would you consider checking out a Racing Unleashed lounge if one was close in proximity? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!
About author
Luca [OT]
Biggest sim racing esports fan in the world.

Comments

I've often thought about paying them a visit as they're only about 15 minutes away from me, but then again I've already got my own sim rig with a good DD wheelbase and good pedals. I'm also not convinced that motion brings much to the table as it doesn't actually replicate what you'd feel in car anyway.

So, for me personally, it seems like a waste of the 60CHF I'd be paying for 30 minutes (or 35CHF for 15 mins)

Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great idea for those who want to give high end sim racing a try and see if it's for them, and also a great idea for group night out, which would probably be one reason for me to give them a try.
 
OverTake
Premium
I've often thought about paying them a visit as they're only about 15 minutes away from me, but then again I've already got my own sim rig with a good DD wheelbase and good pedals. I'm also not convinced that motion brings much to the table as it doesn't actually replicate what you'd feel in car anyway.

So, for me personally, it seems like a waste of the 60CHF I'd be paying for 30 minutes (or 35CHF for 15 mins)

Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great idea for those who want to give high end sim racing a try and see if it's for them, and also a great idea for group night out, which would probably be one reason for me to give them a try.
I totally get that thought, it is the same for me with living close to the esports lounge here.

What I have to mention tho is the atmosphere Racing Unleashed manages to create for their events on-site. I had been at a lot of esports events as casters and was always wondering if it would be cool to be one of the racers/players.... and the atmosphere they created in Zurich was exactly that. The rigs and all that are nice, but the coolest was their production value, spectators on-site, hearing people cheer in the background etc. absolutely enjoyed that.

So maybe, if you are interested in the "experience", it might be worth looking into some of the events and racing championships they do.

Just don´t choose an event with an all out Pro Racer Grid like I did, unless you are one of those aliens :roflmao: so happy that I managed to not be last on 2 ou of 3, that is all that counts lol
 
I've often thought about paying them a visit as they're only about 15 minutes away from me, but then again I've already got my own sim rig with a good DD wheelbase and good pedals. I'm also not convinced that motion brings much to the table as it doesn't actually replicate what you'd feel in car anyway.

So, for me personally, it seems like a waste of the 60CHF I'd be paying for 30 minutes (or 35CHF for 15 mins)

Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great idea for those who want to give high end sim racing a try and see if it's for them, and also a great idea for group night out, which would probably be one reason for me to give them a try.
I can understand your view. But maybe it is worth to give them a try and see for yourself. In Summer they upgrade to the newest generation with a much improved steering base, noiseless actuators, better steering wheel, etc.

Btw, on Wednesdays they always offer 50% discount on all rides.
 

Latest News

Article information

Author
Luca (OverTake)
Article read time
8 min read
Views
2,185
Comments
3
Last update

How are you going to watch 24 hours of Le Mans

  • On national tv

    Votes: 147 35.4%
  • Eurosport app/website

    Votes: 116 28.0%
  • WEC app/website

    Votes: 80 19.3%
  • Watch party

    Votes: 26 6.3%
  • At a friends house

    Votes: 9 2.2%
  • At Le Mans

    Votes: 37 8.9%
Back
Top