After having the real world pros partake in sim racing onsite at their endurance events, SRO Esports will have the pro sim racers also in attendance for a new series paying out €75,000!
Image credit: SRO Esports
Assetto Corsa Competizione is the official game for the GT World Challenge and a collection of other championships that fall under the SRO Motorsports Group umbrella. As a result, SRO run their own set of virtual championships. Last year, our July Hero of the Month James Baldwin won both the sprint and endurance championships.
Now their 2023 schedules have been unveiled. Along with the return of sprint championships for Europe, Asia and the Americas, as well as the Intercontinental endurance series all taking place online, there’s a brand new series.
Drivers will gather onsite at all five GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup rounds to compete alongside the real world drivers.
Starting in 2021, SRO started up the Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series. The series has professional real-world drivers from the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup compete in sim racing.
All the competitors gathered in the Fanatec Arena the evening before the main event and race on ACC to earn a few extra points for their teams. It drew some criticism from people claiming that the ones racing on the sim should be professional sim racers. SRO have now answered those critics.
After two successful, live sim racing events with established pro esports racers alongside the Spa 24 hours and Indianapolis 8 hours, there will now be a year round series called the Sim Pro Series.
Whilst the Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series remains, and will have the real world pro drivers occupying the rigs, once they’re finished, the sim racers will take over. All races are an hour in length and will be held on the same track as the host venue.
24 teams will be able to enter, with one of those taking part in onsite qualifiers on the day. All teams can rotate drivers during the season if they so desire, very much like the Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series.
Then there is the prize pool. It stands at a very healthy €75,000. This is the most money that has ever been on offer in an SRO competition, and could certainly tempt a few big teams to field their top ACC talent.
Remote Racing Returns
Of course, the online championships remain. The Europe, Asia and America sprint series, like the onsite Sim Pro and Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series, consist of five one-hour races. But, unlike those competitions, these have much more of a focus on the drivers over the teams.
Drivers are divided up between two classes. Pro class drivers are ones that have scored 25 points or more in the Europe series during their time competing, or 15 points or more in America and Asia. Silver class drivers are the ones who fall below that threshold. All drivers must do two sets of hotlap qualifiers in order to compete. Their average time will determine whether or not they make it.
24 Pro and 24 Silver category drivers will race in each of the sprint championships, with the Europe series offering a €12,000 and €6,500 prize pool for the Pro and Silver drivers respectively. The America and Asia series on the other hand will be distributing €4,000 to the Pro drivers and €2,000 to the Silver drivers.
Then there’s the big one; the Intercontinental GT Challenge Esports Series. This will feature teams from around the world competing in the major SRO sanctioned enduros like the Spa 24 hours, Bathurst 12 hours and Suzuka 10 hours. Teams will qualify for this series by having three of their drivers run the same hotlap qualifiers and taking an average of all their times.
They will also be split into Pro and Silver categories. Pro teams will have at least two drivers who are designated as ‘Pro’ drivers. Silver teams will have, at most, just the one Pro driver. 24 Pro teams will compete for a share of €40,000 and 24 Silver teams will be gunning for a share of €18,000.
How to Follow
All rounds will be broadcast on the SROMotorsports Twitch channel and the GTWorld YouTube channel. The schedule for all five championships are as follows:
GT World Challenge Esports Europe:
Rd 1: Monza – 3 May
Rd 2: Paul Ricard – 24 May
Rd 3: Spa-Francorchamps – 21 June
Rd 4: Nürburgring – 19 July
Rd 5: Barcelona – 23 August
Races start at 9pm CET.
GT World Challenge Esports America:
Rd 1: Laguna Seca – 6 May
Rd 2: Circuit of the America – 10 June
Rd 3: Silverstone – 22 July
Rd 4: Watkins Glen – 5 August
Rd 5: Indianapolis – 2 September
Races start at 9pm CET.
GT World Challenge Esports Asia:
Rd 1: Imola – 31 May
Rd 2: Donington Park – 28 June
Rd 3: Bathurst – 12 July
Rd 4: Kyalami – 9 August
Rd 5: Suzuka – 6 September
Races start at 11am CET.
Intercontinental GT Challenge Esports:
Rd 1: Bathurst 12 hours – 20 May (11am CET)
Rd 2: Kyalami 9 hours – 17 June (1pm CET)
Rd 3: Spa 24 hours – 15 July (4pm CET)
Rd 4: Suzuka 10 hours – 19 August (12pm CET)
Rd 5: Indianapolis 8 hours – 16 September (1pm CET)
SRO Esports Sim Pro Series:
Rd 1: Monza – 22 April
Rd 2: Paul Ricard – 3 June
Rd 3: Spa-Francorchamps – 30 June
Rd 4: Nürburgring – 29 July
Rd 5: Barcelona – 30 September
Races start at 8pm CET.
Will you be following SRO Esports in 2023? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!