There will be plenty of esports racing in February. Here are five must watch events that we think are worth following.
Image credit: MOUZ / Competition Company
2023 may not have gotten off to the smoothest of starts in the world of competitive sim racing esports, but February is shaping up to be a fascinating month for the whole scene.
There’s the return of the premier iRacing series, a multi-platform world final and the start of a new sim racing championship with some of the biggest teams from mainstream esports. So without further ado, here are some major esports racing events going on in February.
Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup
At long last, it’s the return of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. After the conclusion of the previous season, hopeful PESC drivers competed in the Qualifying Series and the top 15 then raced against the bottom 15 from the main championship in the Contender Series. That now sets the grid for the 2023 season.
Reigning champion Diogo Pinto returns to attempt a title defence but will face the same high level of competition. All of his rivals such as 2020 champion Sebastian Job will also all be gunning for glory and for a share of $200,000.
There are also the All Star races which will feature the usual crop of sim racing content creators and the occasional real world racing driver.
The season begins 4 February with the opening round on the Hockenheimring, and it will consist as always of two races for the All Stars before the two main series races. The second round on 18 February is new territory for the drivers with the newly added to iRacing Magny-Cours circuit as the venue.
Back in November, the top Assetto Corsa Competizione drivers began racing in FLExTREME, a series organised by VCO and Low Fuel Motorsport. They would compete across six races, four of which would last nine hours in GT3 cars and the remaining two being six hours with one in the Porsche 992 GT3 Cup and the other in the BMW M2 CS Racing.
To spice things up, FLExTREME has a unique Balance of Performance system. All GT3 cars are given a ballast figure that all teams have to distribute across all the GT3 races, so teams may run it light in one race but then have to compensate in another. It has proven very popular, with an additional two splits to accommodate the many other drivers wanting to compete.
In the top split, known as the Cash Grid, the bright rainbow zebras of BS+COMPETITION hold a 41 point lead to Williams Esports. But that’s a small gap in a series that can see teams come away with over 200 points in one meeting, so it’s hardly safe. Plus, whilst BS+ only have 7kg left to use, Williams have used all theirs up so it will make things very interesting.
The penultimate round on 4 February will be in the BMW M2 CS Racing on Paul Ricard, before they’re back in the GT3 cars on 18 February for the all-important grand finale on the Watkins Glen circuit. All three splits will be broadcast through VCO’s official Twitch and YouTube channels.
BMW M SIM Cup
This weekend sees another championship ran by a major German automotive manufacturer holding its first round along with Porsche. The BMW M SIM Cup is the series formally known as the BMW SIM GT Cup, which consisted of ten 2-hour races on iRacing with two drivers sharing the same car.
Previously, the drivers exclusively drove the BMW M4 GT3 car but with the rebrand of the series comes a new addition to the grid in the form of the BMW M Hybrid V8. That adds the element of multi-class racing, thus plenty of teams will be competing across both categories to bag the biggest share of $45,000.
The opening round of the season will be held on 5 February at the Daytona Road Course, so there will be plenty of the same action from the 24 hour race a few weeks ago.
Expect to see the typical crop of top iRacing drivers and teams that competed in previous seasons like from Redline, Apex and BS+ among others. All the racing can be followed through the Racespot TV YouTube channel.
VCO Esports Racing World Cup
Back in January last year, the first ever Esports Racing World Cup was held and it asked teams to field as balanced of a roster as possible to be quick on not one, not two but three different platforms: iRacing, rFactor 2 and Assetto Corsa Competizione. What followed was the Esports Racing League, which has whittled it down to the best twelve teams for the second edition.
Unfortunately, the plan was for all competitors to gather onsite at RCADIA in Hamburg but it has been cancelled. Instead, the event has reverted back to being online. Nevertheless it’s still a hugely significant event that will once again prove which team has the most versatile and consistent line-up.
With their immensely balanced and highly skilled line-up, esports racing giants Team Redline will be the team to beat. But throughout the ERL seasons, many other team’s drivers have immensely strengthened their multi-platform skills. Come 24-26 February, Redline may not have it all their own way trying to win the majority of the $50,000 prize pool.
At last we arrive at the big one, a brand new competition which is being held on Rennsport and is being hosted by one of the world’s biggest esports organisers. ESL R1 will see 12 teams featuring 48 drivers gather for the first event held onsite at IEM Katowice in Poland.
Competitors will participate across seven races held in a tournament-esque structure with six drivers able to progress to the next stage. They will be driving GT3 cars from the likes of Audi, Mercedes, Porsche and BMW, and some very prominent teams from both racing and esports are competing.
Along with the typical selection of sim racing outfits like Redline, Coanda, R8G, Williams and even a works Mercedes team, ESL R1 also sees the esports racing debuts for prominent mainstream gaming organisations like MOUZ, FURIA and even FaZe Clan!
There’s €500,000 up for grabs across the two seasonal championships, making it only second to F1 Esports in terms of sim racing competition prize pools. Catch all the action for ESL R1’s Spring Season Opener on February 11-12 through their official Twitch and YouTube channels.
Which of these esports racing events will you be following? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!