Catalunya Circuit’s Virtual 24h Race Starts This Weekend

Esports September 1, 2020 by

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will be running the third installment of its own 24-hour race this weekend, and it’s still possible to register to take part.

The race has an interesting history. At its first running in 2018, the 24h SimRacing was the first ever virtual 24-hour race to take place at both the same time and place as the real thing. Competitors in the virtual race took to the track at the Montjuic Club, an exclusive private box in the pit building which overlooks the start gantry.

That first event used Assetto Corsa, with all competitors driving a GTE-class Porsche 911 RSR. For 2019, and to mark the circuit’s debut on the platform, the event moved to use iRacing, which will also be the case this year. The shift in simulator didn’t affect the results though, as Adria Perez, Marc Perez, and Alejandro Sanchez won both editions — as North World Sim eSports in 2018 and MSI eSports in 2019.

For 2020 of course things are a little different. World events preclude the real endurance race from taking place, and the esports competitors won’t visit the circuit either. Instead the whole event will take place online, with teams and drivers in the comfort of their own homes.

As with the previous two events though, the 24h race will feature GTE-class cars. Teams — three- or four-driver squads — may choose from the BMW M8 GTE, Ferrari 488 GTE, Ford GT GTE, and Porsche 911 RSR, for both the qualifying and race. As things stand, the race is still open for entries (for another 9 hours), though you won’t have long to set a pre-qualifying time to make it into the top 24.

There’ll be space for some wildcard entries too. This might include teams of professional drivers, but we do know the identity of one of the wildcards: the defending double-champion MSI eSports squad.

For 2020, the broadcast team will include live streaming for the first time, and it’ll be available with an English language commentary — as well as Spanish — on Youtube and Twitch. Those who live in Spain can also follow the race on television via Esport3, in the local Catalan language.

If you want to enter you’ll need to be pretty quick about it. Entries close at midnight local time (2200 UTC) on September 1, but you can register your squad on the official 24hsimracing website. The race itself gets underway at 1000 UTC on September 5.

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