By now, we should all be used to seeing pro drivers trying their hand at esports events. Over the past couple of weeks, and in response to the near total cancellation of real-world motorsport, pros have raced against personalities in the sim-racing world in a series of exhibition races.
However, if you fancy taking part yourself there hasn’t been much chance. At least until now, as RaceRoom and the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) have teamed up to create a four-round championship between the pros and gamers themselves.
The series will take place between now and mid-May, as a prelude to the official FIA WTCR Esports Online Championship later in the year. Each round consists of a time attack qualifying session, in which real players will attempt to qualify for the races. There’s four rounds in total, so there’ll be four chances to qualify. The full schedule is below:
- Race 1 – Hungaroring – Qualifying March 25-31, Race April 6
- Race 2 – Slovakia Ring – Qualifying March 31-April 14, Race April 20
- Race 3 – Ningbo International Speedpark – Qualifying April 14-28, Race May 4
- Race 4 – Sepang International Circuit – Qualifying April 28-May 12, Race May 18
If you set a top 20 time at the end of the time attack phase, you’ll qualify for the top server. This will feature up to 10 spots for the real WTCR drivers, and there’ll be two 25-minute races each round – with a reverse grid second race. Your opponents could include Kevin Ceccon (Alfa Romeo), Tiago Monteiro (Honda), and current WTCR champion Norbert Michelisz (Hyundai) — who actually began his racing career playing Grand Prix Legends online.
There’s further spots available outside the top server, but these races will just be for fun. Meanwhile the main event will reward racers with points just as with WTCR, and the overall series champion will receive a TAG Heuer watch.
All the races will appear live on WTCR’s official YouTube channel and Facebook page, with commentary from James Kirk and Robert Wiesenmuller. The first qualification session is open right now at the Hungaroring, so get driving.