The SRO E-Sport GT Series resumes battle on Sunday (10 May) when a pair of one-hour Assetto Corsa Competizione races will be staged at Spa-Francorchamps.
Organised in collaboration with Kunos Simulazioni and Ak Informatica, this weekend's action will feature real-world drivers competing in the Pro Series and expert sim racers contesting the Silver Series. They will tackle the Belgian venue's world-famous Ardennes circuit, which requires equal parts accuracy and courage to master. The challenge is made even greater by Spa's notoriously unpredictable weather, which will be just as great a factor in the virtual competition as in real-world racing.
The event follows last month's season-opening contest at Silverstone, which kicked off the five-round virtual championship with a pair of action-packed races. Bentley factory driver Jordan Pepper began the campaign with a resounding Pro victory, while Silver honours went to Patrick Selva at the controls of a McLaren 720S. As a result, both brands will compete with weight penalties during this weekend's race.
The Pro field is largely unchanged from the Silverstone contest, with 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button (McLaren) competing alongside leading GT racers such as Raffaele Marciello (Mercedes-AMG), Albert Costa (Lamborghini) and Christian Engelhart (Porsche). Silverstone winner Pepper leads an impressive contingent of Bentley factory talent, while multiple entries from Aston Martin, Audi, BMW and Nissan brings the total number of Pro brands to 10.
The regular runners will be joined for this weekend's event by wildcard racer Jean-Eric Vergne, whose diverse racing CV is highlighted by back-to-back FIA Formula E titles. The French ace is set to drive a Ferrari 488 GT3 and will get up to speed with assistance from the Coach Dave Academy, the official SRO E-Sport GT Series driver coaching platform.
The field also features a number of contenders who can draw upon real-world success at the Total 24 Hours of Spa. Ferrari driver David Perel is a two-time class winner, Alex Buncombe (Bentley) took GT4 honours in 2011, while Romain Monti (Bentley) and Kang Ling (Mercedes-AMG) won the Silver Cup class as teammates in 2018.
The Silver Series will once again feature the crème de la crème of Assetto Corsa Competizione racers from across the globe, with Selva’s Silverstone win establishing the McLaren driver as the man to beat. Regular front-runners Arthur Kammerer (McLaren), Amir Hosseini (Mercedes-AMG), David Tonizza (Ferrari) and Nils Naujoks (McLaren) should also be among the pacesetters, with one-lap specialist Hosseini enjoying the benefit of a ballast-free car.
The Silver grid features 11 brands, with the same 10 that will compete for Pro honours joined by Japanese marque Lexus. The field will be further bolstered by the addition of Tim Heinemann, who will drive a Mercedes-AMG GT3 backed by international squad HWA Racelab. The German ace has enjoyed significant success in virtual competition and last year made a winning transition to real-world GT4 racing.
The event broadcast begins at 13:45 CET on Sunday and will air on TV and across a variety of online platforms, including the GT World Challenge website, the GT World YouTube account, and the SRO Motorsports Twitch and Facebook pages. Fans won’t miss a moment of what promises to be a crucial contest for the Pro and Silver Series drivers as they look to secure a spot on the grid for the grand finale. With competition levels rising, Spa is set to deliver the very best in virtual racing action.
Live Coverage Schedule #SROEsports Spa-Francorchamps - Sunday 10 May
13:45 CET on air
14:00 CET Pro Series race
15:15 CET Silver Series race
16:30 CET off air
2020 Calendar Pro & Silver Series
Round 1 - Silverstone - 26 April
Round 2 - Spa-Francorchamps - 10 May
Round 3 - Nürburgring - 17 May
Round 4 - Barcelona – 31 May
Round 5 - Track to be decided by public vote – 14 June
Grand Final TBD