A field of 24 drivers will take part in this weekend’s inaugural Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series race at Monza which contributes points towards the real-world Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS teams’ championship.
Teams competing in the GTWC Europe Pro and Silver Cup classes are required to appoint a driver from their real-world racing crew for the one-hour sim race this Saturday.
The overall and Silver Cup category winners will bank three points for their team in the GTWC Europe standings, adding to the real-world race results from Endurance Cup and Sprint Cup. Two points and one point will be given out for second and third.
The entry includes the likes of Mirko Bortolotti, Maro Engel, Matt Campbell, Kelvin van der Linde, Adrien Tambay and 2014 Nissan GT Academy winner Ricardo Sanchez.
Drivers will represent their own GTWC Europe teams and the type of virtual car they will drive must correspond to their real-life GT3 vehicles.
A handful of teams including Emil Frey Racing, Haupt Racing Team and Team WRT have multiple drivers nominated, owing to those outfits running real-world cars in both Pro and Silver Cup. Teams with multiple cars in a single class only get one esports entry.
The 60-minute race on Assetto Corsa Competizione will be held in a dedicated ‘Fanatec Arena’ situated within the Endurance Cup paddock at Monza.
Drivers are free to practice there for up to two hours throughout Friday, while the official esports action starts with a warm-up at 5:45 p.m. local time (11:45 a.m. EST) on Saturday.
Each driver is assigned their own rig for the competition and can make setup adjustments throughout the event.
During the race, a pit window will be opened between 25 and 35 minutes. Each driver must stop and apply at least one liter of fuel to their car, while tire changes are optional.
Staff from SRO Motorsports Group’s esports technical partner AK Informatica will steward the event.
In addition to real-world GTWC Europe teams’ points, success ballast handicaps of 30kg, 15kg and 10kg will be applied to the top three finishers for the next round at Paul Ricard.
Saturday’s race is due to start at 6:55 p.m. (12:55 p.m. EST) with David Addison and Ben Constanduros providing commentary on GTWC Europe’s website and social channels.
SRO’s new esports initiative marks the first time that a virtual race will contribute to the outcome of a real-world sports car racing championship.