- Sprint Series entry list: Hungaroring
- Live Saturday at 1:00PM PDT / 4:00PM EDT
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The GT World Challenge Esports America championship picture is coming into focus as the series heads into its penultimate round this weekend at the Hungaroring.
44 of the fastest sim racers are entered into the American continents' premier GT racing Esports championship with four drivers very much in the hunt to claim this season's title.
Championship leader Michael Kundakcioglu saw his points lead slip to just four after a quiet run to eighth in the previous round at Spa-Francorchamps.
The winner of the second race of the season at Donington, Kundakcioglu looks to bounce back on the narrow confines of the Hungaroring in his No. 96 FFS Racing McLaren 720S GT3.
The rest of the McLaren contingent includes Simon Fisher (RacingSimTools eSports) who holds 10th in the standings entering the Hungaroring, Erie Riley (FlashPoint Esports), Aloo Gobi (Griphax Engineering), and Luke Whitehead (SDL eSports by Logitech G).
Kundakcioglu's closest pursuer in the championship is Black Hawk Racing's Chris Severt who sits just four points behind the reigning championship despite having yet to score a victory. Consistent finishes, including podiums in the last two events, have the driver of the No. 81 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 very much in contention with two races remaining.
Fellow Aston Martin runner Killian Ryan-Meenan (SideMax Motorworks), coming off of a runner-up finish at Spa last month, sits fifth in the standings. Steven Daniluk (Jabba Racing) completes the lineup for the famed British marque.
Canadian Philippe Simard catapulted himself into title contention with a long-awaited victory last month at Spa that elevated the R&K Racing driver to third in the standings.
Just eight points out of the championship lead, Simard heads up a four-car strong BMW brigade that also includes Alexis Moisin (EGT Motorsport), Pierre-Olivier Cloutier (EGT Motorsport), and Erich Armijo (Rodelindo Román eSports).
Fourteen points behind Kundakcioglu in fourth, PPR Esports driver Cody Pryde remains in striking distance with two rounds to go. The winner in the season opener at Kyalami in his No. 1 Porsche 911 GT3 R, Pryde has mustered just eight points since but has had strong pace in each of his starts.
Fellow Porsche drivers Chris Bruno (CMS Pro), Jordan Grant-Smith (BanJordy Racing), Yuanxi Lin (Private), and Igor Rodriguez (Williams Esports) complete the Porsche lineup this month.
Elsewhere in the field, Season 1 champion Bryan Heitkotter returns to the championship in the lone Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 in the field, entered by Forsberg Racing.
Audi has four entries in the field with Chris Rubilar (Performante Racing Team), Thomas Ortiz (Rodelindo Román eSports), Christopher McNickle (Scrubs Go Racing), and Matthew Largi (TSE Racing) all looking to score their first points of the season.
The HPD Jas Pro America squad returns with its Honda/Acura NSX GT3 Evos for Karl Wittmer, Zach Patterson, Cardin Lu, and Josh Staffin, the latter of which is coming off of his strongest performance of the season with a fourth-place result at Spa.
William Hendrickson holds seventh in points by virtue of a podium run at Donington but he has not finished in the points since. The Jean Alesi Esports Academy ace leads a three-car Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo assault on the Hungaroring that also features Maximiliano Riveros (Final Lap Simracing) and Anthony Ayala (TSE Racing).
Jon Steele (TSE Racing), Skyler Loverink (Brix Racing), Ryley Murdock (SOP Esports Racing), and Luis Gonzalez (Final Lap Simracing) are aiming to score the first point of the season for a Ferrari driver in GT World Challenge Esports America competition after a difficult start the to year, while the same can be said for Lamborghini and its stable of drivers Brian Kannappan (Team Fordzilla), Ryan Woodrow (FlashPoint Esports), and Alberto Alvarez (SOP Esports Racing).
Jake Langevin (Pass on da Grass) headlines the Bentley lineup after a season-best fifth place finish at Spa and will be supported by stablemates Phelipe Roberto (Williams Esports), Mauricio Quero (Punto cL Racing) and Michael Fritz (Pass on da Grass), while Lexus will be represented by Quin Smith (Madhaus Racing), Taha Malih (H3 Racing) and Adrien Bourdon (SOP Esports Racing).
Saturday’s action commences with a Free Practice and Qualifying session before the race itself starts at 4:00PM EST / 10:00PM CEST. Follow the racing through SRO’s official livestream beginning 10 minutes earlier on SRO’s GT World YouTube and Twitch channels.