The world’s best sim racing teams and drivers will become a permanent feature of the real-life Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS paddock this year thanks to the new SRO Esports Sim Pro Series.
The five-round invitational championship joins a packed global SRO Esports calendar, which once again includes four Mobileye-supported online competitions – three sprint and one endurance – as well as the ground-breaking Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series where virtual results count towards the real-life Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS teams’ title.
The Fanatec Arena that travels to each Endurance Cup event will now stage two 60-minute Assetto Corsa Competizione races per weekend: one – as usual – for GT stars, and another for their professional sim racing counterparts who will battle for points and prize money at Monza, Circuit Paul Ricard, Spa-Francorchamps, the Nurburgring and Barcelona.
The new series stems from the success of 2022’s Spa Racing Night in which manufacturer-supported teams and drivers contested a one-off sprint race in the Fanatec Arena just as dusk descended over the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa.
23 of the 24 professional team entries will be confirmed in advance, while the final slot per event is determined by a last chance qualifier hosted on-site. And just like the Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series, teams are permitted to use different drivers at each of the season’s five rounds.
Each event is provisionally scheduled to last one day, with rig setup and practice in the morning and early afternoon before warm-up, qualifying and the race all take place immediately after that same evening’s Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series round.
Prize money totalling €75,000 will be won throughout the campaign.
The other €88,500 is split between SRO Esports’ four online championships, which remain largely unchanged this year. Mobileye GT World Challenge Esports America, Asia and Europe each comprise five hour-long sprint races, while the endurance element is covered by Intercontinental GT Challenge Esports Powered by Mobileye’s five iconic events on as many continents. 24 Pro and 24 Silver entries are permitted per championship.
To promote regional participation, each Mobileye GT World Challenge Esports series is reserved for drivers living in that specific area.
All European and Asian races take place on Wednesdays, American races on Saturdays and IGTC events across weekends.
Elsewhere, changes have been made to the way Balance of Performance is calculated and a penalty points system introduced to encourage a consistently higher level of driving standards.
Further details concerning this year’s Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series, including prize money, will be confirmed before the opening round at Monza in April.
All 30 of this year’s SRO Esports races will be staged in partnership with AK Esports and streamed live on SRO’s Twitch and YouTube channels.
The continued support of Assetto Corsa Competizione’s developer, Kunos Simulazione, is also of paramount importance to SRO Esports’ success. The official Fanatec GT World Challenge videogame provides an extraordinarily accurate simulation of multi-manufacturer GT3 (and GT4) racing that tests real-world drivers and professional sim racers to their limits.
2023 SRO ESPORTS SIM PRO SERIES (ON-SITE SPRINT)
April 22 – Monza
June 3 – Circuit Paul Ricard
June 30 – Spa-Francorchamps
July 29 – Nurburgring
September 30 – Barcelona
Prize money pool: €75,000
2023 INTERCONTINENTAL GT CHALLENGE ESPORTS POWERED BY MOBILEYE (ONLINE ENDURANCE)
May 20 – Bathurst 12 Hour
June 17 – Kyalami 9 Hour
July 15 – 24 Hours of Spa
August 19 – Suzuka 10 Hours
September 16 – Indianapolis 8 Hour
Prize money pool: €58,000
2023 MOBILEYE GT WORLD CHALLENGE ESPORTS EUROPE (ONLINE SPRINT)
May 3 – Monza
May 24 – Circuit Paul Ricard
June 21 – Spa-Francorchamps
July 19 – Nurburgring
August 23 – Barcelona
Prize money pool: €18,500
2023 MOBILEYE GT WORLD CHALLENGE ESPORTS AMERICA (ONLINE SPRINT)
May 6 – Laguna Seca
June 10 – Circuit of the Americas
July 22 – Silverstone
August 5 – Watkins Glen
September 2 – Indianapolis
Prize money pool: €6,000
2023 MOBILEYE GT WORLD CHALLENGE ESPORTS ASIA (ONLINE SPRINT)
May 31 – Imola
June 28 – Donington Park
July 12 – Bathurst
August 9 – Kyalami
September 6 – Suzuka
Prize money pool: €6,000