• Second round of European championship tackles 4.3km Dutch Grand Prix venue after dark
• McCormack hoping to extend points advantage after impressive season-opening victory at Misano
• Entry List | Schedule
The Mobileye GT World Challenge Europe Esports Championship season shifts up a gear on Wednesday (4 May) with a one-hour Assetto Corsa Competizione race at Zandvoort marking the second event on the 2022 calendar.
The 4.3km circuit on the North Sea coast leaves no margin for error, with high-speed corners and minimal run-off ensuring that mistakes are severely punished. First opened in 1949, the Dutch Grand Prix venue retains much of its old-school appeal, while a recent facelift has added extra excitement with banking at Arie Luyendijkbocht and Hugenholtzbocht.
A grid of 50 world-class sim racers will take up the challenge on Wednesday evening. The field is split between Pro and Silver drivers, with both classes scoring points towards their respective championships. The 60-minute race will include a mandatory pit stop, which must be taken between the 15th and 45th minute.
With the Zandvoort contest set to be staged at night, drivers will be tested even further by limited visibility. Live coverage will be available on YouTube and Twitch with streaming set to begin at 20:50 CEST.
The man to beat in the Pro class will be Daire McCormack, who delivered a perfect performance with his #814 Bentley to win the season-opening event at Misano. The Munster Rugby Gaming driver saw off a host of big names to secure the top step of the podium, with Scuderia Ferrari Velas Esports Team ace David Tonizza taking a runner-up finish at the Italian track.
Tobias Gronewald (Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team UOL) completed the podium ahead of Michael Tauscher (Unicorns of Love Porsche) and both should be back in the hunt this time around. The BMW Team BS+COMPETITION boys were also on form at Misano as Nils Naujoks and Arthur Kammerer showed the speed of the new-spec M4 GT3.
Reigning series champion James Baldwin (Veloce McLaren) will hope to repeat last season's lights-to-flag victory at Zandvoort, which kick-started his title bid. The 27-driver Pro field also features the likes of Niklas Houben (R8G eSports Audi), Eamonn Murphy (Veloce McLaren), Amir Hosseini (R8G eSports McLaren) and Luca Losio (Mobileye x Jean Alesi Esports Academy BMW), all of whom could feature in the fight for victory on Wednesday evening.
The battle for Silver class honours will be no less competitive, with 23 entrants looking to put in a star performance. Dominik Blajer scored the opening win in his TRITON Racing Bentley and was fighting with the Pros for much of the race. Robbie Stapleford (BMW G2 Esports) was hot on his heels and will hope to go one better at Zandvoort, while the likes of Mateusz Tyszkiewicz (TRITON Racing Bentley), Egor Ogorodnikov (VDES Academy Bentley) and Joe McAuley (FFS Racing Ferrari) should also be contenders for victory.
In addition to championship points, drivers will hope to secure a nomination for the Mobileye Innovation Award, which recognises the most innovative on-track manoeuvre and is chosen by a post-race fan vote. James Baldwin took the award at the season opener for an opportunistic and perfectly executed move that earned the McLaren driver two positions.
Organised by SRO Motorsports Group and Ak Esports in partnership with Mobileye, Fanatec, Kunos Simulazioni, Pirelli and The Sim Grid, the Mobileye GT World Challenge Europe Esports Championship utilises the unmatched simulation of Assetto Corsa Competizione. It runs alongside similar continental Sprint Series in Asia and America, while the Intercontinental GT Challenge Esports Championship Powered by Mobileye tests elite sim racing teams in long-distance events.
2022 Mobileye GT World Challenge Europe Esports Championship
- Misano – 6 April
- Zandvoort – 4 May
- Nürburgring – 8 June
- Hungaroring – 6 July
- Monza – 3 August