ESPORTS: Mobileye GT World Challenge Europe Esports title battle narrows as Nürburgring contest awaits

ESPORTS: Mobileye GT World Challenge Europe Esports title battle narrows as Nürburgring contest awaits
  • World-class sim racers tackle Nürburgring in third round of European championship 
  • Tonizza, McCormack and Baldwin lead Pro standings, Blajer out front in Silver thanks to pair of wins
  • Entry List | Standings | Schedule

Mobileye GT World Challenge Europe Esports is back in action on Wednesday (8 June) when a one-hour Assetto Corsa Competizione race at the Nürburgring will turn the heat up on the 2022 title battle.

The third of five European Sprint Series rounds marks a crucial phase in the championship and follows ultra-competitive contests at Misano (6 April) and Zandvoort (4 May). James Baldwin and David Tonizza have lived up to their status as pre-season favourites, while breakout star Dáire McCormack has emerged as a serious contender for crown. 

Should anyone else wish to make a serious bid for European glory, they will need a strong result on Wednesday evening. Indeed, by the time the chequered flag has fallen we should have a clear idea of who still has a realistic shot at the big prize. 

A field featuring 50 of the world's finest sim racers will fill the Nürburgring grid. Points are scored towards the Pro and Silver classifications, while the race will include a mandatory pit stop between the 15th and 45th minute. Live coverage will be free-to-view on YouTube and Twitch, with streaming set to begin at 20:50 CEST. 

With the 2022 season in full swing, last year's championship runner-up David Tonizza leads the standings on 60 points. The Scuderia Ferrari Velas Esports ace started from pole at Misano and Zandvoort, finishing both races in second spot. Consistency wins titles and Tonizza will have no complaints if his campaign ends with the championship. 

Dáire McCormack (Munster Rugby Gaming Bentley) sits second after winning the Misano opener and backing it up with third place at Zandvoort. The Irishman is a single point behind Tonizza and, having proved that his opening win was no fluke, appears ready to contend for the title. James Baldwin (Veloce McLaren) is next on 49 points after securing a brilliant win last time out at Zandvoort, which ignited the reigning series champion's bid to retain his crown. 

The trio of Tonizza-McCormack-Baldwin are the drivers to beat, but Tobias Gronewald (Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team UOL) is within striking distance on 46 points after taking third at Misano and fourth at Zandvoort. Michael Tauscher (Unicorns of Love Porsche) sits fifth in the standings having banked 30 points, 10 more than Automobili Lamborghini Esports ace Jordan Sherratt, who was part of the crew that triumphed in last month's Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Mobileye opener at Bathurst. 

Nils Naujoks scored his maiden series victory in last season's Nürburgring event, surging from fourth on the grid to lead after a few corners and maintaining the advantage thereafter. But, after being taken out of the Zandvoort race on the opening lap, the BMW Team BS+Competition driver finds himself 42 points adrift of Tonizza. Another victory at the Nürburgring may be his only route back into this fight, a scenario also faced by his teammate Arthur Kammerer, Luca Losio (Mobileye x Jean Alesi Esports Academy BMW) and Eamonn Murphy (Veloce McLaren) among others. 

Then there is the battle for Silver class honours. Dominik Blajer (TRITON Racing Bentley) has won both races thus far and generally found himself among the leading Pro drivers. Pace-wise he has been the class of the field, though a penalty almost cost him the win at Zandvoort. A last-lap clash between his teammate Mateusz Tyszkiewicz and Robbie Stapleford (BMW G2 Esports) handed Blajer a remarkable win, and both will be determined to take the fight to him again on Wednesday evening.

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.

Once the Nürburgring contest is complete there will be just two races left to decide the 2022 title, with Hungaroring on 6 July and the finale running at Monza on 3 August. A busy month of virtual racing lies ahead, with Mobileye GT World Challenge Asia Esports running at Imola (15 June), the Intercontinental GT Challenge Esports Championship Powered by Mobileye tackling the 24 Hours of Spa (18 June) and Mobileye GT World Challenge America Esports at Kyalami on 25 June.

Championship Standings – Pro

  1. David Tonizza - 60 points
  2. Dáire McCormack - 59
  3. James Baldwin - 49
  4. Tobias Gronewald - 46
  5. Michael Tauscher - 30

Championship Standings – Silver

  1. Dominik Blajer – 69 points
  2. Robbie Stapleford – 58
  3. Mateusz Tyszkiwicz – 46
  4. Fabien Piffet – 29
  5. Kieran Prendergast – 28

2022 Mobileye GT World Challenge Europe Esports Championship

  1. Misano – 6 April
  2. Zandvoort – 4 May
  3. Nürburgring – 8 June
  4. Hungaroring – 6 July
  5. Monza – 3 August