The VROC event used the very familiar format of the annual ROC event, with drivers racing head-to-head on the same special stage in a series of knockout races. Not restricted by geography to a single location, the virtual equivalent took the drivers to a number of ROC locations, including Gran Canaria, London, and Riyadh. The event featured traditional ROC machinery too: the ROC buggy and the KTM X-Bow among them.
As usual for a ROC event, the list of participants was interesting and varied. The initial individual event pitted pro drivers against each other, split into groups according to their esports experience. Those who’d won virtual championships this summer – like Stoffel Vandoorne from Formula E and Louis Deletraz from the SRO Esports GT Series – raced in one group, while “sim experts” such as W Series Esports leader Beitske Visser raced in a second. Legends including Andy Priaulx and Petter Solberg ran in the third group, with Grosjean running in the final group alongside DTM champion Rene Rast and WorldRX racer Timmy Hansen.
Grosjean had to miss the first part of the event, as his son Sacha had injured himself in an accident at home. Hansen prevailed from the Champions group, before beating Petter Solberg in the quarter-finals and Rast again in the semis. NASCAR Mexico driver Ruben Garcia Jr., came through the Sim Experts group, then beat Raffaele Marciello in the quarters and Antonio Felix da Costa in the semis, to set up a final against Hansen. Garcia was no match for Hansen in the final, giving the Swede the individual title.
The e-Race of Champions – eROC – followed the first set of races, to select one sim racer to go into the Nations Cup team event. Just as with the real-world event back in 2019, this went to James Baldwin – who also won the “World’s Fastest Gamer” in late 2019 and will race in Jenson Button’s Team Rocket McLaren 720s GT3 this year – beating Nils Naujoks in the final by just 0.068 seconds.
Baldwin then paired up with the returning Grosjean for the Nations Cup. The duo had a difficult group stage, but swept through the semi-final as Baldwin beat both Petter and Oliver Solberg. That put the “All-Stars” team against Team Sweden for the title – which was having its own problems as WorldRX champion Johann Kristofferson’s rig suffering technical issues. Hansen raced alone for his nation, but couldn’t live with Baldwin’s pace in the final, giving the Brit and Grosjean the title.
Hansen was having a busy Sunday, as he also raced in the World RX Esports Series. The Swede could only finish in third in the final race at Holje in his native Sweden, following an incident which saw Tom Blomqvist collect Hansen and brother Kevin. That all but gifted the event to France’s Jonathan Pailler, but Hansen was able to move into the overall points lead after three rounds.
Juan Pablo Montoya meanwhile emerged as champion of the All Star Series Triple Crown event, despite not winning any of the six rounds. With the final two races taking place at Le Mans – and a double-points finale – Fernando Alonso took the advantage by winning in another stunning last-to-first performance, but only survived a single corner of the second event. Rubens Barrichello took that race, but Montoya’s fourth overall was enough to take the championship – by just four points from David Brabham.
The Le Mans event was an unusual race, with all three of the tournaments’ finals taking place at the same time. To account for the relative difference in pace, the Legends were driving the fastest LMP2 cars, while the Pro Cup – current active racing drivers – used LMP3s. Formula E driver Oliver Rowland won both rounds, to make for three victories overall and take the title by just a single point from Agustin Canapino. Further back, in the GTE cars, Yuri Kasdorp won the Sim Masters championship for sim racers.