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.