Moritz Lohner leads the way in Porsche Esports Carrera Cup | FOS Future Lab
Williams lead Red Bull in this weekend’s Porsche Esports Carrera Cup semi-final, as Moritz Lohner won both races at Imola ahead of Nestor Garcia.
This double-header event acts as a qualifier for the final in September, which will see 14 sim racers take on six pro drivers – who’ve also had to come through their own qualification process – at a yet-to-be named venue for the chance to win up to €7,000 (£6,300).
There’s been a number of qualification races for this semi-final across the summer, taking place at Autodrom Most, Nürburgring Nordschleife, Oschersleben, and Sachsenring, but all form was reset going into this weekend’s racing.
Garcia took the first blood with pole position in qualifying. The only driver to break under 1 minute 45 seconds at Imola, Garcia was 0.18 seconds clear of Lohner and his Williams team-mate, and ADAC GT Masters championship leader Nikodem Wisniewski was a further 0.116s back.
From the standing start in the first race, Garcia and Lohner pulled away from Wisniewski, who was busy defending his position from Leon Rudiger. However in his haste to get past the Spaniard, first around the outside of Tosa, and then again around the outside at Rivazza, Lohner allowed the chasing cars to catch up.
With the four cars in close quarters, Wisniewski was then involved in an off-camera incident in the Tamburello chicane, dropping him down to eighth. Lohner finally took the lead through Tamburello on lap nine, after a pretty robust attempt a lap earlier, before building a commanding three-second advantage through the back half of the race.
That result gave Lohner pole for the second race, and he was never seriously troubled in a clean lights-to-flag win, scoring the fastest lap in race two just as he had in race one. Garcia again fell victim to a Williams driver in the Tamburello chicane, as this time Jakub Brzezinski muscled through. Wisniewski recovered to take fourth, courtesy of an overtake on Rudiger and Alexander Dornieden’s misfortune in losing the rear exiting Tamburello.
The top 14 all qualify to next month’s grand final to face six real-world drivers for the prize money.
If all of this year’s esports coverage has given you the motivation to try it out for yourself, you can enter the DIRT Rally World Series starting this coming week. The competition ran for the first time in 2019, with a live final at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, and it’s back for 2020.
All you need to take part is play the qualifying events in DIRT Rally 2.0, on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or PC. There’s three chances to qualify for the final, each consisting of three stages and a live streamed qualifying final. You can enter either the rally event or the rallycross event – which last year was won by Killian Dell’Olmo who also won this summer’s WorldRX Esports Championship – and each has a total prize fund of $10,000 (£7,600).
In addition to the prize money, the rallycross champion will also win an exclusive test drive in a QEV rally car, the all-electric machine which will be the car used across the 2021 FIA eRX2 Championship. The first rounds get underway this week, on 25th August.
Another future race car will be the subject of its own esports series too, with a rather unusual format. The Hyraze League plans to get underway in 2023, with a new hydrogen-powered racing car. Each team racing in the event will have two drivers: one driving the real thing; and one driving a virtual version.
The two categories will have equal weighting in the points, so that both drivers’ points count towards the overall table, marking the first time that virtual and real racing will compete on equal footing.
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