Fanatec GT World Challenge will see two racing worlds collide in historic fashion

Fasten your seat belts and keep a firm grip on the steering wheel because esports auto racing is about to collide head on with the real tires-and-blacktop thing. This weekend the SRO Motorsports Group will stage a competitive sim racing event featuring two-dozen drivers. Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS drivers and their teams will jockey for real-world points for the inaugural Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series.

Taking place on Saturday, the one-hour SRO Motorsports Group race will use Assetto Corsa Competizione, with the action taking place at a Fanatec Arena located at the Endurance Cup paddock at Monza. (If that all sounds confusing, you’re clearly not up on your auto-racing, which is perfectly okay. Stick to sports like hockey, basketball, or Dutch cheese rolling, with the knowledge that no one is going to judge you.)

To get themselves in sim racing shape, drivers—who’ve been assigned individual rigs for the event—drivers will be practicing throughout the day today.

As for the actual race, expect rules designed to simulate the actual things. There will be an actual pit which each driving must stop in to gas up. While each car has to be topped up with a minimum of one liter of fuel, tire changes will be at the discretion of each team. Providing technical advice to the sim racers will be AK Informatica staff.

Exciting and unique!

Here’s the really exciting and unique thing: Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS represents what’s being bill as “motorsport’s first fully integrated crossover between virtual and real competition.”

One, two, or three points will be awarded to Pro and Silver class podium finishers. These can then be applied to their physical-world Overall Teams’ Championship total. With five rounds of racing taking place, that means 15 points are up for grabs.

The upshot there is that, conceivably, virtual racing might decide the real-world championship for the first time in the history of motorsports racing.

The short list of participants includes Kelvin van der Linde (Team WRT, Audi), , Matt Campbell (GPX Racing, Porsche), , Mirko Bortolotti (Orange 1 FFF Racing Team, Lamborghini), Ben Barnicoat (JOTA, McLaren), Nicklas Nielsen (Iron Lynx, Ferrari), and Maro Engel (Haupt Racing Team, Mercedes-AMG).
Watch live race coverage starting Saturday on SRO Esports’ Twitch, YouTube and Facebook accounts, or the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS website.

Mike Usinger once took the better part of two years to finish Grand Theft Auto. Over the course of his career he has written about everything from eSports to music to movies to travel.

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