> 39 hot lap qualifiers join Warren, Maulana, Rachmat, Tan and Huang for R2
> Sprint Series entry list: Zandvoort
The beach resort of Zandvoort plays host to GT World Challenge Asia Esports this Thursday when 44 drivers contest Round 2 of the 2021 campaign’s Sprint Series on Assetto Corsa Competizione.
VRS Coanda Simsport’s Dayne Warren dominated the season opener to automatically book his place in Holland alongside the rest of Brands Hatch’s top-five finishers: Andika Rama Maulana (Legion of Racers), Fadhli Rachmat (JMX Phantom), Dillan Tan (Legion of Racers) and KuiSheng Huang (Full Pace Racing Team). The remaining 39 slots have been filled via Hot Lap Qualifying.
As such, each of GT3’s 11 manufacturers are represented by four entries each.
The eight-round campaign, reserved for Asia-Pacific gamers, is split between five 60-minute sprints and three more endurance races of durations lasting three, six and 10 hours. Technical assistance is provided by AK Esports, The Sim Grid, Pirelli and real-world title sponsor Fanatec.
WILL WARREN WIN AGAIN?
Pole. Fastest lap. And a commanding victory. Dayne Warren and VRS Coanda Simsport were immaculate last month at Brands Hatch where their Bentley strolled to a comfortable victory over reigning GT World Challenge Asia Esports champion Andika Rama Maulana.
Continentals and Ferrari 488s filled the top-six places first time out, and with all of those drivers returning either automatically or via qualifying – Jiacheng Jiang (Inspeed Racing) recorded the second fastest time of all – there’s every chance the early championship leaders will further tighten their grip on proceedings.
Naquib Azlan (Axle Sports) joins Warren, Jiang and Fadhli Rachmat in Bentley’s camp, while Avila Bahar (JMX Phantom) snared Ferrari’s only available space in qualifying.
Newcomer Kyo Yim (Pakelo Nine’s e-motorsport) set the Hot Lap competition’s benchmark time with a 1m34.140s, but just 0.120s covered McLaren’s four quickest drivers – including Brands Hatch points scorer Thanathip Thanalapanan (Vattana Motorsport) – who all finished inside the overall top-five. In short: expect the 720S to feature prominently on Thursday.
The Porsche also looks handy at Zandvoort where Kelvin Chen will be hoping to score further points after finishing eighth in Round 1. Full Pace Racing Team’s 911 led a qualifying top-four covered by less than two tenths.
Gen-Z Racing’s Damon Woods, who finished seventh in R1, qualified second fastest in Mercedes-AMG’s section behind Terry Rayton (Laundry House), while Ryan Duong (Roadblock) once again led the line for Lexus.
Elsewhere, Alexis Clapano (Sim Racing Pilipinas) finished second in Ferrari’s pool but will race a Lamborghini as the leading Huracan qualifier, Muhammad Qurthubi (JMX Phantom Jnr) finished as the fastest Honda driver, and Law Yat Lam (Wako’s Fliptable Racing) once again underlined his prowess in the M6 by topping BMW’s times.
Sek Yin Ho (Z-Challenger Racing) and Moreno Pratama (Legion of Racers) complete the list of fastest qualifiers for Aston Martin and Audi, respectively.
A mandatory pitstop featuring at least one litre of fresh fuel must be served between minutes 25 and 35. Changing tyres is not enforced but will provide a noticeable performance advantage, albeit with the caveat of remaining stationary for longer.
Thursday’s action commences with a Free Practice and Qualifying session before the race itself starts at 19:40 HKT / 13:40 CEST. Live streaming begins 10 minutes earlier on SRO’s GT World YouTube and Twitch channels.
Click below to set a reminder for Thursday's race.
SRO MOTORSPORTS GROUP’S ESPORTS ACTIVITIES
GT World Challenge’s tri-continental sim racing programme features online championships in Asia, Europe and North America.
These collectively complement the Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series, a five-event championship for professional racing drivers that awards real-world points during Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS weekends. This and the British GT Esports Championship, which concluded in April, uses the acclaimed Assetto Corsa Competizione software developed by Kunos Simulazioni, which sets the standard in driving realism with its highly authentic physics, stunning graphics and photo-realistic weather conditions.
A total of 42 virtual races will be staged across SRO Esports’ various series in 2021.
2021 GT WORLD CHALLENGE ASIA ESPORTS CHAMPIONSHIP CALENDAR
May 20 – Brands Hatch – Sprint
June 24 – Zandvoort – Sprint
July 17 – Bathurst 6 Hours – Endurance
July 22 – Misano – Sprint
August 12 – Spa-Francorchamps – Sprint
September 18 – Suzuka 10 Hours – Endurance
October 14 – Suzuka – Sprint
October 30 – Monza 3 Hours – Endurance