> Warren on a roll after two wins from as many races
> Sprint Series entry list: Misano
GT World Challenge Asia Esports moves on to Misano this Thursday (July 22) for Round 3 of 2021’s Sprint Series staged on Assetto Corsa Competizione.
39 Hot Lap qualifiers join the top-five finishers from the previous round at Zandvoort for what could prove 60 decisive minutes in this year’s title race. That largely depends on the performance of Dayne Warren who has maximum points after claiming two victories, two pole positions and two fastest laps from the opening two rounds.
As such, the VRS Coanda Simsport driver enjoys a 20-point lead over fellow Bentley front runner Fadhli Rachmat (JMX Phantom) who’s twice joined Warren on the podium this year. Reigning champion Andika Rama Maulana (Legion of Racers, Ferrari) is two points further back, while Naquib Azlan (Axle Sports) makes it three Continental GT3 drivers in the overall top-four heading to Misano.
Andrew Laurenson (Laundry House, Porsche) also earned his automatic invitation for Round 3 by finishing in Zandvoort’s overall top-five.
CAN ANYONE DERAIL THE RUNAWAY DAYNE TRAIN?
Another victory for Warren wouldn’t be enough to seal the title with two rounds remaining, regardless of where Rachmat et al finish. But it could ultimately prove the decisive blow in a title race steamrollered by VRS Coanda Simsport’s #57 Bentley.
Warren has been a class apart thus far, as underscored by a dominant 13s victory last month. And Hot Lap Qualifying times suggest the Continental will once again be one of the fastest cars out there after Inspeed Racing’s Jiacheng Jiang earned the fourth and only available Bentley slot.
His lap was just 0.066s slower than the fastest time of all set by Octane Online Racing’s Philippa Boquida whose 1m32.700s topped a particularly quick McLaren leaderboard. On that evidence all four 720S entries should be up front on Thursday night.
Championship contender and automatic qualifier Maulana will also be encouraged by Ferrari’s performance in qualifying where his Legion of Racers team-mate Dillan Tan lapped less than two tenths shy of the fastest time overall. The Singaporean will be eager to bounce back from a late disconnect that denied him a podium finish and another strong points haul at Zandvoort.
He currently lies joint-fifth in the standings along with automatic qualifier Laurenson and Kelvin Chen (Full Pace Racing Team) whose Hot Lap pace suggests Porsche will also be firmly in the mix at Misano.
Gen-Z Racing’s Damon Woods also non-scored in Holland following a promising opening round at Brands Hatch but gets another chance to impress after topping Mercedes-AMG’s section. His 1m33.0s was equalled by the fastest Aston Martin (Syaukat Takuma, JMX Juniors) and Audi (Moreno Pratama, Legion of Racers) drivers.
Yat Lam Law (Wako’s Fliptable Racing, BMW), Muhammad Qurthubi (JMX Juniors, Honda), Daffa Nabiel (JMX Juniors, Lamborghini) and Ryan Duong (Roadblock, Lexus) set the pace for the other four manufacturers.
MORE ABOUT GT WORLD CHALLENGE ASIA ESPORTS
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.
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 22 – Misano – Sprint
September 18 – Suzuka 10 Hours – Endurance
September 23 – Spa-Francorchamps – Sprint
October 14 – Suzuka – Sprint
October 30 – Monza 3 Hours – Endurance
November 13 – Bathurst 6 Hours – Endurance