Season preview: Esports WTCR 2020 is go with strong driver line-up
The 2020 Esports WTCR Championship gets underway at a virtual Hungaroring on Sunday evening just hours after the track stages the fourth event of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup season.
Hosted on RaceRoom, the racing simulation for PC, the virtual version of the WTCR features five of the six circuits on the real WTCR calendar, Hungaroring, MotorLand Aragón, Nürburgring Nordschleife, Slovakia Ring and Zolder.
An impressive 4782 drivers from 92 countries have tried to secure a place on the grid for Sunday’s action, but only 24 drivers managed to land a spot on the live-streamed top server. With the talented 24 representing six car brands, an exciting and wide-open season opener is in store.
Bencé Banki (Red Bull Racing Esports), the 2018 Esports WTCR champion, was fastest in pre-qualifying and heads the Lynk & Co attack having spent the last two and a half years relying on Honda power.
He will be joined by Gianmarco Fiduci (Absolute Motorsport), Mark Balazsin (Independent), Bruno Fernandes (Snow Schatten Esports), who won the official E-Stock Car Brasil series, as well as the Turismo Nacional series twice in South America, and last year’s Esports WTCR finalist Kirill Antonov (LADA Sport ROSNEFT eRacing).
Honda has compensated for the loss of Bánki with a four-car line-up. Argentine talent Juan Manuel Gomez (Independent) will try to follow in the wheel tracks of WTCR racers Néstor Girolami and Esteban Guerrieri, while Florian Hasse (EURONICS Gaming) has plenty of titles and race wins on RaceRoom and other racing simulations. Leandro Werle (Snow Schatten Esports) and Dávid Tóth (Independent) are in the other two Honda Civic Type-R TCR.
Gergo Baldi (M1RA Esports), the winner of the Beat the WTCR Drivers season held earlier this year, will once again drive for Hyundai, alongside team-mate Attila Bucsi, Attila Diner (eRC by FSP | TÜV Rheinland) and online regular Norbert Leitner (HM Engineering), who won two races in the inaugural Esports WTCC season in 2017.
Since the Beat the WTCR Drivers season, Hyundai has lost two of its front-running drivers to Audi. Nikodem Wisniewski (Williams Esports), winner of the prestigious Le Mans Virtual, and Dávid Nagy (M1RA Esports) will lead the strong line-up of the German manufacturer, where they will be joined by Zoltan Csuti, Bence Zsupanek (both M1RA Esports) and Martin Barna (Triple A Esports).
One of the biggest pre-season surprises was Alfa Romeo, which will feature a strong all-German bid. Simracing star Moritz Löhner (Williams Esports), the reigning ADAC GT Masters Esports champion as well as runner-up in the Beat the WTCR Drivers season, has made the move to the Romeo Ferraris-built car, alongside Julian Kunze (EURONICS Gaming), who won the Esports WTCR LAN Event at the Nürburgring in 2018.
CUPRA will bring its all-new Leon Competición to Esports WTCR. The ever-improving Adam Pinczes (Triple A Esports) and Tim Jarschel (EURONICS Gaming), the only driver to win two races in one event in Esports WTCR history, will be joined by Krisztián Juhász (Independent) and Italian Alessandro Ottaviani (Virtualdrivers by TX3).
As previously, each Esports WTCR event will be played out on four servers. Timea Bencsik (Ballas Racing Team), the fastest female simracer, will compete in server two, while Russian Sergey Mukimov, who steers his virtual race car with the mouse instead of a steering wheel, will be in server four.
The Esports WTCR opener will be streamed live on the FIA WTCR Facebook page this Sunday at 19h00 CET as well as on RaceRoom’s Twitch and YouTube channels with English commentary from James Kirk and Robert Wiesenmüller. From this season there will also be a German-language stream with commentary from Thomas Bienert.
Esports WTCR 2020: how to watch?
Facebook (EN): https://www.facebook.com/WorldTouringCarCup
YouTube (EN): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozNw4_OzGSI
YouTube (DE): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0VuuRtnxHU
Twitch (EN): https://www.twitch.tv/raceroomracingexperience