With Spain in its rear-view mirror, the 2022 Alpine Esports Series has set its sight on round two on the French marque’s home turf at the Circuit Paul Ricard. After a fifth-place finish as well as victory at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya at the first event of the series, James Baldwin is headed to virtual France as the championship leader. The live stream starts at 8.30pm CEST on May 12th.
The Englishman cannot put up his feet just yet, however: Despite his good results and 29 points, Marko Pejic (26) and George Boothby (25), the other Catalunya winner, are not far behind the 2019 World’s Fastest Gamer. Just like in round one, a total of 30 drivers will battle it out for points at Paul Ricard, with the Top 8 of the sprint race and the Top 10 of the feature race in Assetto Corsa Competizione being eligible to score them.
A slight change to the proceedings awaits the competitors for round two: After receiving driver feedback wishing for a longer sprint race qualifying, the duration of the session has been changed to seven minutes. Previously, only five minutes had been available to set a flying lap.
After the challenge of a variety of corner types at Catalunya, the challenge the esports drivers are facing at Paul Ricard are even more technical: The circuit allows for multiple lines in almost every corner and features the 1.8km long Mistral Straight as well – exciting slipstream battles are almost guaranteed there. The following Signes corner, however, is tricky to overtake at, as the super-fast right hander is tough to pull off such maneuvers at.
Corner exits at the Virage de la Sainte-Beaume, which leads onto the Mistral, and the Virage du Pont (the final corner before the start/finish straight) will be a key to set up overtakes. Meanwhile, a lot of lap time can be found in the multiple long, late-apex turns like Virage de Bendor or Virage de la Tour. Unlike the large runoff areas next to most of the track may suggest: It is not going to be a walk in the park for the eventual winners of the races.
For Lorenz Hörzing, round two can only get better than the start of the series: The cowana Gaming SimRacing driver finished in P21 in the first race and racked up a DNF in the second race at Catalunya and ended the first round empty-handed.