CUPRA's successful virtual racing series is entering its third round this year. Thousands of participants already competed in the premiere season 2019 and the CUPRA SimRacing Series 2020 for the much-coveted top placings and first-class prizes. We take a look back at 13 races - from the Nürburgring to Macau - full of racing highlights in a strong SimRacing field of VIPs, motorsport fans and SimRacing professionals.
The boom of SimRacing
While most motorsport events had to take a break at this time last year, SimRacing experienced a real boom. With a DNA firmly rooted in racing, as well as the digitally implemented race cars in RaceRoom Racing Experience, CUPRA was at the forefront with the continuation of the popular CUPRA SimRacing Series 2020 after its debut the previous year.
Thousands of motorsport and gaming fans put all their skills to the test at the wheel of digitally converted TCR bolides CUPRA Leon Competición and the Time Attack event at the Nürburgring in order to catch one of the coveted 24 driver places in the CUPRA SimRacing Series 2020. The CUPRA VIP race on the Ardennes roller coaster in Spa-Francorchamps with CUPRA brand ambassador and real racing drivers Jordi Gené, Sebastian Stahl and Mikel Azcona, top athlete and FC Barcelona goalkeeper Marc ter Stegen as well as actor and musician Tom Beck already offered a communicative kick-off and dramatic duels before the start of the season.
Modern high-performance on the race track
While the CUPRA brand ambassadors still had to admit defeat in the two action-packed VIP races against virtual pros Thorsten Dornried and Tim Heinemann under the eager eyes of 6,000 spectators on their home screens, the question was who would prevail over the following 13 challenging leaderboards and multiplayer rounds of the 2020 CUPRA SimRacing Series.
The series was contested in the 340-hp CUPRA Leon Competición with a 2.0 TSI engine and improved aerodynamics thanks to 3D printing technology. A high-performance vehicle with a high speed of 265 km/h, 410 Nm of torque, a fast sequential 6-speed transmission and optimized weight distribution.
Who would take the title in the second season of the 2020 CUPRA SimRacing Series?
Motorsport fans and SimRacing enthusiasts around the world were able to collect points with fast laps at the CUPRA SimRacing Series 2020 and qualify for one of the 24 starting positions for a chance to win the prize money worth a total of €10,000. As in a real race, the participants competed against each other in the style of a real race weekend, including warm-up and qualifying.
Over the course of the season, the races were held in two modes - sprint races lasting two times 25 minutes and "endurance races" lasting 60 minutes with a pit stop. The mode was changed in stretches, starting with the sprint races at the Nürburgring. This was followed by the "Endurance Race" in Imola. All races were broadcast live on the CUPRA YouTube channel.
In addition to the Nürburgring, legendary circuits such as Monza, Red Bull Ring, Suzuka and Brands Hatch appeared on the calendar, before the big season finale took place in October on the notorious street circuit of Macau.
24 top SimRacers compete at the highest level
In a top international field of drivers, Adam Pinczes secured podium places in the exciting debut race ahead of Gianmarco Fiduci and Kirill Antonov. The second race was won by Red Bull Racing Esports driver Bence Bánki who, after several hard touches, managed to overtake long-time leader Kirill Antonov of LADA Sport ROSNEFT eRacing Team just 43 seconds before the chequered flag.
The majority of the season, with races at Imola, Zandvoort, Monza, Red Bull Ring, Slovakia Ring, Brands Hatch and other international circuits, was marked by close wheel-to-wheel duels between top favorite Gianmarco Fiduci of Team Fordzilla, Euronics Gaming SimRacer Florian Hasse, Red Bull Esports driver Bence Bánki, Triple A Esports SimRacing expert Adam Pinczes, Moritz Löhner from Williams Esports and David Nagy from M1RA Esports.
Title decision falls early in Hockenheim
The first pole position of the evening at the virtual Hockenheimring went to championship leader David Nagy from Hungary. His closest rival in the title fight, Moritz Löhner, started eighth. With a super start, Nagy secured the lead and the race win, while Löhner made up two positions in a nail-biting race and saw the chequered flag in sixth place.
In the second sprint race, Nagy started third, while Löhner again started only seventh. This meant he was in for a tough race to keep his championship chances alive. After two hard maneuvers and a major paint exchange in the hairpin, Nagy surprisingly dropped back in the middle of the race and had to fight his way back to eighth place in a crazy final phase.
Löhner crossed the finish line in third. This was the early title decision for the confident Nagy and he could enjoy the championship trophy in the 2020 CUPRA SimRacing Series.
Touring car dream finale on the streets of Macau
There is hardly a better circuit for a touring car finale than Macau. Champion David Nagy missed the two sprint races on the six-kilometer virtual Guia Circuit, allowing Kirill Antonov to dominate with two wins on the tight and challenging street circuit and put an exclamation mark on the season finale.
This marked the end of an exciting 2020 CUPRA SimRacing Series season. Which drivers will be on the grid again this year? Who can secure the championship title? We are looking forward to an exciting return of the CUPRA SimRacing Series 2021. More information about the virtual racing series from CUPRA can be found here at SimRacing-Unlimited.de.