SRO GT World Challenge Esports Series returns for 2022
Several key changes have been made to the GT World Challenge esports series for 2022, namely regional endurance categories merged into one larger series called Intercontinental GT Challenge Esports (IGTC Esports).
The series organizers have adopted the real championship rule in that two separate classes will compete in the same race – Pro and Silver.
The regional sprint championships – Europe, Asia and America – will remain this year, and consist of 60-minute races in which competitors are forced to pit at least once.
A list of Pro drivers eligible for this series has already been released, including professional esports athletes like reigning European Sprint Series Champion James Baldwin, Josh Rogers of VRS Coanda Simsport, Kevin Siggy of Team Redline and drivers supported by the Ferrari Driver Academy David Tonizza and Brendon Leigh.
This is not an entry list, but a collation of qualified pilots at this point. Teams can change their Pro drivers when the race starts.
Drivers were assigned to the Pro category if they scored more than 25 points in last year’s SRO European Esports Series, or who scored 15 points in the Asian or American variants. Those who failed to score this amount were declared Silver pilots by default.
For regional and international competitions, manufacturers can nominate drivers for two of their Pro cars, with all available spots being filled via a hot qualifying session for the remaining Pros.
To determine the crews for the Silver class, three drivers from each candidate team must complete qualifying laps on three tracks, with the aim of establishing the fastest average time. The top 24 teams then qualify for the Silver class.
In a revamped prize distribution, more drivers than ever will be eligible for rewards in both classes, with a prize pool of €120,000 plus additional bonuses for those who finish in the top 10.
The IGTC prize pool for the Pro class is set at €35,000 in cash, with an additional €8,000 in products and prizes, with the Silver class receiving €15,000 in cash and €4,000 in products and prizes.
Pro class riders in the Sprint European Regional Series compete for €10,000 in cash and €5,000 in prize money, with Current Silver riders for €5,000 in cash and €3,000 in product value.
The Asian and American regional Sprint Series are short of cash funds, but the products and prizes are equivalent to €12,500 and €5,000 respectively for the Pro and Silver categories.
Prizes include real-world driving tests for teams yet to be determined.
As a welcome addition to the format, organizers have partially made the Balance of Performance (BoP) process more transparent, after a few teams raised concerns about how weight penalties were previously distributed.
As has been proposed, drivers can test drive other cars on request, but whether that means more detailed BoP information will be made public remains to be seen.
Silver Cup qualifying for the Regional Sprint Series begins on February 21, with Esports qualifying for the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC) beginning a week later on February 28.
For Pro riders, Sprint qualifying begins March 14, with IGTC starting March 21, 2022.
GT World Challenge Esports Sprint Series – European Calendar 2022
- Round 1 – Misano – April 6
- Round 2 – Zandvoort – May 4
- Round 3 – Nürburgring – June 8
- Round 4 – Hungaroring – July 6
- Round 5 – Monza – August 3
GT World Challenge Esports Sprint Series – Asia Calendar 2022
- Round 1 – Barcelona – April 13
- Round 2 – Imola – May 11
- Round 3 – Bathurst – June 15
- Round 4 – Zolder – July 13
- Round 5 – Suzuka – August 24
GT World Challenge Esports Sprint Series – Americas Calendar 2022
- Round 1 – Zolder – April 23
- Round 2 – Silverstone – May 28
- Round 3 – Kyalami – June 25
- Round 4 – Donington Park – July 9
- Round 5 – Laguna Seca – August 13
2022 Intercontinental GT Challenge Esports Calendar
- Round 1 – 12 Hours of Bathurst – April 16
- Round 2 – 10 Hours of Suzuka – May 21
- Round 3 – 24 Hours of Spa – 18-19 June
- Round 4 – The 8 Hours of Laguna Seca – July 16
- Round 5 – Kyalami 9 Hours – August 27