Today we unveil the Eurogamer Assetto Corsa Championship, a live event played on the Kunos simulator and broadcast with English commentary on the Eurogamer's Italian Twitch channel. It will not be an ordinary event: the full organization took six months between preparation, sponsor gathering and team invitation process. Thanks to the expertise of SimracingZone.net guys, a portal that manages simracing events since 2007, they've been able to create a powerful partnership allowing us to produce a sim racing event like this. They are also planning other competitive championships like this one involving other games with different technical partners, so stay tuned for more.
Back to the main topic, you can see the full calendar below: starting from the 8th of March, 24 of the very best European sim drivers have been invited to race against each other in one of the most fearsome cars ever conceived by mankind, the legendary Lotus 98T driven by Ayrton Senna in the 1986 Formula 1 championship. It's undoubtedly one of the most challenging cars to drive not only in the Kunos Simulator but also in the whole simracing world in general. The chance to trim the turbo pressure can send this rocket on wheels at insane speeds, but not before biting the ego of the drivers that will abuse his throttle with savage surges of turbo lag.
The challenge will not be posed only by the car itself: this will be an historical event in the sense that the racetracks have been chosen among a package of modded circuits for Assetto Corsa, the 1988 Track Pack featuring some of the most difficult layouts before the widespread modifications during 90s watered down the approach to their riskiest parts. Imola, Mexico City, Montreal, Silverstone, Hockenheim, Estoril are a sight to behold, let alone to drive and the treacherous Adelaide as the final chapter announces itself as one of the fiercest races ever fought on virtual tracks.
The names of the participants speak for themselves: among the list of the teams that you can see in the dedicated box, you can spot household names in the sim racing scene known for their skill and dedication. The grid is highly competitive but names like Jack Keithley, Hany Alsabti, Jakub Brzezinski and David Greco stand out as the ones to watch out for their performances. So far the dedication of all the field in preparing the race of Imola has been outstanding with hundreds of laps already clicked off to perfect the needed skill to master this monster of a virtual car.
And those hours spent in practice will surely serve them well, because the task all teams are up for is definitely one of the hardest of their sim racing career. Apart from the car and the tracks, the formula of the event will clearly push the drivers and the teams to their limit. The streaming will cover both qualifications and races: starting at 20:30 CET, there will be a classical event introduction until 21:00 when the qualification session will take off for 20 minutes of absolute balls-to-the-wall driving.
As was customary in the old days, only two supersoft tyre sets were available to set the best laptime. The fun (for the audience, less for the drivers) fact of the qualification phase will be the chance to crank up the turbo pressure to insane levels and try to be the fastest regardless of eventual damage caused to the engine. Back in the day those turbo monsters were running qualifications spec engines build with the exclusive aim to last for nothing more than 50 kilometers before disintegrating themselves. A wonderful nonsense that produced in the excess of 1200 horsepower in qualifying trim, reduced to 800 during the race with a completely different version of the engine installed.
An approach vastly different on what will happen at approx. 21:40 when the race will start: in this case drivers will be forced to carefully manage the turbo pressures to avoid engine damage and, more importantly, to save fuel to reach the chequered flag. Drivers will be forced to start with 195 liters of fuel and make them last for the whole race: we are talking about real race distances accounting for 300 virtual kilometers and usually more than one hour and a half at maximum speed, given tyres and fuel conditions.
The fatigue and the tyre changes will add other tactical elements to the competition that will surely contribute to unexpected results, such as drivers going dry just a few meters before the finish line. Winning single events will not guarantee any prize: only the 3 best placed drivers at the end of the championship will be awarded with outstanding prizes put on the line by our sponsors. The video card giant NVIDIA, the racing apparel company Sparco and the wheel producer Thrustmaster.
A perfect mix that brings to the table everything related to gaming and simracing: we are talking about a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080TI for the best driver of the pack that will have the chance, if will end first in the driver's standings, to slap inside his desktop the best high-end video card that the money can buy.
No jokes also for the second placed driver that will be presented with another great prize from Thrustmaster, the TS PC Racer Wheel along with T3PA-Pro Pedal. Absolutely the best from the Thrustmaster catalog. The third placed driver will also have all reasons to be cheerful because NVIDIA will ship directly on his doorstep a GeForce GTX 1070, another video card that can churn out enough frames to display Assetto Corsa on multiple screens with no hassle. But it's not over because the prizes roster is enriched by those that will be awarded to the best team in the form of the Constructor Championship, and this will be Sparco business.
Unlike the Driver's championship , the Constructor title will award the attendance of the teams to all the seven events of the championship, then the license points collected or lost during the event due to penalities from the stewards, and in case of tie, the driver's standings.
Both drivers of the winning team will receive a pair of Evolve Seats where they can put on their gaming equipment: the new platform, that Sparco is announcing today with the launch of our championship, is a state of the art racing seat that we had the chance to try in the Factory of Sparco itself. We can guarantee the absolute build quality of this cockpit matches the attitude that the Italian company puts in the racing products, being racing apparel, seats and car components. For all the prizes involved you can see a dedicated gallery in the body of this article.
The Eurogamer Assetto Corsa Championship will not only live during the racing days but also in the weeks between the races; due to Assetto Corsa limitations in the replay area, it's easy to lose some of the action during a live broadcast: therefore, a week after the race, thanks to the SimracingZone.net virtual studio, we will release a recap of the previous race containing the highlights of the event, what has been lost during the live streaming like crashes and overtaking moves or mistakes to be penalized by the stewards.
Other than this, we will highlight two particular features: the NVIDIA and the Sparco moment. The first one will be awarded to the best overtake of the race while the second one will highlight the best move of the race, being it a particularly difficult car control or a tactical move of any kind. It will be definitely a cool feature to watch that will complete the video offer of our championship. Next Monday we will present you the first episode where we will introduce prizes, teams and other interesting features of this championship.
In closure, a little note about the streaming: we will start every broadcast at 20:30 CET on the of Eurogamer Italy's Twitch channel (http://www.twitchtv.it/eurogamer_italia) but many of our sponsors and partners will restream the event on their socials. Every race will be live-broadcast in full-HD and commented by Mr. Simpit himself, Shaun Cole, and from Eurogamer.it editor and sim racing specialist Matteo Lorenzetti. It will be an event to be watched and remembered not only by racing game enthusiasts but also real motorsports fans missing that golden era of real racing when drivers were free to fight on track on cars build with absolutely no compromise in the way of the performance.
Here you can find the complete roster of the teams participating in the Eurogamer Assetto Corsa Championship along with the team's and drivers' natoniality.
- Luigi Di Lorenzo - Italy
- Dario De Vita - Italy
Feeder Ragnar Simulator (Poland)
- Jakub Brzezinski - Poland
- Jakub Charkot- Poland
Fast and Aged (Italy)
- Massimo Masetti - Italy
- Alex Tarantino - Italy
Finn Team (Finland)
- Rami Mattila - Finland
- Tomi Manninen – Finland
Magenta Warriors (United Kingdom)
- Nicolas Hillebrand - Germany
- Kevin Siggy – Austria
New Power SimSports (Portugal)
- Tiago Carvalho - Portugal
- Ricardo Costa - Portugal
Scuderia Leone (Netherlands)
- Jack Keithley - United Kingdom
- Arne Schoonvliet - Belgium
Supernova Racing (Switzerland)
- Tuomas Tähtelä - Finland
- Sylvain Villet - Switzerland
Thrustmaster Black (France)
- Josh Martin - Scotland
- Hany Alsabti - Netherlands
Thrustmaster White (France)
- David Greco - Italy
- Amos Laurito - Italy
TSRacing e-Sport (France)
- Pierre POTEL - France
- Zoran KLASIC - Croatia
Virtual Driver Alliance (Italy)
- Massimo Bonni – Italy
- Simone Bertagnini – Italy
Below you can find the list of the seven races of the Eurogamer Assetto Corsa championship: all the live streamings will start at 20:30 CET and will last approximately three hours between qualification and race.
- 08/03/2017: Italy, Autodromo di Imola, 60 laps
- 15/03/2017: Mexico, Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez, 67 laps
- 29/03/2017: Canada, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 69 laps
- 12/04/2017: Great Britain, Silverstone Circuit, 65 laps
- 26/04/2017: Germany, Hockeneimring, 44 laps
- 10/05/2017: Portugal, Autódromo do Estoril 71 laps
- 24/05/2016: Australia, Adelaide Street Circuit, 82 laps