1 July 2023
SRO Esports SIM Pro Series enters a new era with RAFA Racing Club at the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa
- SRO Esports SIM Pro Series welcomes RAFA Racing Club as new title partner
- Dead heat between Williams Esports and Unicorns of Love for the championship lead as the world’s best GT3 sim racers head to Spa
- Round three to take place as the 75th CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa races into the night
- ENTRY LIST: SRO Esports SIM Pro Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club, Spa
The SRO Esports season will hit the halfway mark at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend, with the ultra-tight SRO Esports SIM Pro Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club set to enjoy a prime slot alongside the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa.
In its inaugural season, the SIM Pro Series continues to go from strength to strength, having confirmed a new partnership with Texas-based drivers’ club RAFA Racing, which is keen to boost participation in motorsport at its most accessible level, Esports.
As the 70-strong field of the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa races into the dusk on Saturday evening, the best drivers of the virtual world will take to the Fanatec Arena for the third round of the SIM Pro Series, with a huge €75,000 prize pot up for grabs.
The championship utilises the Assetto Corsa Competizione platform, with the races run in partnership with AK Esports. So far, nobody has managed to carve out a definitive lead in the championship, with two teams tied at the top and everything to play for as the title fight hangs in the balance heading into the biggest GT racing stage of them all.
Unicorns of Love and Williams Esports neck-and-neck in SRO Esports SIM Pro Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club battle
After the opening two rounds of the SRO Esports SIM Pro Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club, there is nothing to separate Mercedes-AMG Esports Team Unicorns of Love and Williams Esports.
The two teams are locked together on 46 points at the top of the championship, courtesy of the combined efforts of Tobias Gronewald and Bastian Richter for UoL, and a fine solo effort from Dominik Blajer for Williams.
Unicorns of Love will be boosted by the return of its round-one star Gronewald for this weekend, but Blajer arguably carries the greater momentum into the event having just celebrated his breakthrough overall victory in the Mobileye GT World Challenge Esports Europe Sprint Series event, which coincidentally was also run around Spa. Two solid SIM Pro finishes for Blajer so far have been the key to the team’s joint championship lead, but with its driver in such strong form the team will be aiming for a bumper score this weekend.
You have to go back to third place to find our first winner of the year, Tobias Pfeffer, who remains in the hot seat for Mercedes-AMG Esports Team HRT by UoL. His impressive victory first time out at Monza was tempered by a disappointing score at Circuit Paul Ricard when a late penalty for contact set him back.
Behind the Mercedes-AMG trio, Chris Harteveld bounced back to form with a podium for Scuderia Ferrari Esports Team in France to hold fourth in the standings, ahead of the #89 BMW M Team BS+Competition M4 GT3, which will this weekend feature Nils Naujoks at the wheel rather than Arthur Kammerer.
David Tonizza celebrated his maiden overall victory since swapping Maranello for Sant’Agata by guiding his Automobili Lamborghini Esports Team Huracan to the win at Circuit Paul Ricard, but a non-score in the opening round has left him playing catchup. Regardless, as just 11 points separate the top six in the championship, Tonizza is far from out of it.
The addition of George Boothby should mix things up. Riding high as joint championship leader in the online Europe Sprint Series, Boothby will make his SIM Pro debut after taking over the McLaren Veloce 720S GT3 Evo from Luke Whitehead, and will surely be one to watch.
Other changes for the Spa weekend include the return of Dáire McCormack for Mercedes-AMG Team Williams Esports, Dennis Schöniger taking the #53 Team Williams Esports Mercedes-AMG back from Tinko van der Velde, and Kamil Pawlowski returning aboard the ITB Saintéloc Racing Audi R8 LMS Evo II.
Qualify with RAFA to earn your spot on the grid!
The Spa weekend marks the start of a new partnership between the SRO Esports SIM Pro Series and Texas-based drivers’ club, RAFA Racing, and the 24th and final two spots on the SIM Pro grid will be decided from the public qualifying session held on-site during the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa weekend.
Visit the Fanatec Arena to try your hand at setting a few hot laps, and the two fastest drivers will gain the honour of being the RAFA Racing Wildcards that complete the 24-car entry for the SIM Pro race on Saturday evening. The public qualifying session is held at the Fanatec Arena, and ends at 14:00CEST on Saturday.