PREVIEW. 12H BARCELONA E-SPORTS (GT3)

News | September 29, 2020

Sure to be a competitive endeavour with new, established and returning GT3 teams alike eying the sharp end of the grid, this weekend’s 12H BARCELONA E-SPORTS takes the online championship to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in northern Spain. Can the Atlantis Racing Team steal a march in the championship standings? Can the reigning 24H SERIES Continents champion spring a surprise with its Audi R8 LMS? And will Modena Motorsports be on the pace after an extended hiatus from the 24H SERIES?

Mercedes-AMG – Can Team ABBA Racing collect its first ‘Virtual’ podium?

Having spoken at length with CREVENTIC about the realities of e-racing, Adam Christodoulou and Tom Onslow-Cole team up once with Sam Neary and Team ABBA Racing (#8) at the 12H BARCELONA E-SPORTS. Despite suffering damage early on at both Monza and Spa-Francorchamps, the British team recovered to finish 7th and 6th respectively, and will no doubt have the overall podium in its sights at Barcelona.

 

Representing Singapore, the superbly named Legion of Racers (#18, Jason Tay / Luis Antonio Moreno / Jaden Low / Ar Muhammad Aleef / Melvin Moh) makes its 24H SERIES Virtual debut, and, like Asian compatriot, ESAM Racing (#22, Andrew Wong / Murphy Chu / Tang Wai Shing / Eric Ho), will compete in the 24H SERIES Virtual for the first time at Barcelona.

 

For the first time, Viper Niza Racing, a class winner at the inaugural TCR SPA 500, enters two Mercedes-AMG GT3s for a 24H SERIES virtual round: one for Douglas Khoo, Dominic, Gilbert and Freddie Ang, and Rueben Wong (#65), and a second for Tengku Djan, Tengku Ezan, Aaron Lim, and Matthew Graham (#66).

The only Swedish team competing at the 12H BARCELONA E-SPORTS, and unusually for the TCR mainstay, Lestrup Racing Team (#12) enters a Mercedes-AMG GT3 for Mats Olsson, Alfred Nilsson, Stefan Nilsson, and Martin Öberg. Meantime, Team Virage eSports (#94, Julien Gerbi / Julian Wagg / Felipe Espinosa / Rodolfo Gonzalez) completes the Mercedes line-up in GT3. The Spanish team has previously competed in both the ‘GT3’ and ‘GT4’ classes in the 24H SERIES Virtual, collecting a best of 4th at Monza.

Ferrari 488 GT3 – Atlantis and DUWO sure to be among the frontrunners

Sure to be among the frontrunners, the DUWO by SimRC Ferrari 488 GT3 (#76, Philip Weber / Cedric Bollen / Diogo C. Pinto) is the first of four entries for the team from Luxembourg. DUWO, a former class champion in the 24H SERIES, took an astonishing three class wins last time out at the 12H SPA E-SPORTS, as well as a solid 4th in the ‘GT3’ ranks. Expect them to be well in the championship hunt at Barcelona.  

 

Having taken an impressive runner’s up spot at the 12H SPA E-SPORTS, Atlantis Racing Team GT3 now lies 2nd in the overall 24H SERIES Virtual standings. Once again, the Polish team enters two prancing horses for Pawel Kowalik, Tomasz Oliwiak, Miroslaw Nastalczyk, and Lukasz Mikoda (#27), and Arkadiusz Neumann, Jakub Wyderka, Marcin Imielski, and Maciej Mlynek (#28), and will be keen to take that final, crucial step on the podium.

 

Modena Motorsports (#16, John Shen / Joshua W Anderson / Benny Simonsen) makes its first 24H SERIES start, of any kind, since taking a class win at the 2019 Hankook 12H SPA. Similarly, we haven’t seen Endurance Team Romania (#46, Sergiu Nicolae / Bechir Andrei / Victor Nicolae / Dragos Simion) since the Hankook 24H BARCELONA in 2018.

 

After a rough start at the 12H MONZA E-SPORTS, Speed Monkeys eSports #YELLOW (#23, Julian Niederhagen / Daniel Muth / Daniel Alves Lourenco / Lukasz Skierski / Dominik Kulikowski) bounced back to collect a solid 5th at the 12H SPA E-SPORTS. RSR Abruzzi Esport meantime (#55, Anthony Pisano / Brandon Roseborough / Christopher Pfeffer) made a resounding start to its 24H SERIES Virtual campaign at Spa-Francorchamps and returns with its Ferrari 488 GT3 in Barcelona. As does Raceunion 12H (#87, Florian Bodin / Marvin Otterbach), which returns to the ‘GT3’ division in Barcelona after taking a top 10 finish with the Ferrari 488 GT3 at Spa.

 

OpenRoad Racing (#21, Francis Tjia / Pekka Saarinen), Satellite Racing (#64, Nick Rowland / Eneric Andre / Alexis Fedoriw), and Dürener Motorsport Club e.V (#70, Dominic Spicker / Nick Salewsky /Lukas Schwenk / Philipp Beyerle) are the final prancing horses on the entry list, and mark the maiden 24H SERIES Virtual outings for the Hong Kong, American, and German outfits.

Audi R8 LMS – Will a reigning 24H SERIES champion show its virtual form?

Alongside its ‘GT4’ entry (check out our other preview HERE), Leipert eSports Real Yellow (#10, Dan Wells / Louis Prette) makes the switch from Ferrari to Audi for the 12H BARCELONA E-SPORTS, marking the third different brand the German team has competed with in the ‘Virtual’ 24H SERIES. Can the reigning Overall GT Teams’ champion improve on its 9th place finish at Spa?

 

The first of three entries representing the Emirati team, SIMMSA Esports GT3 (#66, Gustas Grinbergas / Michael Davies / Ramez Azzam) impressed with a podium finish at the 12H MONZA E-SPORTS, but endured a torrid event at Spa-Francorchamps and retired after just seven laps. The only way is up this weekend for the #66 entry and the sister fun-M Motorsport with SIMMSA Esports Audi R8 LMS (#67, Grant Crow / Julian Reinhart / Luca Trunk / Tim Brzeske / Peter Klawitter), the latter of which will be run in collaboration with the former Hankook 24H DUBAI class winner.

T3 eSports Beta (#71, Bastian Dobitz / Patrick Dietzen / Jens Homann) collected two 3rd place finishes last time at Spa-Francorchamps in both ‘GT3’ and ‘TCR’, and will run a two-car effort at this weekend’s 12H BARCELONA E-SPORTS. Having rounded out the top 10 at the 12H MONZA E-SPORTS as Car Collection SimRacing, EFP Car Collection by TECE Black (#69, Adrian Frühwirth / Lars Reincke) makes its ‘Virtual’ 24H SERIES return at Barcelona.

 

The four-ring contingent is completed by series debutant Williams Esports, which enters a ‘Chillblast’ Audi for Arthur Lehouck and Josh Thompson (#33), and a ‘Benq’ R8 for Agustin Canapino. Sami-Matti Trogen, and Daniel Lafuente (#34).

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