In order to combat the delayed start to the 2020 championship, the DTM Series has launched a five-race eSports series on partnered sim title RaceRoom Racing Experience.
The season was originally scheduled to start on Friday at Circuit Zolder in Belgium, before the ongoing coronavirus pandemic forced the sporting world into hibernation in March.
Free-to-download RaceRoom has four licensed DTM packages available on its official store, spanning from 1992 to the 2016 season – albeit behind a paywall.
Additionally, other classic DTM cars are available as standalone purchases.
The DTM eSports Classic Challenge, set to run on every Sunday throughout May at 13:00 BST, will see 15 DTM drivers – past and present – take on five randomly-drawn sim racers from the fastest 100 qualifiers for each event.
The first round on Sunday 3 May will see the drivers race in 1992-spec cars, including the before moving forward over 20 years to 2014, ’15 and ’16 cars for the following three weekends.
The final round on 31 May is a bonus round, with the virtual machinery yet to be decided.
The mini-series marks DTM’s first foray into an official Esports championship, with a “full scale championship” said to be coming before the end of the year.
“With real-world tracks closed internationally due to the coronavirus, we have seen a huge surge in online racing,” said ITR Managing Director Marcel Mohaupt.
“Now, with the world’s top drivers all keen to compete, and with high-end PCs and a wheel-and-pedal set-up narrowing the gap between the real and the virtual, Esports have become an increasingly common element of motorsport life.
“The DTM eSports Classic Challenge is open to anyone who has the skill and commitment to pit themselves against some of the DTM’s best drivers.
“Who knows, perhaps we’ll find a new sim racing superstar through this competition?
“Our priority right now is to fill the gap for fans left wanting to see classic and modern DTM machinery raced by some of the sport’s biggest racing personalities.”
The qualifying process for the first round begins on 27 April, and the event will be streamed live on RaceRoom’s and DTM’s respective social channels with English commentary.