With the start of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season on hold, the EuroNASCAR Esports Series will take its place. On Saturday, Team FJ revealed the sim racing series’ eight-race calendar, rules format, and entry list. Originally announced earlier in the month, the series will kick off on 21 April.
The series’ schedule is a mixture of tracks on the real-life calendar and special courses in the United States that the circuit had never raced on. It will begin its season with an exhibition race on the Daytona International Speedway road course on 21 April, a fitting choice as the NASCAR Cup Series intends to do the same with its Busch Clash non-championship event in 2021.
The first points race will be at Brands Hatch a week later on its Indy layout. The track was slated as the backup season opener in real life until Motorsport UK increased its permit suspension to the end of June. This is followed by a trio of new stops for the Euro Series at Watkins Glen International, Circuit Park Zandvoort, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. The famed Brickyard has hosted NASCAR since 1994, though 2020 will see the NASCAR Xfinity Series also on the road course layout for the first time in July.
After the four-race regular season comes a three-race playoff. The postseason begins with a return to Brands Hatch to race on its Grand Prix circuit before heading back to America for the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval. The final round will be on 9 June at Circuit Zolder.
For races, the series will operate on a heat format. After two laps for qualifying, drivers will battle it out in a pair of ten-minute heat races, with the top fifteen finishers in each advancing to the main race. The bottom finishers are relegated to the Last Chance Qualifier—also ten minutes long—with the top six going to the main. The main race will be thirty minutes in length.
Despite skepticism from fans and media, the Esports Series will follow through with the unprecedented and unusual concept of having points earned in the series go to the real-life Euro Series Team Championship. Among multi-car teams, the driver with the best race finish will earn points for their respective organisation. The Esports champion will receive 40 bonus points once the real-life season starts, while the runner-up will get 35 points, third gets 34 and onward.
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