MEDIA RELEASE/Australian Racing Group – Photos: supplied
The first batch of liveries for the carsales ARG eSport Cup have broken cover, with familiar colours wrapped around the virtual Audi RS 3 TCR cars.
As seen in these images, the regular liveries of Nathan Morcom (HMO Hyundai), Aaron Cameron (Valvoline Peugeot) and Jay Hanson’s (Ingal Civil Products Alfa Romeo) cars have been created to enter the opening round of the online iRacing series, offering a fun and entertaining alternative during the coronavirus pandemic.
The carsales ARG eSport Cup will be run over 10 consecutive weeks, starting Thursday, April 2 at the famous Mount Panorama Circuit at Bathurst.
Drivers from all ARG categories, plus guests, will compete at Bathurst in a 20 minute qualifying session and two races – a 30 minute feature, followed by a 15 minute reverse qualifying order affair.
The opening round at Bathurst will be run for Audi RS 3 TCRs only. Subsequent rounds will feature the same drivers, but competing in Formula 3 open wheel cars.
The full 10 round calendar will be confirmed shortly, with all events streamed live and free on TCR Australia’s digital platforms.
Entrants from the TCR Australia Series, S5000, Touring Car Masters, Trans Am and V8 Touring Cars are eligible to compete.
Valvoline Peugeot 308 TCR driver Aaron Cameron finished third in last year’s TCR Australia Series and says that he is not a frequent gamer, but is looking forward to the online challenge.
“I’m definitely no expert. I feel I’m better at the real race car stuff, but the ARG eSport Cup is a great way to keep racing and have some fun,” said Cameron.
“I’m looking forward to going up against TCR guys like Dylan O’Keeffe, Nathan Morcom and Jay Hansen, plus other drivers from the mix of categories. It is a great way to entertain the fans while we can’t do real racing.
“Bathurst is an interesting place to have the first race. There’s a lot of walls there, and I’m quite certain that I will end up in a few of them, but that will be a great learning experience.
“I actually find the simulators hard. I throw them around like a go kart, and that is not fast. There will be some carnage, but I know everyone is going to try and put on a good, clean, fun show.
“But I should say, the Audi is no Peugeot 308 TCR car, but I guess it will have to do!”
Morcom, the winner of the final TCR Australia race of the 2019 season in his HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N, is also taking a relaxed approach to the online competition.
“I haven’t done much online racing. I did one or two races recently, but honestly, not much at all,” he said.
“I’ve had a simulator for a while. It’s an old one, but it will do the job.
“Bathurst will be awesome. Everyone always wants to go there, and our easter event got cancelled so this will be the next best replacement.
“There’s going to be some action, that’s for sure. We are all racers. Everyone is competitive and wants to win. I’m looking forward to it.”
Morcom says that racing the virtual F3 cars later in the season, replicating ARG’s VHT Australian S5000 Championship, is going to require more disciplined driving.
“I actually hold the F3 qualifying lap record in real life around Bathurst, 2m03.2s, so hopefully that translates to the virtual world!” he said.
“The wheels are going to overlap, so there will be carnage, but it will simply require more driver discipline in the open wheeler. It will definitely be fun to watch.”
In the real world, Morcom says that there is still plenty to do at his family-owned race team as his series-winning squad prepares for a return to the race track proper.
“At the moment, we are still doing a lot of work on the cars and catching up on all of the nick-nacks that we haven’t had the chance to do, including work on the cars and the transporters,” he said.
“While none of us want to be in this situation, its been good to catch up and be prepared.
“I’m also still helping out with the family business, so there’s plenty to do.”
More entries and liveries for the carsales ARG eSport Cup will be revealed in the coming days.
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