Eurosport Events moves into esports with virtual WTCR pre-season series

Spanish touring car racer Mikel Azcona in ESports action (Copyright: WTCR)

The Discovery-owned Eurosport Events has reached an agreement with esports promoter RaceRoom to produce a pre-season virtual racing series for its forthcoming Esports WTCR series.

The first season of the fully-fledged competition will launch later this year, but Eurosport Events has moved quickly to launch a pre-season version that will see experienced simracers take on actual drivers from the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup.

The move represents the latest by a rights-holder to provide content for fans during the Covid-19 lockdown.

WTCR commercial partners TrackTime, TAG Heuer and KW Suspensions have all joined up to sponsor the event, with the winner taking home a TAG Heuer watch.

The four-event series will launch today with a virtual race around the Hungaroring. All races will be available to watch on WTCR’s official Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Motor racing in particular has successfully turned towards esports and gaming in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and shutdown.

The first race of Formula 1’s Esports Virtual Grand Prix series drew a peak live audience of 395,000 concurrent viewers across Facebook, Twitch and YouTube on Sunday. On the same day, Nascar’s inaugural eNascar iRacing Pro Invitational Series race was reportedly watched by 903,000 viewers on cable network FS1, according to Nielsen Media Research, making it the highest-ever-rated esports broadcast on linear TV in the US.

Eurosport Events has been building up its portfolio in recent weeks, announcing a new all-electric racing series, Pure ETCR, and a partnership with the International Cycling Union (UCI) to produce the Track Cycling World League – its first contract outside motorsports.