SRO Motorsports Group’s officially sanctioned sim racing franchise, the GT World Challenge Asia Esports presented by Tarmac Works, begins this Saturday with the Suzuka Charity Cup. The five-round main championship begins on October 6th at Monza in Italy, followed by rounds at Laguna Seca, Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps and finishing at Suzuka in December.
For the Suzuka Charity Cup this weekend on the 29th of August, all drivers on the grid, including Craft-Bamboo Racing’s entries, are racing to raise funds for the Save the Children Charity. The Save the Children Charity helps children in countries all across Asia to grow up healthy, educated and safe, every day, and in times of crisis.
Following the success of its other esports series in Europe and America, SRO is now fully focused on providing Asia’s real-world drivers, pro sim racers and general public with a professionally managed and highly competitive online racing environment. Experience gained in Europe and America will make GT World Challenge Asia Esports SRO’s most polished sim racing product to date and introduce several new aspects familiar to fans of real-world competition.
All events of Asia’s esports series will be staged on Assetto Corsa Competizione’s popular PC platform with the help of ACC’s developers, Kunos Simulazioni, while AK Informatica will once again provide first-class technical assistance and management.
The Real-PRO class is for real-life drivers that have an FIA rating of Silver, Gold or Platinum. Craft-Bamboo Racing has selected Alex Liang, Melvin Moh, Matt Solomon and Darryl O’Young to enter this class, each driving a virtual Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Alex Liang is a proven race winner, taking the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe Pro-AM championship in 2017, and a multiple race winner in the International GT Open series. Melvin Moh, an official instructor at the Mercedes-AMG Academy, finished 2nd at the 2016 Sepang 12 Hours and also previously contested the real GT World Challenge Asia series for Craft-Bamboo Racing. Matt Solomon has driven in the teams junior program in the Formula Masters China Series, as well as competing in Mercedes-AMG machinery in Asia and Australia. Darryl O’Young, a GT specialist in the real-world GT World Challenge Asia series, has been on the podium at Le Mans 24 hour and also won the 2015 GT Asia championship amongst a list of achievements. Together they will compete for Real-PRO class honours, as well as the teams championship title for Craft-Bamboo Racing.
FIA Bronze rated drivers will be entered into the Real-AM class, sharing a grid with the Real-PRO drivers. David Pun, Kevin Tse, and Frank Yu will be racing for Craft-Bamboo Racing in this category, also driving the Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Kevin Tse is a Macau winner in the GT4 category, and is also a former Asian Le Mans Champion with Craft-Bamboo Racing back in 2014. David Pun is no stranger to GT machinery, impressively taking victory on his GT4 debut with Craft-Bamboo Racing at Fuji Speedway last year. Hong Kong GT veteran Frank Yu has taken several victories in the 2019 GT World Challenge Asia series, as well as winning the 2017 GT Series Asia Championship in the GT4 class.
Leading the charge for Craft-Bamboo Racing in the Sim-PRO class will be professional simulator driver Charles Theseira. Theseira is an accomplished simulator driver having finished on the podium in the 2012 and 2014 Gran Turismo Asia Cup, in addition to finishing second in Asia in the ER ESpeed Racing Series in 2018. The 28-year-old is also no stranger to international competition having been the Singapore representative on several occasions, most recently at the inaugural FIA Motorsport Games in 2019.
The event will be live-streamed on the various SRO social media channels, and also on the GT World YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruQ1flNzvsw).
Suzuka Charity Cup Race Schedule – 29 August 2020 (All Times in HKT)
- Free Practice | 1900hrs – 2045hrs
- Qualifying | 2045hrs – 2100hrs
- Race | 2110hrs – 2210hrs
- Free Practice | 1800hrs – 1945hrs
- Qualifying | 1945hrs – 2000hrs
- Warmup | 2000hrs – 2215hrs
- Race | 2215hrs – 2315hrs
2020 GT WORLD CHALLENGE ASIA ESPORTS CALENDAR
- Charity Cup – August 29 – Suzuka, JPN (non-championship)
- R1 – 6 October – Monza, ITA
- R2 – 27 October – Laguna Seca, USA
- R3 – 10 November – Silverstone, UK
- R4 – 24 November – Spa-Francorchamps, BEL
- R5 – 8 December – Suzuka, JPN
Melvin Moh | #7 Mercedes-AMG GT3 [Real-PRO]
“Firstly I hope everyone is staying safe and keeping well. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t go racing due to the pandemic but it’s great to have SRO organizing this esport championship. I’m happy to be representing Craft Bamboo Racing once again after last year and looking forward to racing against the other drivers online. Also, I’m happy to have Motul and Tarmac Works supporting my sim racing activities.”
Matt Solomon | #36 Mercedes-AMG GT3 [Real-PRO]
“I’m really excited to be partnering up with my friends at Craft-Bamboo Racing who I have raced with before, and making my “racing return” to the virtual circuit! It has been a testing year, so let’s put on a show and give everyone something to cheer about from home!”
Darryl O’Young | #55 Mercedes-AMG GT3 [Real-PRO]
“We’re really happy to enter Craft-Bamboo Racing into the Esports Championship. We have been missing racing alot, so when the opportunity came to compete, we decided to join the series and are happy to be represented in 3 classes, Real-PRO, Real-AM, and Sim-Pro. The competition is strong with some of the top Real and Sim drivers in Asia competing, so it will certainly be a big challenge for us. I’m looking forward to driving myself and expect this to be harder than real racing itself, but I’m really looking forward to push myself to get stronger each race.”
Alex Liang | #99 Mercedes-AMG GT3 [Real-PRO]
“It will be the first time racing in an E-Sports Championship, also with the new car which is different than what I raced in the real world in the past few years. For sure there are a lot of things I need to learn but I will try to do my best to achieve the maximum result during the season. Looking forward to getting on the virtual track soon with Craft-Bamboo Racing!”
Frank Yu | #77 Mercedes-AMG GT3 [Real-AM]
“I haven’t really competed in a sim championship, normally use it to learn the circuit but not in a competitive environment. It’s very different to real racing; the senses and feel are different so I’m struggling a bit. But it’s for charity and there’s always a beginning. So we start with this and see where it takes me and I’ll do my best.”
David Pun | #91 Mercedes-AMG GT3 [Real-AM]
“I’m really excited to take part in my first ESport race! The grid looks very competitive, and I will try to be consistent and get some decent results throughout this first season.”
Kevin Tse | #38 Mercedes-AMG GT3 [Real-AM]
“I’m really excited to be in ESports for the first time! I’ve been driving with Craft-Bamboo Racing in many real life races but it’s the first time that we are working together virtually. Not much expectations but I just want to have some fun racing with my fellow competitors on track.”
Charles Theseira | #5 Mercedes-AMG GT3 [Sim-PRO]
“It’s a privilege to represent Craft-Bamboo Racing in the inaugural GT World Challenge Asia ESports Championship. I’m really excited to be competing with the best of the best in the region on such a high-level Esports series. It’s going to be a highly competitive championship, but with Craft-Bamboo Racing’s engineering support and experience in real motorsports, I’m confident that we will give it our best shot.”