Last weekend it was the Finals of the Ginetta X Project CARS eSports Cup. 45 of the world's top sim-racers raced for a £4500 prize fund, across three gaming platforms and a total of six races.
The action was intense as the drivers battled for one of three £1500 prizes - one each for the winner of separate competitions on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Racing the incredible Ginetta G55 GT3 at Oulton Park and Brands Hatch in the UK, with fixed car setups, made for a very close & entertaining contest.
There were two 15 lap races on each platform, with drivers earning points based on their finishing position. The winner on each platform would be the driver with most points after two races: one at Oulton and one at Brands.
Amongst the competitors, we saw familiar names from the Project CARS Logitech G and NVIDIA Championships, as well as some less well-known faces, attracted to the competition from throughout the sim-racing world. Keep reading below where you will find reports from all of the races, as well as on-demand videos of all the action.
The three winning drivers will be contacted by Ginetta in the coming days to arrange the transfer of their prize money. If you registered for the tournament, you should also keep an eye out for Ginetta's prize draw to decide who will win one of three GoPro cameras. Follow Ginetta on Twitter and keep an eye out for the draw.
Read on for the results of the finals.
In the PlayStation 4 Cup, Race 1 at Oulton Park Island got off to a frantic start, with contact between a number of drivers in the first couple of corners. It was the familiar faces of Team Shark Racing's Atho, and eSPORTS+CARS' eol who set the early pace, along with Project CARS newcomer, Majkl_1-. We were treated to a race long batte between Atho and Majkl, with the two drivers rarely separated by more than a second. Eventually though, it was Majkl who would come through to take victory, after passing Atho into Old Hall corner in the final few laps to score maximum points in Race 1.
For Race 2, we switched circuits to Brands Hatch GP, swapping the narrow and technical turns of Oulton Park for the faster, sweeping bends of the famous circuit in Kent. Once again, Majkl was up at the front, but this time he was able to control the race from first position. We also saw another eSPORTS+CARS team member come to the fore. This time it was Kie rather than eol that would follow Majkl for much of the race. With Majkl up at the front, Atho needed to find a way to catch and pass him to take overall victory, but he found himself bottled up in fourth place behind team Unity's SmOKky for much of the race. This meant that Majkl, an experienced sim-racer, but a newcomer to Project CARS, came through to take a remarkable overall victory and the £1500 prize.
Check out the YouTube video above to catch-up on all of the PS4 action.
Please note that the following points penalties have been given to a small number of drivers who drove outside track limits on a number of occaisions in PS4 Race 1. The size of each penalty reflects the advantage gained by each driver, compared to their finishing position in Race 1. The evidence reviewed was chase-camera footage of each driver's full Race 1. Decisions were made in cooperation with event partner, Apex Online Racing, which has extensive experience of this type of situation from its work running various Project CARS Leagues.
In the Xbox One Finals, some very well-known faces from the Project CARS eSports scene used their experience to dominate the event. In Race 1 at Oulton Park it was all about SDL M power, who led from the front, managing his pace and his nerves to take a comfortable victory ahead of his SDL teammate, Rossi46. TX3 Room rounded out the podium in a chaotic opening race where several drivers made mistakes. In the Xbox Finals, it was clear that keeping a cool head would help the more experienced drivers to stay out of trouble and pick up extra points.
In Race 2 at Brands Hatch, it was BAM eSports driver, Anto who picked up the pace to take control of the action and dominate most of the 15 laps. He took victory ahead of the two SDL drivers, M power and Rossi46, who didn't take many risks on their way to a double-podium. That was enough for M power to secure an overall points victory with a calm and measured performance, taking home the £1500 prize for the Xbox Finals. It was a close run contest for second place overall, as Anto finished just 2 points ahead of Rossi in the end.
If you missed the Xbox Finals live, watch the YouTube video above to catch-up on both races.
The PC Finals contained many of the most experienced Project CARS eSports drivers. From several members of the BAM and SDL teams, to team TX3 and Revolution Sim Racing's Cluck.
Race 1 at Oulton Park saw Khaki and Mangator fill the front row of the grid, and that was how it stayed throughout the race. These two drivers traded fast lap times all race long, but Khaki had the edge and maintained it to the chequered flag to take maximum points. Daytona came home in third to make it a double podium for SDL drivers.
Khaki took pole position again for Race 2, but he didn't have it all his own way this time, as flamedphoenix and Mangator both passed him in the early stages. flamedphoenix clearly seemed to enjoy the many fast, sweeping corners at Brands Hatch. Once he had the lead, he pulled away in the opening laps and managed his pace to secure the Race 2 win. Managtor held second place, but he needed Khaki to drop back below third if he was going to take overall victory. Khaki held his nerve despite making a rare mistake in the middle part of the race. He hung onto third place to take the points victory and the £1500 prize for PC.
Watch the battles for yourself in the video above.