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The best Esports races to watch in April

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The best Esports races to watch in April
Apr 2, 2020, 9:30 PM

Here is a list of the best Esports races to look out for in April, as Covid-19 continues to shutdown the real motorsport world.

Team Redline’s Real Racers Never Quit Round 6

  • Date and time: Friday 3rd April
  • Game: iRacing
  • Competitors: Max Verstappen, Lando Norris, Juan Pablo Montoya, Antonio Felix da Costa, Stoffel Vandoorne
  • How to watch it: Team Redline YouTube channel/ website

What is it? The second week of Redline’s sim racing championship for professional racing drivers comes to a close. The first round of the series saw F1 stars Max Verstappen and Lando Norris collide while fighting for the lead of the race at the virtual Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

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Sage Karam, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing-Chevrolet

Sage Karam, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing-Chevrolet

Photo by: Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

IndyCar iRacing Challenge Round 2

  • Date and time: Saturday 4th April
  • Game: iRacing
  • Competitors: Majority of the IndyCar field e.g reigning champion Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi, as well as 2020 debutants Scott McLaughlin and Felipe Nasr
  • How to watch it: NBC Sports Network

What is it?  IndyCar doesn’t have much Esports history, but its fully embracing sim racing with its new Esports series on iRacing. Defending series champion Josef Newgarden leads the driver line-up. Barber Motorsports Park is the circuit for round two.

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The Race All-Star Cup and Legends Trophy 

  • Date and time: Saturday 4th April
  • Game: rFactor 2
  • Competitors: Billy Monger, Antonio Felix da Costa, Rubens Barrichello, Olivier Panis, Stoffel Vandoorne
  • How to watch it: The Race’s YouTube channel 

What is it? This weekend's The Race All-Star Cup will feature series debutant Billy Monger alongside a host of Formula 1 juniors and sim racers. The series has three different winners in its first three events. It will also feature the second Legends Trophy event for drivers over the age of 40, which last time was won by three-time Indy500 winner Dario Franchitti. The event will feature knockout rounds accumulating in an all-or-nothing final race.

Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Photo by: NASCAR Media

eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series

  • Date and time: Sunday 5th April
  • Game: iRacing
  • Competitors: Many of the NASCAR Cup Series stars, including retired racers Dale Earnhardt Jr and Bobby Labonte
  • How to watch it: FOX Broadcast Network, FS1, FOX Sports app

What is it?  NASCAR replaces its planned real-world events with made-for-TV sim racing series at the tracks they were due to race at. Recent race at Texas drew 1.3million viewers; this event is at the virtual Bristol short track.

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Lando Norris, F1 2019 screenshot

Lando Norris, F1 2019 screenshot

Photo by: Veloce Racing

Veloce’s #NotTheGP series, with Motorsport Games

  • Date and time: Sunday 5th April
  • Game: F1 2019
  • Competitors: F1 drivers, F1 Esports drivers and celebrities
  • How to watch it: Veloce Esports’ YouTube/Twitch channel, Motorsport.tv, Motorsport.com, Autosport.com and respective Facebook pages.

What is it? The original F1 replacement series pits real-life and virtual F1 stars against celebrities from inside and outside the sporting world. The opening two rounds kept fans entertained with frenetic racing and frequent drama.

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Formula 1 Virtual Grand Prix

  • Date and time: Sunday 5th April
  • Game: F1 2019
  • Competitors: Lando Norris, Nicholas Latifi, Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll
  • How to watch it: F1’s YouTube

What is it?  F1’s own Virtual Grand Prix series aims to keep fans entertained with unorthodox driver line-ups and an emphasis on entertainment rather than highly-competitive sim racing. Its first round included One Direction’s Liam Payne, ex-Olympian Chris Hoy and professional golfer Ian Poulter alongside F1 drivers Lando Norris and Nicholas Latifi. More 2020 F1 drivers are expected to participate in future rounds. With no Vietnam GP in Codemasters’ F1 2019, the virtual Australian Grand Prix circuit will be used.  

NASCAR Esports Short Track iRacing challenge 

  • Date and time: Monday 6th April to Thursday 9th April
  • Game: iRacing
  • Competitors: NASCAR drivers such as Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnhardt Jr 
  • How to watch it: NBCSN

What is it? Four successive nights of virtual NASCAR action. From Monday to Wednesday, six different drivers will compete across two-timed races in NASCAR Cup cars. The top two finishers from each night will come together for the championship race on Thursday. NBCSN will air all the action. 

IndyCar iRacing Challenge Round 3

  • Date and time: Saturday 11th April
  • Game: iRacing
  • Competitors: Majority of the IndyCar field e.g reigning champion Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi, as well as 2020 debutants Scott McLaughlin and Felipe Nasr
  • How to watch it: NBC Sports Network

What is it?  Round three of IndyCar’s Esports replacement series will be held at a track of the drivers’ choosing. 25 drivers are currently signed up with the majority of the IndyCar field signed up, as well as ex-Formula 1 driver Scott Speed.

Dirt Rally 2.0 screenshot

Dirt Rally 2.0 screenshot

World RX Invitational Series Round 1

  • Date and time: Saturday 18th April
  • Game: DiRT Rally 2.0
  • Competitors: World RX stars as well as top DiRT gamers
  • How to watch it: Motorsport.tv, YouTube, Facebook and Twitch

What is it?  A virtual World Rallycross replacement will take place on Codemasters’ DiRT Rally 2.0. Some of the top World RX competitors will face off against the top-qualifying gamers. Qualification is open to everyone on PC. This round at the virtual Catalunya circuit is set to be the first of many.

IndyCar iRacing Challenge Round 4

  • Date and time: Saturday 18th April
  • Game: iRacing
  • Competitors: Majority of the IndyCar field e.g reigning champion Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi, as well as 2020 debutants Scott McLaughlin and Felipe Nasr
  • How to watch it: NBC Sports Network

What is it?  A random track will be used for the fourth round of IndyCar’s Esports series. While many of the drivers are new to sim racing, the competition will inevitably close-up as the sim racing rookies adapt to the virtual world.

Le Mans Esports Series ‘Pro’ Individual Qualifying 6 (Hot-Lap competition)

  • Date and time: Friday 24th April (Until Sunday 3rd May)  
  • Game: Forza Motorsport 7
  • Competitors: Open qualification to all gamers

What is it?  While the professional teams can qualify for the Le Mans Super Final in the Pro Team series, individual gamers can book their place at the 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours by posting one of the fastest laps around the virtual Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

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Le Mans Esports Series Pro Team Round 5, with Motorsport Games

  • Date and time: Saturday 25th April, 7pm GMT
  • Game: Forza Motorsport 7
  • Competitors: Red Bull, Lazarus, Jean Alesi’s Esports team
  • How to watch it: Motorsport.tv, YouTube, Facebook and Twitch

What is it? The final round of the Pro Team series of the Le Mans Esports Series. After this round, the top six teams in the standings will earn their place in the Super Final, which will be held at the 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours. Season two of the championship boasts a $200,000 prize pool.  

iRacing 24 Hours of Nurburgring

  • Date and time: Saturday 25th April, 1pm GMT
  • Game: iRacing
  • Competitors: Real-life racers facing off against sim racers  
  • How to watch it: iRacing website and YouTube channel

What is it? One of iRacing’s special events, which has attracted the likes of Formula 1 stars Max Verstappen and Lando Norris in the past. All the top sim racing drivers and teams usually take part, and virtual endurance has all the drama and intrigue of the real-life equivalent.

IndyCar iRacing Challenge Round 5

  • Date and time: Saturday 25th April
  • Game: iRacing
  • Competitors: Majority of the IndyCar field e.g reigning champion Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi, as well as 2020 debutants Scott McLaughlin and Felipe Nasr
  • How to watch it: NBC Sports Network

What is it?  IndyCar’s fifth Esports event on iRacing will use the Circuit of the Americas. The F1-circuit made its debut on the IndyCar calendar last year, and caused a world of track limits controversy. Rookie Colton Herta became the youngest IndyCar race winner of all time. Now he’ll race alongside his fellow IndyCar drivers around the digital version of the track.  

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