BTCC champion Sutton to race in Aussie eSport Cup

Former BTCC champion Ash Sutton will compete in the ARG eSport Cup this year, starting with this week’s season opener at Bathurst.

BTCC champion Sutton to race in Aussie eSport Cup

The 26-year-old was due to embark on his fifth successive campaign in the BTCC this year, having left Team BMR for Lasers Tool Racing, but the global coronavirus pandemic has delayed the start of the season until at least June 30.

Sutton will use the time away from racing to take part in ARG’s new esports series, which has been established for drivers from its TCR Australia, S5000 other classes.

Although Sutton is primarily accustomed to BTCC-spec touring cars, he also has experience of the TCR series through a number of cameo outings in TCR Europe, with his most recent appearance coming at last year’s Spa event.

“I think all drivers and teams are in the same situation at the moment with motorsport put on hold,” he said.

“It is tough to see teams suffering, just like so many other industries but for me personally not having the need to travel means that I can be close to my family right now.

“With no racing or in some cases no testing allowed the motorsport world has become focussed on sim racing to keep seat time up. I’m excited to have this opportunity to race for Panta Fuel and The MOL group in the ARG eSport Cup.

“Over the last couple of years I’ve driven in the TCR Europe Championship and the British Touring Car Championship so I know most of the names I’ll be on the grid with. Some of these guys are at international level in TCR cars and open wheelers so I imagine them to be just as good in the sim."

Aussie Matt Simmons, who won the GT Academy in 2015 and spent two years as a factory Nissan GT driver, will also take part in the ARG eSport Cup.

He'll be the only pro gamer in the field, Simmons given special dispensation given he's competed in the real-world TCR Australia series, and that his gaming prowess has been through the Gran Turismo platform rather than iRacing. 

The 10-round season will run on a number of tracks around the world, with Mount Panorama the venue of choice for the season opener.

The series will feature races for Audi TCR cars and Formula 3 cars, with all events to be livestreamed around the world.

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